The Christmas season may be long over, but package theft is alive and well. Recently, a witness in Canoga Park tipped off police when they spotted what they thought to be suspicious behavior near a gas station. According to the witness, they spotted several men shifting packages from an Amazon delivery truck into a van near the intersection of Oso and Sherman Way. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered that not only were the men in the process of stealing packages from an Amazon delivery truck, but they had stolen the truck as well. All three suspects were arrested and charged with grand theft and vehicle theft.
Grand theft is covered under California Penal Code 487 PC and is described as the unlawful taking of someone else’s property that has a value of over $950. Grand theft is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a felony, the bail set by the LA County Bail Schedule is $20,000. The penalties for felony grand theft include felony probation with up to 1 year in county jail or 16 months to 3 years in county jail.
Grand theft auto is covered under California Vehicle Code 10851 VC and California Penal Code 487d1 PC. If the vehicle was stolen with the intent of keeping it either permanently or for a long period of time, the charge will come under PC 487d1. The bail amount for grand theft auto is $35,000 or $50,000 if a chop shop is involved. The penalties include 16 months to 3 years in jail. In the event that the defendant does not intend to keep the vehicle permanently or for very long, they’ll probably be charged with violating 10851 VC, a.k.a. “joyriding.” The penalties for joyriding include a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 1 year in jail.