About a month ago, residents of Canyon Meadows Circle were experiencing something quite out of the ordinary for their normally quiet street, burglaries. From cameras to couches to clothing, the thief would enter their homes and leave with the loot. So, in true modern-day vigilante mode, they did the only thing they could do: install video cameras in an effort to catch the cat burglar red-handed. As they eagerly watched the tapes for a sign of their stolen property, they received quite a shock. There on the video footage was their neighbor, 39-year-old (name withheld to protect the anonymity of the accused) and she was wearing pajamas and slippers from a previous break-in.
Of course, the Canyon Meadows Circle residents immediately contacted local law enforcement representatives and a search of her home was then conducted. All of the missing items from the burglary were found there, including home décor and furniture that she evidently used in her home. She was arrested on charges of residential burglary, otherwise known as “first degree” burglary (CA Penal Code 459) and possession of stolen property (CA Penal Code 496). On the burglary charge, she could be looking at up to 6 years in state prison and a strike on her record. The charges pursuant to (CA Penal Code 496) are considered a “wobbler” in that this crime could be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Depending on the value of the stolen property, below $400 is often considered a misdemeanor and greater than $400 a felony. Interestingly, in the state of California, a person cannot be convicted of both theft and possession of stolen property. Still, she could face somewhere between 1 and 3 years in state prison on this second charge.