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Articles Posted in Theft

NUTTY THIEVES

My father always reminded me that “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Well, that’s not exactly true.

In California’s Central Valley thieves with computer hacking skills have stolen millions of dollars of tree nuts. Yes, tree nuts — like almonds, pistachios, and cashews. These high-tech thieves hack into shipping chain databases and by changing or using the shipping information they are able to pick up nut cargo loads from unsuspecting nut growers or hijack the load, using no force at all, while the nuts are in transit.

Two adults and one juvenile were arrested today after a mail carrier called Irvine Police Department and reported a possible package theft. The Irvine PD responded to the neighborhood and spotted the individuals in the vehicle described by the witness. After pulling the vehicle over, the individuals were positively identified and a search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of multiple stolen packages and stolen credit cards. They are being charged with theft, conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

During the holiday season, I see an increase in this type of crime. The reason for this is two-fold. One very obvious reason is that many people now do much of their holiday shopping on line and have the packages delivered to their homes. If they are not there, the packages are left unattended on the front door step. This makes is extremely easy for an individual to walk up and take the package in a matter of seconds and be gone with it. Another reason is that during the holiday season, people become desperate. People who cannot afford to buy gifts feel the pressure and this type of crime is just too easy to pass up. However, they are not thinking about the consequences of being caught. Not only the legal consequences but the monetary costs involved with hiring an attorney and the fees and fines associated if convicted.

The two adults are being charged with theft, conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. All three of these violations are “wobblers”, meaning they may be filed as either felonies or misdemeanors. When the District Attorney is deciding whether to file a theft charge as a misdemeanor or a felony, the value of the items taken will determine that. Regarding a conspiracy charge, the circumstances and the value of the theft will determine whether to file as a felony or a misdemeanor.

When talking about theft laws in California, it’s important to distinguish between theft and grand theft.  To be specific, California law defines the crime of theft as the unlawful taking of someone else’s property.  In situations where the value of the item taken is $950.00 or higher, then the crime is characterized as grand theft under Penal Code Section 487.  What may start out as a simple shoplifting arrest, can result in a charge of grand theft, if the value is $950.00 or more.  It is also important to note that grand theft charges are “wobblers”, meaning that they may be filed as a misdemeanor or felony, depending upon the circumstances.  A conviction for grand theft can have devastating effects on a person’s professional and personal life but, with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, it may be possible to have the charges reduced or dismissed completely.

So what does the District Attorney have to prove in order to convict someone of grand theft?  He or she must prove the elements of the crime as follows:

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An Orange County high school’s biggest theatre production in over a decade almost came to a halt after two speakers and nine wireless microphones worth over $7,000 were stolen from a locked moving truck less than a week before the show. Katella High School’s performance art equipment was borrowed from Cypress High, and was discovered missing when the school’s drama director arrived at the Anaheim campus on the morning of September 26, 2015.

Although, the theft was of considerable value, the items will not be covered by insurance because of the district policy for a $10,000 minimum for theft. The theft has been reported to the local authorities.

If you have been charged with theft, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

What kind of man steals a computer? Apparently, one who can’t squeeze under a fence. Looks like Garnica Gutierrez is. He couldn’t get his booty under a chain-link fence and was nabbed by the cops.

Seems ol’ Garnica tripped the alarm and the campus cops snuck up on him and slapped the cuffs on the miscreant.

Santa Ana is a self-insured district. This means that they can choose to replace the computer or not, maybe reducing the stock of computers on which the kids can learn.

Computers are often stolen to sell to others to get drugs. In these tough times, people will do anything to get drugs. Garnica will likely be charged with grand theft and burglary and may face prison time and have to pay restitution.

Whether you live in Santa Ana, Irvine or Yorba Linda, if you have been charged with theft, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Julieta Pimentel was arrested today for stealing items off of a FedEx truck parked outside of a Wendy’s restaurant in Glendora in September. Pimentel apparently stole items such as designer purses, luggage and clothing and then sold them from her apartment on South Occidental Blvd. After police received a tip that Pimentel was selling stolen items, they raided her apartment and found more than 300 stolen items exceeding $155,000 in value. Pimentel was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property.

You can be charged with receiving stolen property if you knowingly buy, sell or receive stolen property. Besides being charged with the crime, the suspect can also be sued in civil court by the person they stole from. Punishments include jail time, probation & restitution. Defenses include claim of right or lack of knowledge that the items are stolen. Whether you live in Huntington Beach, Laguna Niguel or Brea, if you are charged with theft, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Clifford Polston, the former head of the Boys and Girls Club of Tustin for 30 years, pleaded guilty to stealing around $114,000 from the Club, taking over $6,000 in unauthorized car allowances and creating a fictitious job for his wife that paid her $75,000 a year. Polston has to pay back all the money that he took and also faces prison time for his acts. Friends and people who knew him were shocked that Polston could have done such a thing and thought he was really helping out the community.

Grand theft in California is the taking of another’s property valued above $400. If you take something that has a value of more than $50,000, you will receive a sentencing enhancement as well. The only defenses for grand theft are consent or claim of right. Just because you return the money, that does not mean you will not be charged. Whether you live in Laguna Beach, Santa Ana or Yorba Linda, if you are charged with theft, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Last weekend, over $10,000 of copper cable was stolen from two Southern California Edison power stations. The thieves stole over 1,000 feet of the cables that were being used to ground towers at substations. Edison officials estimate that the cost to fix these cables is $50,000.

Copper is often stolen to sell to others since the value of copper is increasing nationwide. Other valuable precious metals that are being stolen more in this rough economy include: silver, gold, platinum and palladium. In these tough times, people will do anything to make a few dollars. Once these thieves are caught they will likely be charged with grand theft and vandalism and may face prison time and have to pay restitution.

Whether you live in Santa Ana, Villa Park or Yorba Linda, if you have been charged with theft, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Susana Duran had been working for a 92-year-old woman in Laguna Woods since June as a caretaker. Allegedly, while working there, Duran stole at least $35,000 from her client. Duran would take the woman’s credit card and pin number from her nightstand and withdraw $1,000 at a time and then put it in her personal bank account. She would then send the money in her account to her family in Mexico. She would also buy things with the credit cards and when the bills came in the mail, Duran would not show the client.

One day, Duran was sick so a substitute caretaker came to the victim’s home to take care of her. A credit card bill came and the substitute caretaker showed the client. The client did not recognize many of the charges and so she called the company that had placed Duran in her home. An investigation was launched and police found out that at least $35,000 had already been stolen. Investigators claim that by the time the investigation is over, they expect to find around $100,000 stolen. Duran was arrested and is being held in jail until trial.

If charged and convicted of theft and fraud of an elderly person, Duran will likely have to spend a few years in prison. Whether you live in La Palma, Yorba Linda or Huntington Beach, if you are charged with theft, fraud, or elder abuse, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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Chrystina Rene Bock was arrested this week for allegedly stealing $200,000 from her Aliso Viejo church. She worked at the church as someone who collected donations. She told congregates to just write “CB” on the checks instead of the full church’s name, Compass Bible Church. The letters “CB” were also her initials, so she would take the checks and deposit them into her own account. Officers got notice of the incident about a year ago and started investigating the books and her account. Once they realized she was likely stealing, they arrested her on suspicion of grand theft.


Stealing
is a serious crime and can be looked at as immoral. Stealing from a church is at another level and it makes people cringe at the thought of doing. In these tough economic times though, people are getting desperate and will do whatever it takes to have money. Since grand theft is such a serious charge, Bock will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist her in court. Whether you live in Irvine, Trabuco Hills or Buena Park, if you are charged with theft, you will need an experienced Orange County attorney to assist you.

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