A Yuma, Ariz., woman Wednesday identified Deputy Dist. Atty. Wayne Mayer as the tall man who took some tools last June 14 from a pickup truck parked at DeAnza Cove in Mission Bay.
Mayer, 41, the co-prosecutor in the Sagon Penn retrial, is charged with petty theft, a misdemeanor. He has been suspended without pay since he was charged by the state attorney general's office.
Wanda Walden was the first prosecution witness in the jury trial in San Diego Municipal Court before Judge Robert Stahl Jr.
Walden said she saw Mayer looking from side to side before removing the tools and taking them to his motor home nearby, where he was barbecuing with his wife and three children.
Walden said she was urged by her husband to write down Mayer's motor home license number and she did so. She said she left a note on the victim's window.
Walden said she had no doubt Mayer was the person who took the tools.
On cross-examination by Mayer's attorney, Peter Hughes, she said the man did not wear a mustache. Mayer has a mustache.
Hughes reserved his right to make an opening statement after the prosecution rests, which could be today.
Deputy Atty. Gen. John Swan told jurors in his opening statement that the license number matched Mayer's vehicle and Mayer had told police that he had been in DeAnza Cove that Sunday.
Swan said a private investigator returned the stolen power saw, drill and some drill bits to his office but he did not identify the investigator or explain how he obtained the equipment.
The owner of the equipment, Robert Pospisil of Pacific Beach, identified the items in court as the equipment stolen from his truck. Pospisil, a plumber, said he did not give Mayer permission to take his tools.
Walden's wheelchair-bound husband, Roger Walden, also testified but said he only saw a tall, thin man near the pickup truck. He said he has had surgery on one eye, is partially blind in the other and uses a magnifying glass to help him see.
The alleged theft occurred while the jury in the Penn retrial was deliberating. Mayer was taken off the case shortly afterward.