Police have charged a man with stealing a Lexus SUV he drove to court the day a jury was to decide whether to convict him in a separate auto theft case.
Tony Van was arraigned Monday on charges of receiving a stolen vehicle and receiving stolen property after police saw him approach the stolen Lexus in front of the courthouse with its keys in hand.
The incident happened on Friday while Van was inside the courthouse for his trial in a separate case.
While Van was in the courthouse awaiting the verdict, two employees at the Civic Center who were on a break noticed some loose Yorkies around a Lexus in the parking lot.
As they gathered up the dogs, several other puppies were found unattended inside the Lexus on the sweltering day.
Sheriff's deputies then determined that the 2005 Lexus had been reported stolen. Van came out to the vehicle, with the keys in his possession, authorities said.
Van was also charged with animal cruelty and leaving animals in an unattended vehicle.