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Magnolia in court Friday

A Fresno County judge is trying to keep an alleged habitual thief in jail after her 36th arrest.
After her 36th arrest in just one year, Sarah Magnolia appeared in court on Friday.  Fresno police caught her allegedly stealing from cars on Thursday.  Officers say she's been a habitual problem in downtown Fresno and the Tower District.

Magnolia has about ten felony and 15 misdemeanor cases that are currently pending.  The court slipped her in at the last minute Friday afternoon. 

Magnolia stood with her mouth hanging open during the brief hearing.  Judge Peterson issued a “no bail hold” that he said was to try and persuade the jail from not releasing her from custody.  She’s typically released early due to overcrowding.

CBS47's legal analyst says there should be special treatment for Magnolia, an alleged habitual offender.

"There's obviously something that's breaking down here.  Either they need to revisit the criteria for early release or there has to be some discussion between the court and the jail as to how she keeps going out this revolving door.  Studies have shown that a small number of people commit the vast majority of crimes and she is obviously one of those,” said Carl Faller, a defense attorney.

Sheriff Margaret Mims told CBS47 earlier in the week that she's pitching a solution to the problem at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.  She wants to put ankle monitors on some low level re-offenders and dedicate more resources to making sure they get to court or receive treatment.

Magnolia is scheduled to be back in court on Monday.   

A "no bail hold" doesn't mean Magnolia can’t be released if there’s overcrowding in the jail.

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Fresno, CA

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