In the past, people would expect packages to arrive around the holidays, as family members sent gifts from across the country. These days, some people do a majority of their shopping online. This can mean multiple deliveries per week of everything ranging from computers, smartphones, and even diapers. The increased reliance on online shopping has made package theft a more tempting proposition.
When a would-be thief sees a package arrive on a neighbor's doorstep, they may think that taking the package would be a victimless crime. The neighbor could report they never received the package, and the retailer would send out a replacement. However, at the same time online shopping has increased, so has the reliance on home security cameras. Now, police are using security camera footage to catch package theft suspects.
A Hayward man was arrested by police on suspicion of stealing a package from an El Cerrito home last month. The homeowners had a small security camera that the suspect must not have seen. The police took notice of the footage. A few weeks later, police were checking on a vehicle on Arlington Boulevard. An officer recognized the driver as the suspected package thief, 37-year-old Noriel Bautista. Bautista was taken into custody on two unrelated arrest warrants. Police say they also found evidence of the package theft.
Under the California Penal Code, theft of property valued at $950 or less is considered petty theft. Petty theft is generally treated as a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Taking of property valued at $950 or more is considered grand theft, which can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. It is also important to understand that the level of theft is based on the value. If a retailer sells a watch for $1,000, the value is $1,000, even if you could buy the same watch at another store for $500.
Police officers near San Jose have released photos of a suspected package thief. According to the Campbell Police Department, a male suspect was recorded on surveillance video walking up to the front porch of a house, and walking off with a package that was delivered earlier that day. The police are asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect.
Across the country, law enforcement is being given valuable evidence to help them track down suspected package thieves. As technology continues to improve, the quality of the photo and video evidence can clearly show the facial features of anyone caught on camera, including their clothing, facial hair, and even distinctive tattoos.
If you charged with misdemeanor or felony theft charge, you don't want to end up with a criminal record. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending individuals charged with criminal offenses in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a theft conviction can affect your future. If you are facing a conviction, contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.