Felon Convicted of Stealing Woman’s Car

MURRIETA – A convicted felon who forcibly stole a San Jacinto woman’s vehicle and fled to a neighboring community, where he unsuccessfully attempted to elude capture, was convicted today of carjacking.

A Murrieta jury deliberated less than a day before finding 31-year-old Michael Scott Snyder of San Jacinto guilty of the felony charge. Jurors, however, deadlocked on whether to convict Snyder of a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation, which prosecutors could elect to re-try.

The defendant could face more than 10 years in prison when he is sentenced by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Robert Nagby on Jan. 10. The judge ordered Snyder held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center pending his sentencing.

According to sheriff’s officials, a woman parking her 2001 Infinity sedan early on May 16 outside the Cardenas Market at 1475 S. San Jacinto Ave. was approached by a man carrying a semiautomatic handgun.

The victim told deputies that the suspect leveled the pistol at her and ordered her out of the car, which was still running.

The carjacker, later identified as Snyder, sped away, heading west, according to investigators.

Within an hour, the stolen vehicle was spotted by deputies responding to calls of a suspicious person near the intersection of Monument Parkway and Pinnacle Street in Perris, roughly 20 miles away from where the carjacking occurred, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Canizales.

When deputies approached the car, Snyder fled and attempted to hide behind some houses, according to testimony at his preliminary hearing. He was located a short time later and taken into custody without incident.

The gun was never found.

According to court records, Snyder has misdemeanor convictions for burglary, theft and illegal possession of controlled substances. Two weeks before the carjacking, the defendant pleaded guilty to felony auto theft and was sentenced to five months in jail and 36 months probation. He was released from custody early, apparently because of jail overcrowding.

Trial Begins for Probationer Accused of Stealing Woman’s Car at Gunpoint

MURRIETA – Jury selection got underway today for the trial of a convicted felon accused of carjacking a San Jacinto woman at gunpoint and fleeing to a neighboring community, where he unsuccessfully attempted to elude capture.

Michael Scott Snyder, 31, of San Jacinto could face 19 years in prison if convicted of carjacking with a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Robert Nagby summoned the first panel of prospective jurors to the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta for screening as to their availability and qualifications. A jury is expected to be sworn by Friday.

Opening statements in the case are scheduled Tuesday.

According to sheriff’s officials, a woman parking her 2001 Infinity sedan outside the Cardenas Market at 1475 S. San Jacinto Ave. in the early morning hours of May 16 was approached by a man carrying a semiautomatic handgun.

The victim told deputies that the suspect leveled the pistol at her and ordered her out of the car, which was still running.

The carjacker sped away, heading west, according to investigators.

Within an hour, the stolen vehicle was spotted by deputies responding to calls of a suspicious person near the intersection of Monument Parkway and Pinnacle Street in Perris, roughly 20 miles away from where carjacking occurred, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Canizales.

When deputies approached the car, Snyder fled and attempted to hide behind some houses, according to testimony at his June preliminary hearing. He was located a short time later and taken into custody without incident.

The gun was never recovered.

According to court records, Snyder has misdemeanor convictions for burglary, theft and illegal possession of controlled substances. Two weeks before the alleged carjacking, the defendant pleaded guilty to auto theft. He was sentenced to five months in jail and 36 months probation but apparently released from custody early, possibly because of jail overcrowding.

Snyder is being held at the Southwest Detention Center in lieu of $135,000 bail.

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