San Pedro, Receiving Stolen Cell Phone, Case Not Filed
One person who he did call knew something was suspicious. That person called the real owner of the phone (now using a different number), who contacted the Harbor Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. The Police Department then called our client about two weeks after our client had been using the phone, using the number on the cell phone, and asked our client to report to the station.
Our client did so and was immediately arrested on felony charges of receiving stolen property and bail was set at $30,000. Our client, shocked at being locked up for a felony, tried to explain how he had found the phone as abandoned property, but the police did not seem to listen. It was a nightmare.
On the same evening, Greg then went to the Harbor Division of the LAPD and was luckily able to speak with the handling detective, who was surprised to find an attorney working at 8:30 p.m.What One Should Learn from This Case Summary: No case filed against a carpenter in San Pedro who finds a cell phone among trash, charges it to power it up, replaces the SIM card with his own SIM card and uses it. Greg Hill goes to the LAPD Harbor Division station and speaks with handling detective in person, who orders our client released from jail (avoiding bail) and the case not filed.
The handling detective was initially very skeptical of the explanation our client had of the events, especially because the abandoned property explanation seemed “too convenient.” However, once Greg Hill was able to explain that the SIM-card used was from the rightful owner and that the original SIM card was not sold, but present at our client’s home, which is inconsistent with what a thief would do if he truly wanted to keep the phone as his own. The detective appreciated this, but remained guardedly hesitant to agree our client was innocent.
Greg then explained that our client was being billed for use of the phone since he was using his own SIM-card. In other words, the client was not attempting to use the phone for free and have a bill sent to the real phone’s owner as would be expected from a normal thief.
Greg Hill also explained how our client was a trusted citizen, working on homes in Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes Estates when the owners were on vacation. He had a good reputation and many opportunities to steal far more than just a cell phone in the past, so it made no sense that he would ruin his reputation over a cell phone.
The following day, Greg Hill brought the same detective the original SIM-card for the phone and the detective ordered our client released from jail. No case was filed against our client. Our client was extremely happy, as his work supported a large family.
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