People v. Hyde

Decision Date08 November 1957
Docket NumberCr. 5892
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Jack HYDE, Defendant and Appellant.*

Jack Hyde, in pro. per.

Edmund G. Brown, Atty. Gen., Elizabeth Miller, Deputy Atty. Gen., for respondent.

SHINN, Presiding Justice.

By amended information Jack Hyde was charged in Count I will burglary and in Count II with receiving stolen property. It was also alleged that he had suffered two prior felony convictions and had served separate terms of imprisonment in state prison therefor, to wit, convictions of robbery in California in 1947 and 1952. Defendant pleaded not guilty and admitted the prior convictions as alleged in the amended information. Trial was to a jury which found him guilty of receiving stolen property but not guilty of burglary. Defendant's motion for a new trial was denied. Probation and likewise denied and Hyde was sentenced to state prison for the term prescribed by law. He appeals from the judgment and the order denying him a new trial.

The conviction of receiving stolen property was based upon evidence of the following facts. On the morning of August 11, 1956, between 70 and 80 pieces of camera equipment of the value of over $13,000 were found to be missing from the Pan Pacific Camera Company in Los Angeles. Mrs. Libby Kaner, owner of the store, testified that the missing equipment had been on the shelves at closing time on the preceding evening and that she had given no one permission to remove the items. Among the missing equipment was a Reflecta camera, a Dittar camera and a Revere stereo camera.

At about 11 p. m. on the night of August 16, Officers Johnson and Atkisson of the Los Angeles Police Department were on duty in a patrol car at the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Clark Drive in the City of Los Angeles. They observed two cars, one closely following the other, make a left turn from Clark Drive onto Pico Boulevard. The two cars then turned south off Pico onto Robertson Boulevard. Both automobiles failed to stop for a pedestrian who was attempting to cross Robertson in the crosswalk. The officers stopped the nearest automobile and Johnson stepped out of the patrol car to speak to the driver. Officer Atkisson drove on alone and halted the other automobile about half a block away.

Officer Johnson testified that as he approached the car defendant stepped out, leaving the door standing open, and asked what was wrong. Johnson told him that he had failed to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk; defendant said that he had stopped. At the officer's request defendant exhibited his driver's license. Johnson asked defendant who owned the car and Hyde said it belonged to his wife. Johnson looked on the steering column for the registration slip but did not find one. Defendant showed the officer a registration slip which he carried in his wallet.

Johnson then shined his flashlight into the interior of the car and observed six gunny sacks which completely filled the rear floor and seat. He saw a camera protruding from one of the sacks and some shiny metal beneath it. Johnson asked defendant what was in the sack. Hyde said he was moving to a rented house in Culver City and that the sacks contained personal belongings. He then admitted that there were cameras in the gunny sacks. Johnson asked defendant what business he was in and Hyde replied that he was a camera salesman. Johnson said that it was strange for a man in the camera business to carry cameras around in a gunny sack in the back-end of his car. Defendant said: 'Well, there is no use talking about it here.' The officer said: 'I think you are a burglar. A few nights ago * * * I read a teletype where a camera store in Hollywood had been burglarized and approximately $20,000 worth of camera equipment was taken.' Johnson then arrested defendant on suspicion of burglary.

Shortly thereafter, Officer Atkisson returned to the scene and asked defendant where he had obtained the cameras and defendant replied that he had nothing to say and that he wanted to go to the police station. En route to the station in the patrol car Officer Johnson again asked defendant where he had obtained the cameras. Defendant said: 'A fellow had given them to me' but when asked to identify this person he said: 'Well, I would be a raving idiot to tell you who. I don't want to talk to you. I want to talk to some one higher up who could do something good.' At the police station the gunny sacks were removed from defendant's car and a list made of their contents. The gunny sacks were found to contain the three cameras subsequently identified as being among those missing from the camera shop on August 11. The cameras were received in evidence.

Detective Northrup of the Los Angeles Police Department was the investigating officer in the case. He testified that he had a conversation with defendant on the morning of August 17 at the police station. He asked defendant about the cameras and told him that they had been taken in a burglary. Defendant replied that he could say nothing about the burglary except that he did not commit it. He said that he was merely delivering the equipment for some one else and that he was 'going to get a couple of bills' for his services. He also said: 'I cannot tell you who I picked it up from or who I was going to deliver it to.'

Joe Larios testified on behalf of defendant. He stated that on August 11th or 12th he received about 60 cameras and other photographic equipment in six burlap bags in his hotel room at the Missouri Hotel in Los Angeles. The cameras were delivered to him by one Tom McGowan. Several days later McGowan called Larios and told him that he had arranged to sell the cameras and to have them delivered to one Red Cole at a tavern near Pico and Robertson Boulevards. In the early evening of August 16th Larios telephoned defendant and asked him to make a delivery with his car in return for $10. Defendant did not ask what he was to deliver and Larios did not tell him during the telephone conversation. Just before 8 p. m. defendant parked his car in the lot adjoining the Missouri Hotel and went to a drugstore to buy a pack of cigarettes while Larios loaded the gunny sacks into the car. Hyde returned as Larios was loading the last two sacks and asked what Larios was putting in the automobile--'What is it, melons?' Larios replied 'No, cameras.' Larios stated that he suspected that the gunny sacks contained stolen property but that he did not tell this to defendant. Larios told defendant to deliver the cameras to Cole at the tavern.

Defendant, testifying in his own behalf, stated that he had previously delivered merchandise for Larios in his car. He denied knowing that the cameras were stolen. After picking up the cameras he drove to the tavern, where he waited for several hours but did not find Cole. He left the tavern and was driving on Robertson Boulevard when he was stopped by the officers. He denied telling Officer Johnson that he was moving, that the gunny sacks contained his personal belongings, or that he was a camera salesman. He stated that he told the officers he was delivering the cameras for another man who sold cameras. He admitted making a statement to the officers that if he told anything about this he would be a raving idiot, but he only used the phrase after being beaten at the police station. He first learned that the cameras were stolen property when he was shown a teletype at the station....

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1 cases
  • People v. Hyde
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • 28 de outubro de 1958
    ...filed a brief in propria persona. The District Court of Appeal made an independent examination of the record and affirmed the judgment. 317 P.2d 73. This court ordered a hearing on its own motion in this case to consider the question of the appointment of counsel on appeal for an indigent d......

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