SAN LUIS OBISPO — A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court jury Monday, Oct. 1, found Cole Benjamin Malone, 33, of San Luis Obispo, guilty of committing a first-degree residential burglary, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office reported. The prosecution stems from an August 2016 nighttime burglary of a home within the City of San Luis Obispo. The jury returned their verdict after a four-day trial and two days of deliberations.
On the evening of Aug. 31, 2016, the home owner discovered Malone in the victim’s attached-garage and in the process of stealing a bicycle after a child reported hearing a noise in the garage. After being spotted by the homeowner, Malone immediately ran from the scene but was quickly subdued by the victim and neighbors near the residence. The City of San Luis Obispo Police Department responded and arrested Malone.
“Residential burglary is a particularly dangerous crime. When an intruder violates the sanctity of a home it presents a very real potential for a violent confrontation with the resident. Fortunately, in this case the defendant was quickly subdued and no one was injured. We thank the jury for their patience in hearing this important case," said District Attorney Dan Dow.
Residential burglary is classified as a violent crime and is considered a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes law. Malone admitted to having previously served a prison sentence for grand theft in 2013 which adds the possibility for one additional year in prison in this case. Sentencing in this case is scheduled for Oct. 30, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 5 of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, the Honorable Judge Dodie Harman presiding. Malone faces a possible sentence of up to seven years in state prison.
The case was investigated by the City of San Luis Obispo Police Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Delaney Henretty.