Serial Shoplifter Arrested Again in S.F. Union Square (CA Penal Code 484)

55-year-old man (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) has stolen from the Union Square Victoria’s Secret store a whopping total of 5 times.  Getting arrested for shoplifting on another occasion doesn’t seem to deter him; he was jailed earlier this month with at least 4 pairs of panties and around 15 different brassieres.  Earlier this year, he was booked on charges, not only of theft, but also of possession of drug paraphernalia and robbery.  This time, he was charged with 4 counts of burglary.

In the state of California, there is a distinct difference between the crimes of robbery (CA Penal Code 211) and theft (CA Penal Code 484).  In addition, each has its own set of associated potential penalties.  For example, if you take property that does not belong to you, but the act involves no actual face-to-face encounter with another person, this would be considered theft.  On the other hand, if you commit the same act, but with some kind of face-to-face interaction with another person, and use force or fear to accomplish the act, then this would be considered robbery.

Interestingly, the crime of ‘burglary’ (CA Penal Code 459) is different from both theft and robbery in the sense that you need only enter either a place of business or a home with the intent of committing a crime; actual theft of property is not necessary.  If convicted, he will face up to 3 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine on felony second degree charges.