Computer theft nets jail for two Ramonans
A Ramona man who stole two laptop computers from a house in Ramona was sentenced April 7 to 180 days in jail, while a second man who tried to sell them back to the owner got a concurrent one-year term that accompanies a drug sentence.
Robert Jacob Tinkham, who turned 21 on Sunday, was placed on three years probation and given credit for 69 days in jail by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Charles Ervin. The judge said Tinkham could be transported to a residential drug treatment program if a bed is available after he serves 90 days in jail, according to court records.
Tinkham pleaded guilty to grand theft and admitted he walked into the house of David Cavender in Ramona through an unlocked door on Feb. 19.
“I picked them up, walked out with the computers, and I had two cool looking laptops,” said Tinkham to a probation officer in his probation report.
Tinkham said he phoned an acquaintance, Dean Letzring, 21, also of Ramona, and asked him to sell the computers for him. Tinkham claimed he gave the computers to Letzring without receiving any money, while Letzring told authorities he paid $200 to Tinkham.
Within hours of Letzring taking the computers, Tinkham said Letzring called him to see if he knew the password to one of them, but Tinkham didn’t know it. Letzring found a card from a sheriff’s deputy inside the laptop’s container, and feared he could be arrested, according to court records.
Letzring, who was awaiting sentencing for possession of heroin for sale, called Cavender and told him he had one computer that belonged to him. Cavender didn’t know his two computers had been taken, but he met with Letzring and got one back, apparently without paying for its return.
Cavender then reported the burglary to sheriff’s deputies, who contacted Letzring about the second missing computer. Letzring returned the second computer to deputies within 15 minutes of their talk, and later that night Tinkham was arrested, records say.
Letzring was also charged with receiving stolen property and he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to one year in jail on the drug case, and one year concurrently in the theft case. Letzring remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility and the sheriff’s department said his projected release date is Oct. 9.
Ervin ordered Tinkham to pay a fine of $1,242 and to abstain from alcohol for three years. He was ordered to stay away from Letzring and the victim and to complete an anti-theft program. Tinkham was also ordered to pay $1,127 to the probation department for its costs, and to pay $570 to the county for his portion of the public defender fees.
Tinkham admitted to using heroin and drinking a beer the day of the theft. Court records show Tinkham was placed on three years probation on Jan. 25, 2008, for selling stolen golf clubs to an undercover sheriff’s deputy at San Vicente Golf course. Tinkham pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property.
Tinkham remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility, although there is a court order that he be set apart from wherever Letzring is housed. The two got into a fight when they were placed in a holding cell with others. Tinkham’s projected release is June 3, according to the sheriff’s department.
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