A San Diego man, one of two suspects allegedly involved in a scheme involving the theft and resale of luxury vehicles, is slated to ask a judge to lower his bail.
Gabriel Dean Watters, 47, was arrested and charged last month in connection with the series of heists. He was taken into custody on Monday at San Diego International Airport.
Watters pleaded not guilty Thursday to four counts each of embezzlement, auto theft and receiving stolen property.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jeff Zimel scheduled a bail review hearing for Dec. 8 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
The defendant’s attorney requested the hearing to argue for a reduced bond. Watters is currently being held on $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center.
Watters’ alleged accomplice, Kendall Jamison Clark, 25, of Murrieta, pleaded not guilty to more than two dozen theft-related felony counts in October. He’s free on a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to make another court appearance Dec. 14.
According to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Watters was identified as an alleged co-conspirator during further investigation by the county’s Auto-Theft Interdiction Detail, a multi-agency task force.
Prosecutors allege Clark engaged multiple owners of luxury vehicles countywide, who rented pricey rides to him and never saw them again.
“When the owners tried to report the vehicles as stolen, they learned their names had been taken off the titles,” according to a D.A.’s office statement.
“Investigators discovered Watters was buying the stolen cars from Clark at prices substantially lower than their real value,” the agency stated. “Watters would meet … Clark at locations throughout Riverside County, pay him for a group of cars and then take the cars to other locations, including Mexico, where he would attempt to sell them again.”
Among the stolen autos: a 2021 Lamborghini Aventador and 2022 Urus, as well as a 2021 Porsche Boxter and a 2022 Tesla Model Y.
Task force personnel caught onto the alleged scheme in September, culminating in Clark’s arrest weeks later.
Court records show Clark has prior convictions for statutory rape and lewd acts. Watters has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.
– City News Service