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2 auto thieves sentenced in Stanislaus County

The Stanislaus County district attorney's office announced two recent auto theft convictions:

Julian Nava, 38, of San Rafael pleaded no contest to possession of a stolen trailer, admitted a prior prison term for resisting arrest and evading a peace officer, and was sentenced to two years, four months in prison.

Turlock police arrested Nava after someone spotted a man using bolt cutters to remove a padlock and steal a trailer from a home near Arabian Way and Tully Road. When the authorities arrived, Nava was towing the trailer from his 2000 Chevy Blazer, prosecutors said.

James Dale Roberts, 36, of Modesto pleaded no contest to residential burglary, auto theft and commercial burglary and was sentenced to six years in a prison that has treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction.

Roberts entered a home on Northgate Drive on Nov. 30, after its owner left a garage door open. He took a purse that contained a set of car keys, then drove off with a 2006 Honda Accord parked in the garage, prosecutors said.

A few days later, Roberts used the homeowners' credit card at Wal-Mart. Later, he tried to use the credit card at Sears, but was apprehended because store employees were suspicious of his identification, prosecutors said. Roberts, who was on parole, had prior convictions for possessing stolen property, auto theft and possessing methamphetamine.