Car Thief will Face Grand Theft Charges in Benicia (CA Penal Code 487)

One man’s actions have put a damper on the season’s spirits by breaking into a car to steal holiday gifts meant for needy children.  Jane Doe left her Honda Pilot unattended full of gifts for a family when a man was caught on tape burglarizing her car.  She is the nurse-coordinator in the bone-marrow transplant ward at Children’s Hospital Oakland.  She’d bought the gifts in order to participate in the “Adopt a Family” program.  The gifts were worth, in total, about $1,000 and included clothing, some gift cards, and a skateboard for the six children in the family Moriarty adopted for the Christmas season.

She has gone on record as having said that she was “shocked and in disbelief.” Local law enforcement members and firemen have replaced the presents.  As for the suspect caught on tape, he could be subject to charges of grand theft (CA Penal Code 487) because the value of the gifts exceeds the maximum of $950, which would have made it petty theft in the eyes of the state of California.  Grand theft is a wobbler and can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or a felony.  A misdemeanor grand theft charge could result in a maximum of 1 year in county jail, while conviction of felony grand theft could be up to 3 years in county jail.