To be found guilty of any criminal matter in the state of California, the facts must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Because evidence is introduced by way of testimony of witnesses, and the standard must be met to prove a person did something, then the answer is yes. Witnesses are generally required at trial.
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Take care of the expungement if you are applicable. But note that you'll have 7-8 years between now and when you undergo your moral character review, just make sure you keep your record clean between now and then.
By law, a judge has the discretion to strike prior felony conviction in furtherance of justice. When bringing a Romero motion under Penal Code 1385, the court must consider the evidence presented, but note that the defendant bears the burden of producing the evidence.
You should get a lawyer, and if you cannot afford one, tell the judge at your arraignment you want a Public Defender.
As stated, a key cite is a West publication notation on cases they publish which groups certain cases and sections into topics. For example, if you're interested in a topic such as search and seizure, you're directed to a particular key that would group the cases and the sections in which the discussion would appear in the opinion.
Based on your question, it is not a strike offense. A strike only comes from violent or serious felonies, kidnapping, arson, murder, and robbery for example. In those crimes, someone or something is usually seriously hurt or harmed.
Consult an attorney, if you can't afford one, request a Public Defender in your county. The answers above are correct when it comes to having the required intent to steal - a very textbook situation.