Cases Dealing With Identification of a Stolen Car
In Hooper v. State, 788 S.W.2d 24, 25-26 (Tex.App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1987), another unauthorized use of a motor vehicle case, the direct evidence established only that the victim's car was a Buick Regal and that the vehicle driven by the defendant when he was arrested was a Buick Regal. See Hooper, 788 S.W.2d at 25-26.
There was no evidence of either Regal's vehicle identification number. See id.
The color of the two cars was different, as was their licence number. See id.
The owner even testified that his Regal was returned to him by the police prior to the date the defendant was arrested by the police driving his Regal. See id.
Concluding that all of the circumstances regarding the Buick Regals tended to show that the cars were not the same, the First Court of Appeals reversed for insufficient evidence that the car the defendant was driving was the car owned by and stolen from the victim. See id.
In Lyles v. State, 582 S.W.2d 138, 142-43 (Tex. Crim. App. [Panel Op.] 1979), which was discussed and distinguished in Hooper, the court of criminal appeals found sufficient the evidence that the vehicle the defendant was driving was the same vehicle owned by and stolen from the victim named in the indictment. Lyles, 582 S.W.2d at 142-143.
There was testimony that the owner's 1969 Plymouth was stolen and that the defendant was arrested two days later driving a 1969 Plymouth. See id.
The car was impounded and the owner retrieved the Plymouth from the police auto pound. See id.
The Plymouth he recovered had suffered specific damage to the underside of the dash panel, and the car the defendant was arrested in suffered that specific damage. See id.
The court determined that the evidence circumstantially proved that the car the defendant was driving was the car owned by and stolen from the victim. See id.