Jul 30, 2014
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Mental Examination Ordered For Apple Burglary Suspect

Equonne Howard was due for a preliminary hearing Tuesday but his defense attorney asked that he be examined for his mental competence to face trial.

Mental Examination Ordered For Apple Burglary Suspect Mental Examination Ordered For Apple Burglary Suspect

A Los Angeles man suspected of involvement in the drive-in burglary at an Apple store in Temecula must undergo a mental competency examination, a judge ruled this week.

Equonne Howard, 22, faces felony burglary, vandalism and gang charges for his alleged involvement in the Sept. 6 burglary at The Promenade store.

He was due for a preliminary hearing Tuesday but his defense attorney asked that he be examined for his mental competence to face trial.

The preliminary hearing was intended to determine whether evidence warranted a trial but that has been taken off the docket until further notice.

A date of Nov. 26 was set for a ruling on a psychiatrist's report; there are typically two doctors that examine a defendant for court competency.

The thieves rammed an SUV into an Apple store at 40764 Winchester Road early in the morning.

A surveillance video of the crime shows the BMW repeatedly backing and smashing into a security gate that came down once the vehicle was driven into the store.

Thieves got out of the vehicle and began to grab electronic devices off the shelves.

To read more about the crime, please click here.

Howard was stopped hours after the burglary, walking around The Promenade.

The BMW sports utility vehicle used in the heist was found damaged and parked in a lot on Ynez Road, off Winchester Road.

Howard remained jailed in lieu of $600,000 bail.

There has been no word on any of the other suspects involved in the crime and the investigation was continuing.

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