Veteran car thief lauds lax San Francisco justice 

A veteran car thief who bragged about stealing nine cars in one day at age 14 told authorities he likes living in San Francisco because “nothing happens to him when caught there,” according to prosecutors in San Mateo County, where he’s facing new charges.

Dustin James Barnett, 38, was arrested in Daly City earlier this year on suspicion of swiping a Chrysler just one month after being placed on felony probation for car theft.

Barnett had four prior car theft convictions when he was pulled over on Feb. 9. Knowing the Daly City cop had learned he had stolen the car, Barnett stepped on the gas and fled, running over the cop’s foot, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

The Chrysler was found a few blocks away, with Barnett hiding in the bushes nearby, police said.



Barnett pleaded not guilty to the allegations. During court proceedings, he has shown signs of insanity, Wagstaffe said. He wrote two letters alleging a government conspiracy and discussed suicide to evade “the voices,” he said.

On Monday, criminal proceedings against Barnett were suspended so that two doctors can evaluate whether he is competent to stand trial.

Meanwhile, the car thief who boasted about lax San Francisco law enforcement is out of custody on the Daly City charges after posting the $50,000 bail.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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