Handling Theft Charges

Some interesting stories involving theft crimes made headlines this week in the Los Angeles Times. In one story, police are looking for a 'Plain Jane Bandit' who has robbed several bank branches throughout Southern California. U.S. Bank is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to this individual's arrest.

In a more bizarre story, fifteen reptiles were taken from Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs. Police think more than one individual was involved in order to pull off such a deed, especially considering that one of the animals taken was a 10 year old, 35 pound African sulcata. According to police, reptile thieves in the past have rarely pulled off such a large-scale crime.

There are many forms of theft which can include:

  • Retail theft
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Cargo theft
  • Piracy
  • White collar crimes- embezzlement and identity theft, for example

In the case of identity theft alone, there are eight types:

  • Insurance identity theft
  • Medical identity theft
  • Criminal identity theft
  • Driver's license identity theft
  • Synthetic identity theft
  • Social security theft
  • Child identity theft

Theft is one of the most common of crimes, and while penalties vary accordingly, California enforces some hard-hitting consequences. Petty theft is the stealing of merchandise up to $950 whereas grand theft involves stealing goods exceeding $950. Grand theft is a "wobbler," which means it can be considered either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstance and the defendant.

Penalties that individuals convicted of theft can face include:

  • Fines
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Jail/prison
  • Restitution
  • Counseling

Whether you have been accused of robbing a bank or stealing reptiles, you should seek the help of a criminal defense attorney immediately! Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP has extensive experience handling a wide range of theft crimes which include: credit card theft, identity theft, internet theft, white collar theft (tax evasion, fraud, forgery, extortion, etc.) and other theft crimes. With over 50 years of experience, we are a criminal defense firm you can trust with the details of your case! Let us provide you with quality legal representation today!