Articles Posted in Petty Theft

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If you tried to design a Los Angeles petty theft crime that would make you look like a classic “bad guy,” you’d have a hard time beating this guy. cookie-theft-in-los-angeles.jpg

According to NBC Los Angeles, a skateboarder recently stole over $400 worth of cookie money from a local Girl Scout troop that had been stationed outside a grocery store in San Bernardino County. Deputies later stopped and arrested 20-year-old Colin Sawyer, after they saw footage of the theft on NBC4 news.

Girl Scout troop 1303 had been selling cookies outside of a Stater Brothers store in Phelan all day. They were folding up for the day, when the thief snatched their money and took off. A young Girl Scout, who gave her name as Victoria, ran after him. But she fell and got scraped up. She told reporters “My sister put the money on the table, and as fast as he can, he took the money and ran off… my first instinct was to run after him.”

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Maybe you’ve personally been hit with a misdemeanor Los Angeles petty theft charge. Or maybe you’re the parent or friend of someone who recently got arrested for shoplifting or stealing small amounts of jewelry. Root-Cause-los-angeles-petty-theft.jpg

In either case, you might be extremely tempted to treat this situation as a “one-time event” — a cautionary tale that you can look back on, in 20 or 30 years, and laugh about with your friends at the Country Club. After all, it’s not like you committed grand theft in Los Angeles or hurt someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or engineered a complex Southern California Medicare or MediCal scheme.

You made one mistake — perhaps motivated by peer pressure or just by a strange impulse — and you want to fight the charges and put this ugly event behind you.

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Los Angeles petty theft cases are often curious — not just because of the legal complexities and the “drama” — but also because of the fascinating “stuff” people choose to steal. Tide-thief-los-angeles.jpg

For instance, in 2012, it suddenly became very popular for people to steal bottles of Tide and then sell the detergent on the black market.

Because of the diversity of items that people steal — and the diversity of schemes pulled off — every theft defense case is different.

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In all likelihood, your Los Angeles petty theft charges are pretty dry and mundane. crazy-theft-case-los-angeles-lemur.jpg

Maybe you shoplifted some clothes or jewelry from an open market shop in Venice Beach or the Promenade; or maybe you accrued a petty theft charge on top of other charges, like robbery, assault, and fraud.

You understand that your situation is serious: you need a good Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to help you solve your mess and move on with your life.

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If you stand accused of a charge like grand theft or petty theft in Los Angeles, pay attention to the following analysis of two recent news stories: their lessons could prove valuable as you construct your defense.junior-pomee-los-angeles-petty-theft.jpg

Our first case concerns 36-year-old Veronica Niko of Lancaster, who recently pled guilty to Los Angeles identity theft and tax fraud in federal court. The former L.A. County worker allegedly stole $357,000; she could face 15 years behind bars. The Internal Revenue Service accuses Niko of stealing the SSN numbers and names of 64 people while working for the City of Lancaster. She then used that information to submit false refund claims to the Internal Revenue Service. Niko conspired with her husband and three other people, two of whom have trials pending. Niko’s husband and one other person have pled guilty to the conspiracy charges, and both await sentencing.

This real life Los Angeles identity theft case comes at a relatively ironic time — just as Universal Pictures’ “Identity Theft” is hitting the theaters.

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As someone who was recently been arrested for petty theft in Los Angeles, you’re feeling pretty depressed and terrified. Will you go to jail? Will you be stuck with a criminal record? Will you get fired from your job or get expelled from school? And so forth.Hanging-for-petty-theft-not-in-los-angeles.jpg

These fears are all reasonable. If you take a less than strategic approach to your petty theft defense, pretty serious punishments can await you. Fortunately, however, you were arrested for petty theft in Southern California and not in Iran.

According to a recent news report, two men who robbed a man with a machete at a market were just publicly hanged for their crime in front of a huge crowd. An Iranian judge accused Alireza Mafiha and Mohammed Ali Sarvari of “waging a war against God” and sentenced them to hang in public. Amnesty International says that Iran executes more people, annually, than almost any country on Earth. Although capital punishment is legal in the Golden State, it’s usually reserved for extreme situations, i.e. for people who commit extremely violent crimes, such as murder. But it’s never, ever used to deal with a petty theft.

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You were recently arrested for a petty theft crime in Los Angeles. Maybe you stole a bottle of laundry detergent or shoplifted a designer shirt on Melrose. Or maybe you just know someone who stands accused of such a crime.Los-Angeles-Petty_Theft-lessons.jpg

In either case, you’re conflicted. You know you’re in trouble. You want your legal problems to go away ASAP. On the other hand, you didn’t kill anyone or commit a more serious Southern California white-collar crime or violent crime. So, hopefully, you’ll be able to dispatch with this frustrating chapter in your life and move on.

To get clarity about what this arrest means for you, you need to start asking yourself some tough questions.

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As someone who was recently arrested for petty theft in Los Angeles, you want to avoid serious penalties, such as prison time, a criminal record, massive fees, and humiliation. beautiful-existence-lessons-for-los-angeles-theft.jpg

Whether you’re a starving UCLA student who helped himself to “free” convenience store food or a hardened recividist offender, you have some potent choices to make about your future.

• Will you retain a high caliber Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to represent your interests and structure an effective defense?

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Perhaps you and your frat buddies at UCLA got arrested for petty theft in Los Angeles after a crazy off-campus Christmas party. Or maybe the cops caught you stealing small items from a mall to “re-gift” to friends and family members. petty-theft-in-los-angeles-defense.jpg

In any case, you now face a misdemeanor charge — as well as other criminal counts, if you mixed up your petty theft with assault, robbery, or misbehavior towards a police officer.

It’s a New Year. You’d like a fresh start. You’d love to refocus on how to move your life forward in a positive direction — to make good on your 2013 resolutions.

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Statistical analyses of petty theft in Los Angeles paint a pretty grim holiday picture.santa-petty-theft-los-angeles.jpg

According to the National Retail Federation, 95% of all retail stores (that’s 19 out of every 20 stores) falls victim to petty theft during the Yuletide season: that’s a spike of 30% over normal crime rates.

The diversity of petty theft schemes is literally too large to catalog. Some cases are relatively simple: A thief might snatch a purse left in a shopping cart unattended or take a “five finger discount” at a candy shop or convenience store. Some items are more prone to be stolen than others. Games, shoes and apparel tend to be big targets. Sometimes “odd ball” items can also be targeted. For instance, as we covered earlier this year, Tide detergent apparently is a commonly pilfered item. Thieves steal the Tide and then resell it on the black market.

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