Probation was denied Marcus Lee Allen by San Diego Superior Court Judge Eugenia Eyherabide, who told the defendant, “You’ve been to prison twice for almost exactly the same crime.”
His criminal record, and his July 27 arrest in a courthouse hallway for being about two hours late for sentencing, didn’t help Allen, who said nothing in court. He was dressed in a tan jail uniform.
Allen, 30, looked at vehicles at the Maserati dealership, at 7477 Girard Ave., picking up the keys off a receptionist’s desk and driving off with the car on April 30. Allen was arrested in May about a week after the $80,000 Ghibli model vehicle (like the one pictured) was discovered in downtown San Diego and was impounded by police. Allen lived nearby.
Deputy District Attorney Luis Mendez said Allen was convicted in 2009 of auto theft from a dealership in another county and was later found in possession of two BMW car keys from a dealership. In 2008, Allen stole a car after taking a test drive at a dealership, he said, and was last convicted of auto theft in 2011 in Sacramento.
“He needs to stop targeting dealerships,” said Mendez.
Allen will spend up to three years in county jail, with one year under supervision by the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s department gave his projected release date as Jan. 16, 2017.
Allen had been free on $50,000 bond when he missed his earlier sentencing. His attorney, Manny Avitia, told the judge his client was working at a pizza restaurant and missed a ride to the courthouse and instead walked, causing him to be late. Avitia added Allen was a combat veteran from 2003 to 2005.
The Maserati dealership requested a restitution hearing for possible damages to the car, and Eyherabide scheduled it for Sept. 10. Allen was fined $1,424.
Allen identified himself as J.T. when he talked to the dealership salesman.. Someone who knew him by that name noticed the new Maserati and notified police.
– Neal Putnam