Carlsbad Police investigate theft cases in Carlsbad, however, California Highway Patrol may be involved in auto theft cases. The most common theft reported is the petty theft or shoplift. This offense usually involves the theft of retail merchandise valued $950 or less. There are also more serious thefts which are usually felonies involving commercial burglary, embezzlement, fraud, identity theft and also residential burglary which is always a felony and a strike under the three strikes law.
Burglary is entering a building with the intent to steal or commit a felony inside. Many people falsely believe it pertains to just committing a theft, but it applies to all thefts and felonies and targets the "specific intent in the entering of the structure". You can be charged with both the burglary and the underlying crime that occurred in the building if you intended to commit that crime as you entered the structure. It could be assault with a deadly weapon, rape, felony vandalism or any felony or theft regardless of value.
It is a theft to find lost property and not return it whether its found in Carlsbad or anywhere in California. California penal Code 485 basically staes it is a theft to approrriate found property as your own under circumstances which give you knowledge of the true owner or a means of inquiry as to the true owner. It is misdemeanor petty theft if the value of the property is $950 or less and felony grand theft if $950 or more.
Elder abuse can be the physical, mental or financial abuse of anyone 65 years of age or older. California Penal Code 368 and its subsections define the types of elder abuse and the possible penalties. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If an elder is placed in a situation where they could suffer serious bodily injury, or there health is endangered, it can carry up to 4 years in prison plus an additional term depending on the age of the elder and whether there was great bodily injury.
Identity theft is the use of another individual's personal information for an unlawful purpose like getting credit, goods or services etc. without the consent of that person. Even giving someone else's name when arrested can be identity theft. Often this charge is also filed on credit card and check fraud cases where someone is using a stolen credit card or attempting to cash a stolen check.
Most petty theft cases in Oceanside and all of North County, involve the theft of merchandise from a store but may involve any theft where the value of the stolen property is $ 950 or less. Petty theft from a store is commonly referred to as "shoplifting". If the theft does not exceed $ 50 in value, the District Attorney has discretion to file the charge as an infraction with a fine only penalty. A 4th offense may be charged as a felony, it used to be a 2nd offense could have been charged as a felony only a couple of years ago. While the penalty for a petty theft carries potential jail time, probation, fines, search waiver classes and restitution, many times we can resolve these cases with lesser charges or penalties which also minimizes the future impact of any conviction.