When security guards found him, he lied and said the car belonged to his aunt -- because he "knew it looked bad," according to a statement from deputy public defender Phoenix Streets. In a bizarre twist, he also called the car owner's emergency roadside assistance number, which he had found in the paperwork. "I've never heard of a burglar calling roadside assistance," Streets explained in his statement.
Uh, yeah. Neither have we.
It gets better. We put in a call to Brian Buckelew, spokesman for the district attorney's office, who gave us some other pertinent details of Reynolds' case. According to Buckelew, Reynolds was on active parole for grand theft at the time of his arrest in October; has been arrested for theft six times in San Francisco; and admitted on the stand at trial that he had used methamphetamine the night he undertook his act of Good Samaritanism. Had enough?
Buckelew was at a loss to explain the jury's decision not to convict, but noted that Reynolds had been in custody since October, and that his long period of incarceration and relative youth may have swayed jurors to look kindly on his case. "Sympathies may have overridden common sense," Buckelew said.
Reynolds is now free to walk the streets, rolling up car windows at will. Welcome to trial by jury in San Francisco.