Mountain View Voice

News - June 1, 2012

Crime Brief

DA drops charges in bike theft

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office has dropped some of the charges initially filed against a Sunnyvale man who was accused of trying to steal a bike by force two months ago in downtown Mountain View.

"They had the wrong guy," said attorney Thomas Salciccia, who represents Craig Jordan, the man arrested April 14.

Two charges, attempted robbery and making criminal threats, have been dropped, according to Cindy Hendrickson, deputy district attorney with Santa Clara County. Two drug-related charges stuck.

"If I have a reasonable doubt, then I won't take a case to trial," Hendrickson explained of her decision to drop the charges. "There certainly was probable cause to believe he did it," she said, but after taking all the evidence into consideration, she said that it would have been difficult to convince a jury of Jordan's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt."

"There was an abundance of evidence to indicate Jordan was responsible for the robbery," said Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman with the Mountain View police. "So we arrested him."

Wylie said that Jordan met the description of the thief, as reported by the victim, a Red Rock employee who was punched twice in the face and hit over the head with a bag containing a heavy object when he attempted to stop his bike from being stolen at about 11:10 a.m.

Salciccia insisted that the probable cause police claim to have had in arresting his client was flimsy and prejudicial. "They found somebody that had a record and they just assumed it was him."

Jordan was shown on security footage entering the CVS drug store at 850 California Street about 10 minutes after the attack occurred — proof that it couldn't have been him, Salciccia said. "He didn't have enough time to go from the (light rail) station to where he was filmed." Salciccia said Jordan was never even at the coffee shop, but went straight from the VTA light rail to CVS before he was taken into custody.

Jordan suffers from a condition that makes it very difficult for him to run, according to his lawyer, he was supposed to be at work within 11 minutes of the time he was apprehended, and "he owns two bikes." Why would he steal a bike, Salciccia argued, if he already owned two?

While the attempted robbery and criminal threats charges were dropped, Jordan pleaded no contest to drug possession for a small amount of methamphetamine found on him at the time of arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia, Hendrickson said. He was sentenced to 60 days in county jail and placed on probation.

—Nick Veronin

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