SLO bicycle thief facing 7 years in prison

October 2, 2018

Cole Malone

A thief who got caught breaking into a San Luis Obispo home and stealing a bicycle faces up to seven years in prison, according to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office. A jury convicted Cole Benjamin Malone of burglary on Monday. [Cal Coast Times]

On the night of Aug. 31, 2016, a child reported hearing noise in the garage of a home. The homeowner then found Malone, 33, alone in the garage, where he was stealing a bicycle.

After the homeowner spotted Malone, the thief immediately fled the scene but was quickly caught and subdued by the victim and neighbors. SLO police officers arrived at the scene and arrested Malone.

Last month, Malone stood trial over four days on a charge of burglary and two drug related charges. Malone’s attorney Scott Taylor argued that Malone was high when he entered the garage and took the bike and that he should have been convicted with theft and not burglary.

Then following two days of deliberation, a San Luis Obispo County jury convicted him of first-degree residential burglary while finding Malone not guilty of the drug charges.

Because of his prior conviction, he faces the possibility of spending one additional year in prison, bringing his potential sentence to up to seven years in state prison.

Following Monday’s verdict, District Attorney Dan Dow released a statement describing residential burglary as a particularly dangerous crime.

“Residential burglary is a particularly dangerous crime,” Dow said. “When an intruder violates the sanctity of a home it presents a very real potential for a violent confrontation with the resident. Fortunately, in this case the defendant was quickly subdued and no one was injured. We thank the jury for their patience in hearing this important case.”

Malone’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30 in the courtroom of Judge Dodie Harmon.


Regarding the corrupt sentencing and justice system, My brother Cole Malone was given an obsurd max sentencing of 7 years for allegedly attempting to take a bicycle. I understand there are laws in this country and if you break them there’s a punishment. Ive even faced that myself firsthand, with mistakes I have made. On the other hand, to say it’s justice served giving this man 7 years behind bars for a crime of this caliper. Is a prime example, of how the judge, the prosecution, and the victims family allianced with only vengefulness and hatred. They had to make sure they made a mockery of him, totally disregarding that medically he has the vicious and repetitive disease everyone knows as “ Drug Addiction”. If you have every delt with addiction, from yourself, a friend, or even another family member you know that you or these people do not make the best or even close to best decisions under the influence of hardcore drugs or even alcohol. The lack of inhibitions and mental perspective in addicts, is basically as common as each human getting the chicken pox’s. I understand,if he did do the crime then ofcourse has to do the recommended time. But, even when probation recommended 3 yrs for my brother, the Judge didnt just bump it up a little from that. The judge, even more then doubled the recommendation basically stating this was how we will make an example out of him. You really think that’s Justified, when there are people being convicted of crimes far more violent and dangerous and getting similar if not less time then this. Tell me how that doesn’t show the obvious and quite often silent flaws of the justice system. It’s funny how publicly we can make someone who hasn’t even been proving guilty look bad by using words to persuade viewers opinions on the news. Then on the other hand, when there is common occurring flaws in the justice department and how they weigh certain sentencings.Even with consistency historically in that ,we never see them take responsibility in the public eye for this. Anyways what’s done Is done but, I love my brother to death so I’ll continue to support him and I do know with a good appeals attorney if not the conviction getting overturned the wrongful max sentencing will be for sure.


UPDATE:  The probation department made a recommendation for the minimum term + 1 year for his prior (total of 3 years). The judge sentenced him to the max 7 years. Nice to see the victim’s relation to her colleague didn’t cloud her judgment…


The reason for the stiff sentence? The victim’s brother-in-law is a judge in SLO County (previously a DA) and was actually sworn into office by the presiding judge in the case. 


7 years seems like a steep sentence for B&E and attempted robbery.


He has a prior conviction, which added the additional time.

Apparently the penalty he incurred from his previous conviction was not enough of a deterrent to compel him to stop his criminal behavior. Perhaps the seven years in prison will.


If you heard the stories first hand from the neighborhood victims of this guy you might change your mind. Living with his druggie girlfriend and her clueless dad, casing and breaking into homes and garages. The entire neighborhood having to chase him down in broad daylight. Good riddance to this scumbag.


I apologize for double posting my previous comment. Didn’t realize there was a time limit to edit.

As you’ve kindly demonstrated, the misinformation surrounding this case is rampant due to the victim (singular) telling grossly exaggerated and one-sided STORIES to anyone that will listen. Malone LIVES next door so isn’t it a bit unfair to call it “casing” when in reality he’s walking around his own neighborhood? There was also never any “breaking” alleged—the victim admitted to leaving his side door unlocked, which is on the same side of his home as the side door of Malone’s. The entire neighborhood having to chase him down in broad daylight? It was nighttime, 2-3 other neighbors came outside, and the only reason he was running was because he was being chased by the victim–who knew exactly where to find him and that he had nothing in his hands. 

I’m the “druggie” girlfriend, by the way. It’s nice to meet you and a shame you didn’t feel compelled to hear my side of the story before making superficial judgments. For the record, I have a college degree from a UC school and until my pain management doctor abruptly left town without warning, the only drug use I’d ever experienced was prescribed. I have documented pain due to arthritis following a spinal fusion spanning the entire length of my spine, as well as chronic migraines stemming from obstructive hydrocephalus (the passageway between the third and fourth ventricle of my brain is too narrow and blocks the flow of CSF). 


I’m a little confused here, Mr Dow is right there to put this guy away for stealing a bike, I understand breaking & entering, but 7 years, he should be investigating A Hill, and the IWMA former CEO and a few others that have done some real stealing, give this guy a back hander and 3 years breaking rocks at one of the quarrys.


He already got the back hander. I mentioned in my previous comment that he was chased down the street. After tripping, he was then beaten by the victim and those 2-3 neighbors that came outside from the commotion. He did nothing to fight back and took the beating, rather than exert violence on someone that didn’t deserve it. While I agree the victim was clearly justified here (in my opinion this is when justice was served), this is not the first time he has been violent during this case. A couple months later, when my “clueless dad” went to talk to the victim regarding some of the false statements he had been making (we’ve been neighbors for more than a decade so this was in no way inappropriate), he was immediately shoved backwards in the chest before he could even get a sentence out. My dad turned around to leave and he was pushed in the back repeatedly, almost sending him face first into a parked car. Keep in mind my dad is in his 70s, a good 30+ years older than the victim. An assault report was filed but was never pursued by the DA’s office.