Articles Posted in Petty Theft

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Funnily enough, if you stole a copy of Grand Theft Auto V (set in Los Angeles) you would be charged with petty theft in Burbank. grand-theft-auto-5-los-angeles-petty-theft.jpg

GT5 is a marketing phenomenon, for sure. But the underlying messages – both subtle and not so subtle – are pretty disturbing. The debate about video games, like GT5, that glorify violence and criminal activity, has been going on for decades. Some science suggests that kids (and adults) who play violent video games wind up acting violently themselves and committing crimes.

Of course, in observational science, it is difficult to determine causality. For instance, maybe kids from broken or violent homes play more video games. Their background could explain why video game playing might associate with violence. (In this case, the video games wouldn’t be the cause of the aggression but rather just an association.)

This Burbank theft crime blog is obviously too small to begin to articulate the many points and counterpoints in the “do videogame cause violence?” debate.

But it is useful to consider another strange feature of the game: Southern California freeways that are almost eeriely absent of cars and traffic. The game’s ghostly quiet streets recall the strange calm that happened during “Carmageddon.” It would probably be difficult to create a fun game, if players had to contend with real world obstacles, like bumper to bumper traffic, high gas prices, and the constant threat of drivers texting on cell phones veering into your lane.

This observation is interesting, in that it suggests that traffic conditions might influence the behavior of real world Grand Theft Auto in Los Angeles. Someone who ordinarily might NOT commit a crime could be inspired to steal a car, if opportunity presented and the context made sense. It suggests that context can have a profound effect on criminal behavior.

So if you’re trying to explain (or even just understand) your conduct, don’t just look at your own experiences, psychology and behavior. Also, consider the CONTEXT of your incident and arrest.

If that sounds complicated, it is!

Fortunately, you do not have to tackle your Los Angeles criminal defense by yourself. An experienced Burbank petty theft lawyer with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is standing by to provide a free and confidential consultation to help you get to the root of your charges and defend accurately against them.

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Your young adult son recently called with bad news: he was arrested for petty theft in Long Beach.teen-theft-los-angeles.jpg

Perhaps you bailed him out and had a stern, but open talk about what he did and why. Or perhaps you let him make his own bail and deal with the problem on his own, so that he could learn that “actions have consequences.”

As a concerned parent, however, you’re deeply worried. Is this petty theft charge “just the beginning”? Will he move onto more risky criminal behavior? Can you help him and/or at least mitigate your own potential liabilities?

These are incredibly tough questions. They’re very difficult even to talk about, let alone to address in a coherent, compassionate manner.

Some evidence suggests that “small” crimes, like misdemeanor petty theft in Los Angeles, can be gateway crimes. That is, they may be a prelude to bigger criminal problems. Now that your son has been arrested, he’s at heightened risk for committing other crimes, like Long Beach drug crimes, Burbank DUI, and even white-collar crimes.

So what can you do about the Long Beach grand or petty theft charges?

Since YOUR freedom is not on the line, you’re ultimately limited. But don’t give up! You can still help. First and foremost, if your son hasn’t yet retained a Los Angeles petty theft defense attorney, consider calling the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Attorney Kraut is an experienced criminal defense lawyer, who’s helped many people just like your son deal with extremely difficult charges. He’s also an ex-prosecutor, who spent 14+ years putting criminal offenders behind bars and punishing them. So he understands both sides of the law. That special advantage helps him build unique defense strategies for his clients.

Beyond that, you can also guide your son in other ways. For instance, you could encourage him to hang out with a different crowd – one that will be a better influence. Try using empathy to connect. And read great works about negotiation, like “Getting to Yes.”

For help understanding what options are available to you for Long Beach petty theft defense, get in touch with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers now to schedule a free consultation.

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If you’ve been arrested for a Los Angeles petty theft crime, such as shoplifting, you obviously want to avoid a misdemeanor charge. If you’re convicted for shoplifting… and then caught and convicted for shoplifting again, two years from now, prosecutors can charge the second shoplifting as a felony crime. petty-theft-los-angeles-tide.jpg

That means you can wind up behind bars for a year or longer, just for stealing a shirt or a bottle of Tide from CVS or 7-Eleven.

Consider that sobering fact as we journey (virtually) to New Zealand, where a 33-year-old school teacher, Marina Murray, just pled guilty to theft for the eighth time in just a few years. According to a local paper, The Herald, Murray is a kleptomaniac. That is, she has a psychological condition that effectively compels her to steal. She’s been convicted of theft multiple times – in February 2004, July 2005, twice in 2008, three times in 2010. In her latest theft binge, she took Cadbury chocolate, two erasers, two pencils, and two dishcloths, and some other sundries. Not a “huge load,” but enough to get her another conviction.

Not everyone guilty of a petty theft in Los Angeles, New Zealand, or elsewhere has kleptomania.

Sometimes, social pressure is enough to turn an ordinarily upstanding citizen into a thief.

To wit, KABC reports that 12 school workers in Inglewood, Linwood, and Bellflower have been indicted and charged with stealing thousands of textbooks from Los Angeles city schools. Prosecutors believe that Corry Frederick, a 43-year-old book buyer, recruited the workers to steal books from schools in order to resell them on Amazon. In total, LAUSD lost 6,000 to 7,000 textbooks to the theft. Frederick allegedly paid the workers nearly $200,000 in bribe money.

The school district lashed out at the employees: “We are outraged by the alleged behavior of these employees, which is equivalent to stealing directly from our students.”

The people named in the theft ring pled not guilty to felony charges of accepting bribes and embezzlement. The names do not exactly read like a “who’s who” of a typical criminal syndicate:

• 36-year-old Veronica Clanton-Higgins, a Lynwood Unified School District librarian, allegedly took over $14,000 from Frederick;
• 46-year-old Shari Stewart, an Inglewood Unified School District librarian, allegedly took $4,200 in checks from Frederick;
• Vincent Browning; a warehouse supervisor for Bellflower Unified, collected allegedly nearly $48,000 from Frederick;
• 54-year-old Frank Fuston, an Inglewood Unified School District plant manager, allegedly collected $1,100 in money from Frederick;
• Seven other employees at University High School, Webster Middle School, Locke High School, Venice High School, Audubon Middle School, Perry Middle School, Santee Education Center also allegedly participated.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey called the ring “a web of deceit at our children’s expense” and lashed out that “taking books out of the hands of public school children is intolerable, especially when school employees sell them for their own personal profit.” Frederick himself faces the most stringent charges, including 12 embezzlement counts and 13 counts of bribery.

If you’ve been arrested for grand theft in Los Angeles or petty theft in Southern California, you, too, may be up against a felony charge.

So what should you do?

Step one is to formulate a good defense by connecting with a reputable, seasoned Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. Mr. Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is an ex-prosecutor who spent 14 years “on the other side” helping to put criminals behind bars. Today, in his role as a Glendale criminal defense lawyer, Mr. Kraut represents people like you and helps them devise sound, ethical strategies to defend against charges and move forward with their lives.

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Many Los Angeles petty theft cases are anything but petty, when you consider them from the victim’s point of view.

The loss of a family heirloom, favorite toy, or other meaningful token can often feel more devastating than can the loss of a car or flat screen TV.

Consider this principle of Los Angeles criminal defense as we turn our attention to a topic that may seem remote: the theft of oysters.

That may sound like a trivial topic — like the subject of an old Hardy Boys novel. But to oyster farmers and their customers, such thefts can be business destroying and soul crushing. Two shellfish facilities out in Cape Cod have been robbed multiple times this summer… to the tune of thousands of oysters. The Marston Mills River Facility recently lost 3,000 oysters to pilfering. Police believe that the thief accessed the facility via the water.

So far, an investigation hasn’t turned up anything, but a local resources manager, Douglas Kalweit, says “there’s a whole bunch of people with their eyes and ears out” for the oyster thief.

The theft followed a similar crime at Crowes Pasture, where more than 20,000 oysters disappeared this summer. One heist, which occurred mid-July, cost farmers $1600. The thief came back a few days later to grab another 10,000 oysters. Chris Southwood, a local constable, believes that one person likely committed all these crimes.

Southwood said “until they get caught, they’re probably just going to do it again.”

The local Department of Natural Resources installed surveillance cameras, and both facilities remain on guard. Oyster theft is not an unheard-of problem, but local authorities say that it reached a new level this summer.

In today’s media-saturated environment, it’s difficult to get people to care about even big problems. If you’ve been accused of petty theft in Los Angeles or anywhere else, you’d probably like some understanding and empathy: you want somebody to take your legal problems seriously. The team here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is standing by to provide through, effective assistance. Connect with our team today for a free consultation about your Southern California defense.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives are looking for additional suspects in a chop shop bust that’s already netted two individuals accused of auto theft in Los Angeles. TRAP-los-angeles-auto-theft.jpg

According to a CBS LA report, the Sheriff’s Taskforce for Regional Auto Theft Prevention (TRAP) located a stolen car at Miramonte Boulevard’s 6700 Block in South L.A., which led them to eight different stolen vehicles.

Police nabbed two brothers, 20-year-old Danny Garcia and 19-year-old Juan Mercado, on an array of charges, including operating a chop shop, buying a vehicle to resell, and using fraudulent identification. Both young men are being held in jail on $50,000 bonds.

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Maybe you stole some costume jewelry and brooches from a Venice Beach bodega. Or perhaps your Los Angeles petty theft charge came packaged with additional charges, like grand theft, robbery, assault, etc.

In any case, you want to avoid serious punishment and “put the crime behind you.” But you’re also “not that concerned,” on some level, since your crime is relatively minor.

But you should be concerned!

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If you stole a mango, Lipton Ice Tea drink, and a pack of candy — a total of $3.67 worth of goods — do you think prosecutors would hit you with a misdemeanor Los Angeles petty theft charge … or a felony?petty-theft-in-southern-california.jpg

The answer is not so obvious!

If walked out of the grocery store or convenience store with your “five finger discount,” then got caught, and then calmly admitted what you did — you’d probably get tagged with just a misdemeanor. That’s still a big charge. But you won’t wind up behind bars for over a year for it.

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Often, Los Angeles petty theft cases take a turn for the bizarre. Separating truth from fiction can be a lot more challenging than people realize. How are your instincts? Take this quiz to find out. marla_maples-shoes-petty-theft.jpg

Three of stories actually happened, and three are totally made up.

1. Shoe fetishist steals 40 pairs of Marla Maples’ shoes

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Rob Kardashian’s Los Angeles petty theft and battery case has earned him time in the limelight, but odds are that his spotlight-hungry sisters are not particularly jealous. Kardashian-petty-theft-west-hollywood.jpg

In March, Kardashian — the youngest child of Kris Jenner and lawyer Robert Kardashian — allegedly swiped camera equipment from a photographer in the parking lot of a West Hollywood gym. Per reports, he was retaliating for her attempt to take shirtless pictures of him. He allegedly grabbed the memory card from the camera and told that he would pay for the card later.

According to celebrity news sources, Rob was undergoing a weight loss program, which might have explained why he wanted to keep the shirtless pictures out of the news. Andra Vaik, the photographer, subsequently sued the reality star.

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The courts have financial incentive to avoid dealing with trivial Los Angeles petty theft cases.JC-Penney-los-angeles-petty-theft.jpg

Here’s a bold illustration why.

Up in Monterey, 75-year-old Lilia Estoesta just got convicted of a single petty theft charge for stealing $60 worth of jewelry. The cost of the trial – just for the translator! – exceeded $2,000.

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