Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

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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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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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Whether you swiped a bottle of Tide from Walgreens or committed felony robbery and assault in addition to Los Angeles petty theft, you’re probably feeling pretty sheepish and regretful. You’re not the first person to steal “bizarre stuff” – and you won’t be the last. In two posts, we’re going to use true or false quizzes to test your knowledge of theft history. gorilla-theft-los-angeles.jpg

Half of the following examples are made up, and half are real.

Can you guess which ones are which?

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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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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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Nearly two decades ago, Sergio Ayala got convicted on charges of Los Angeles petty theft: he stole a leaf blower worth $150. Since the former heroin addict already had two criminal convictions “under his belt,” he found himself whalloped by California’s Three Strikes rule and landed a sentence of 25 years to life behind bars. Sergio-Ayala_3-strikes-law-petty-theft-los-angeles.JPG

17 years passed.

Then came the November elections, and Mr. Ayala’s fortunes changed, thanks to the passage of Proposition 36, which amended the 1994 Three Strikes law and paved the way for Mr. Ayala’s release. The tweaks to Prop 36 were designed to help non-violent offenders exit the California prison system and save the state millions of dollars in tax revenues. Champions of the bill suggested that the Three Strikes law had been long overdue for a reworking, especially as it pertained to practice of “throwing the book” at non-violent third offenders, like Los Angeles petty theft defendants. Critics, however, worry that the changes to the law could lead to increased crime rates and more recidivist behavior.

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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:holiday-shoplifting-charge-los-angeles.jpg

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.

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In case you are under the false belief that your recent Los Angeles petty theft charge would result, at worse, in a metaphorical “slap on the wrist,” think again.doris_ann_gamble_petty-theft-los-angeles.jpg

82-year-old Doris Ann Gamble recently pled guilty to Los Angeles petty theft… and netted a six year jail sentence!

Why on Earth would prosecutors bring down the hammer so hard on an octogenarian? The answer has to do with Ms. Gamble’s history.

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You’ve recently been arrested for petty theft or grand theft in Los Angeles. los-angeles-petty-theft-eggs.jpg

Not only are you sweating the potential legal ramifications — you don’t want to go jail or pay thousands of dollars in fines and restitution — but you’re also concerned that your case might be “one of a kind.” Perhaps you stole something “weird” for a fluky reason. Or maybe the events that occurred before, during, or after the theft were very quirky. As a result, you fear that even the best Southern California criminal defense lawyer might not know how to assist you.

Odds are, however, that your case is far more “normal” than you realize.

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