Legend of Max Wade, Teenage Marin Outlaw, Still Incomplete
"It's a shame he didn't put all that effort into something more positive," said Cindy Dedier yesterday when Wade -- the teenage crook from Marin who at 16 stole a celebrity chef's Lamborghini from a luxury car dealership in San Francisco -- was found guilty for the heist. He was also guilty of the attempted murder of her daughter's boyfriend, who Wade tried to shoot dead while on a motorcycle in Mill Valley in April 2012.
Wade drove the yellow supercar around Marin for a year, becoming a living legend among the wealthy county's privileged teenagers and embarrassing police, who busted him only after teenage lust and a series of mistakes led it to all unravel.
A still untapped wealth of smarts and resources could be locked up forever when Max Wade is sentenced Dec. 17. And yet it's still unclear how he pulled it off -- and who helped him.
Wade, who was born in San Francisco but grew up in Tiburon and in Napa, earned a reputation on the Internet as a spoiled rich kid following his April 2012 arrest and charges. Truth was he wasn't exactly rich -- his parents got by on his dad's income as a car salesman in San Rafael before they split up when he was 12 -- but he may have been spoiled by his surroundings.
He built a reputation in the tony schools as the resident bad boy, manufacturing and selling fake IDs and idolizing the slick criminals in martial arts and action movies. That was after he had to testify in court in Napa against his dad who was acquitted for domestic violence against his mother. His mother took Max on trips to Europe and to the Carribbean, funded by credit cards and by a wealthy Irish real estate investor.
He ran his mouth endlessly about capers and back it all up with stealing Guy Fieri's Lamborghini. And as smart as he was, he set himself up for his own fall by posting photos of the car online and bragging about the theft in text messages to friends.
It was Wade's digital footprint that led Marin Assistant District Attorney Yvette Martinez to win the conviction, as no hard evidence -- no fingerprints and no eyeball witnesses -- connected Wade to either crime.
Cops did discover the car, the motorcycle, and gun used in the shooting, as well as the black leather getup worn by the shooter in a storage locker Wade kept in Richmond. They also found cash, fake IDs, and a police uniform.
But they never found the only possible witness to the British Motorcars burglary of which Max Wade was acquitted.
A janitor on scene at British Motorcars when someone rappelled into a high window and made away with the car was never found by San Francisco police.
And also still at large is the individual who accompanied Max to buy the old Honda he rode in the shooting, as well as the two hamfisted individuals who tried to bust Max out of Juvenile Hall with sledgehammers.
The tale belies belief -- and it could get better. The entire Max Wade story isn't told, and won't be until he tells his own story (he did not testify in his defense). But in the meantime, the narrative is obvious even to his supposed victims -- he could have done so much more.