Car Thief Tried to Steal Judge's Car

Ooh, the nerve of some people! Judge Lillian Sing of San Francisco released a convicted auto thief with some stern warnings, only to get this as payback:

Phillip Bernard was in Community Court on Tuesday for a check of his progress while on probation for an auto burglary conviction.

Bernard, who is homeless, had missed an earlier appearance and had failed to follow his probation requirements. "I wasn't too happy with him," Sing said.

But Community Court is set up to get people help, not send them to jail for minor infractions. So Sing let him off with a stern admonishment.

"I told him he had better get into a harm reduction program and get going with a job search," Sing said.

No sooner did Sing's gavel go down, however, than Bernard exited the Polk Street courtroom, went around to the alley in back, pulled out a weighted sock and smashed the rear passenger window of a car, police said.

As fate would have it, a couple of beat cops were passing by. They nabbed Bernard, ran the car's plate and bingo - up popped the judge's name.


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