PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Patricia Lynette YANCEY, Defendant and Appellant.
Defendant Patricia Lynette Yancey was charged by an information with “a felony, to wit: a violation of California Penal Code sections 664–484g–487 (attempts).” Her Penal Code section 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence claimed to be essential to her prosecution and conviction was denied. She thereupon pleaded guilty to the charge. On her appeal from an order granting probation entered on her guilty plea, she raises but one issue, which she states in this manner: “The evidence upon which Ms. Yancey's conviction depended, was clearly the product of an unconstitutional search and seizure.”
The relevant evidence follows.
One Carolyn Jansen had lost a purse containing her Master Charge card, and other credit cards and items of property.
Eight days later defendant Yancey presented Ms. Jansen's Master Charge card to a United Airlines clerk as payment for transportation to Chicago. For some reason the trained clerk became suspicious and summoned a police officer. The officer asked defendant Yancey for identification, and she produced from a wallet in her purse a Social Security card issued to Ms. Jansen. As she opened the wallet the officer observed it to contain many other credit cards in a plastic container. Asked the date of her birth, defendant Yancey replied, “October 26, 1952.” Calling “Master Charge Security” the officer learned that Ms. Jansen's birthdate was not October 26, 1952. He then telephoned Ms. Jansen and learned that her credit cards, including the Master Charge card, had been lost.
Defendant Yancey, continuing to insist that she was Ms. Jansen, was thereupon arrested and taken to the “airport police duty office.” At that point her purse and the abovementioned wallet were searched. The search disclosed other of Ms. Jansen's property and a driver's license in the name of defendant Yancey. Those items of property were seized by the police officer.
The subject of defendant Yancey's motion to suppress was the property found in her purse and wallet upon the search, and then seized by the officer.
We note initially that probable cause existed for defendant Yancey's arrest, that she was arrested on a felony charge, and that the police officer was under a duty to place her in jail where she would be subjected to the usual booking procedure and search.
In such a situation police officers may conduct what is sometimes referred to as an “accelerated booking search” before the arrested suspect's placement in jail. The applicable rule is faithfully condensed in a headnote of People v. Harris, 105 Cal.App.3d 204, 164 Cal.Rptr. 296, as follows:
“The search of a woman's purse following her arrest in connection with a [felony] committed by defendant conducted at the police station as part of the routine booking procedure was valid under the rule that the personal effects of an arrested person may be removed from him when he is being booked into jail. Accordingly, evidentiary items seized from the purse were admissible in the criminal prosecution of defendant. The booking search of the purse at the police station was not rendered invalid by the facts the purse was seized at the time of the arrest, was placed in the exclusive custody of the police, the search was remote in time and place from the arrest, and no exigency existed. Since the purse is to be regarded as an extension of the woman's person for the purpose of search, and since the person of an arrestee can be searched without a warrant either at the place of the arrest or at the police station, it was immaterial whether the search of the purse was effected at the place of arrest or shortly after at the police station.” (Emphasis added.)
To the same effect see People v. Longwill, 14 Cal.3d 943, 948, 123 Cal.Rptr. 297, 538 P.2d 753; People v. Bundesen, 106 Cal.App.3d 508, 515, fn. 3, 165 Cal.Rptr. 174; People v. Bullwinkle, 105 Cal.App.3d 82, 86–90, 164 Cal.Rptr. 163; People v. Barajas, 81 Cal.App.3d 999, 1008, 147 Cal.Rptr. 195; People v. Mercurio, 10 Cal.App.3d 426, 431, 88 Cal.Rptr. 750; People v. Dukes, 1 Cal.App.3d 913, 916, 82 Cal.Rptr. 218.
Moreover, we observe that defendant Yancey's guilty plea was manifestly supported by evidence other than that sought by her to be suppressed. That evidence consisted of the Master Charge and Social Security cards voluntarily produced by her, which had been issued to Ms. Jansen.
It follows that no error attended the superior court's denial of defendant Yancey's motion to suppress evidence.
It has become unnecessary for us to consider and resolve the remaining points and arguments of the People in justification of the criticized search.
The order granting probation is affirmed.
ELKINGTON, Associate Justice.
RACANELLI, P.J., and NEWSOM, J., concur.