By Esme Lipton
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Three police officers testified and surveillance video was shown during a preliminary hearing for accused Charles Andrews last week in Superior Court in San Francisco County, Department 20.
Andrews is charged with second degree burglary for allegedly breaking into a MetroPCS store and a Boost Mobile store between May and June 2021. The defendant already has two felony charges. He is currently represented by public defender Sylvia Cediel.
The first witness called to the stand was Officer Joseph Dal Porto, who responded to the reported burglary in the MetroPCS store. Upon arrival, Dal Porto said: “The glass on the front door was shattered and the metal security gate was opened.”
When asked if the store was open, he replied, âNo one was inside, the store was closed, no lights were on. “
Agent Dal Porto spoke to the store’s building manager, who estimated the loss at $ 500.
The prosecution then drew the court’s attention to a 10-minute CCTV clip captured by MetroPCS security cameras that shows a man, suspected of being Andrews, sliding under a metal door that stood outside the entrance to the shop.
“[The owner] told you he didn’t see what happened? Just that there was broken glass? PD Cediel asked the witness. “Yes,” replied Dal Porto.
Dal Porto claimed he had not received an official itemized list of all the stolen goods, although he was told the theft consisted mainly of chargers, speakers and headphones. Agent Dal Porto was then able to obtain the owner’s security footage, but he was no longer involved in the case.
The prosecution then called Sergeant Victor Hui to the stand, a burglary investigator for the SFPD, and presented him with five photographs of the Boost Mobile store which had been broken into on June 1. window stripping has been removed and a metal mesh that reinforces the glass has been bent.
Hui compared surveillance footage from a previous break-in at the same store on May 29 a few days earlier, and “noticed a lot of similarities about the suspect” in both cases.
âHis pants were the same, he had the same shoe design, and he had a stain under his left eye,â said the sergeant. However, Hui claimed that he never had physical contact with the suspect.
According to the sergeant, the store owner estimated the stolen items, which consisted mainly of Bluetooth speakers, at $ 1,019. When asked if he could identify the suspect, Hui singled out the accused Andrews.
PD Cediel then asked the witness, “When you determined whether the person involved in these burglaries was the same, did you look at the surveillance footage and the photos of the arrest?” “The defense continued,” and you made judgments [about the suspectâs identity] from photos of Andrews, [â¦] have you never seen him in person?
“Right,” replied the sergeant to both questions.
The prosecution then called a third witness to testify: San Francisco policeman William Palladino who participated in the MetroPCS store investigation on May 29. Palladino allegedly identified Andrews from two emails he received containing images of the suspect outside the MetroPCS store.
Palladino has reviewed several arrests involving Andrews in the past, saying he had physical contact with the accused “about 10 times over the course of five to six years.”
Ultimately, Judge Linda Colfax determined that there was sufficient evidence for the accused to be held for trial. Andrews is scheduled to appear for arraignment on July 27 in Department 22 at 9 a.m.