Torrance, Shoplifting and Conspiracy, Walmart, DA Diversion
Our client, age 19, went into the Torrance Walmart on Hawthorne Boulevard, with her friend, also age 19. The two went to the cosmetics aisle and began placing about twenty cosmetic items in our client’s large purse. They then went to the health care aisle and put a box of Trojan condoms in our client’s purse. They then went to the women’s clothing area and put two pair of women’s leggings in the purse, too. In total, then had 32 items worth $149.
The two young women then walked directly out of the store without paying and were stopped by Walmart’s loss prevention officers just feet into the parking lot. Walmart ended up first taking the two back inside Walmart and inventorying the contents of the purse. Our client was apparently uncooperative and refused to identify herself.
Walmart then called the Torrance Police Department, who came and took away our client and her friend in handcuffs to the Torrance Police Station. After being booked and being held for several hours, the two were released after signing a promise to appear in the Torrance Superior Court in a few weeks.
Neither of the two women had any criminal history. Our client was a college student at CSUN. Her mom was devastated after having to pick up her daughter at the police station.
The mom then called Greg Hill & Associates to discuss what her daughter could do to avoid a conviction. Greg first listened to the mother explain what had happened. The client listened in on the call.
Greg then explained what the client could do to help herself. Greg suggested that the Client take an online shoplifting prevention course and give Greg proof of her having completed the course when he appeared for her at the arraignment. Greg also requested proof of our client attending CSUN to show the prosecutor and her resume.
Greg explained that the case could be resolved through diversion under Penal Code section 1001.1 or “DA Diversion” if the Torrance City Prosecutor was so inclined, perhaps by realizing the youth of the defendants, the minor nature of the case and client’s efforts in rehabilitation through the online shoplifting prevention course.
Greg then appeared at the arraignment in the Torrance Superior Court. The client was charged with allegedly violating Penal Code §§ 484(a) (petty theft) and 182(a)(1) (conspiracy), as was the other defendant.
Greg then discussed the case with the Torrance City Prosecutor. The prosecutor noted that the two took 32 items, commenting “wow, they were pretty bold.” She then also noted that our client was uncooperative with the police. However, Greg showed the prosecutor our client’s proof of completing Logan Services’ online shoplifting prevention course and her student ID from CSUN.
Greg then asked if some form of DA diversion was possible to prevent our client from having a scar on her record with a conviction for a theft offense. Surprisingly, the Torrance City Prosecutor agreed, allowing our client to “earn a dismissal” after performing 120 hours (15 days) of community service and paying the City of Torrance booking fee ($449). The client would also be required to stay out of trouble for twelve months and stay away from all Walmarts during that period.
The client and her mom were very happy with this offer and pleased that our client could preserve her otherwise conviction-less record.
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