As the Yuletide season approaches, retailers are going to be on high alert for Los Angeles petty theft and similar crimes. If you’ve unfortunately recently been arrested for pilfering electronics or clothing — or participating in a larger scale Southern California grand theft crime syndicate — you may need to take decisive, strategic action to protect your freedom and minimize punishments. Here are five germane (and somewhat surprising) facts about Los Angeles petty theft to keep in mind as you research and structure your defense:
1. Petty theft and fraud cost American businesses over $35 billion every year – or approximately 1.4% of all total sales.
Unsurprisingly, the velocity and diversity of theft crimes in Los Angeles spikes during the holiday season.
2. A small number of items accounts for the vast majority of goods pilfered.
According to an economic principle known as the Pareto principle (a.k.a. the “80-20 rule”) a minority of types of goods constitute the majority of goods stolen. For instance, Tide detergent, baby food, designer clothes, and certain high priced electronics almost always wind-up on lists of top 10 or top 20 items stolen. Curiously, the 80-20 rule also applies to theft defendants – that is, 20% of theft defendants account for 80% of theft charges (roughly).
3. Retailers are developing ever more sophisticated methods of sharing information about shoplifters and suspected fraud-sters – which might increase your legal challenges substantially.
Thanks to new types of electronic tracking, GPS technologies, and face recognition software, it’s a lot harder to hide from authorities and deny culpability.
4. Your short-term legal challenges may be minor compared with your long-term legal risks.
Getting arrested and convicted for misdemeanor petty theft is no minor situation. If convicted, you could go to jail, be compelled to pay fines and other forms of restitution, and face grueling probation terms.
You face even greater challenges if you become a repeat offender. Multiple charges of petty theft — even years apart and even for items as minor as a single bottle of Tide detergent — can lead to felony convictions, which could land you behind bars for over year and strip you of your rights to vote in elections and more.
Treat your charges with urgency and seriousness. Get in touch with the team at the Los Angeles’ Kraut Law Group to find out how you can forge a proper and well-structured defense. Attorney Kraut is a highly experienced and enormously well respected L.A. area lawyer (and a former prosecutor to boot). He and his team would be happy to provide a free and confidential consultation.