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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    13

    Default Roommate Stole My Property and Medication

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: kansas


    Recently moved to Kansas. New roommate was on probation for some sort of theft in the past. He then stole 1255$ worth of stuff from me as well as took 56 Lortabs of mine. I got him to admit it all on a phone recording. I contacted the police and gave them the info + recordings. A week later a detective called me and said he took it to the prosecutor who turned down a felony and is making it a misdemeanor. This is weird to me since the total was over 1000$. Secondly, I have emailed the detective 3 times and left 2 voice mails on his office about the situation between the dates of February 4th til the last voice mail I left was March 10th. He has not responded to me at all about the case. I have no idea if the guy is in custody. I am clueless on everything. Can someone help answer the following two questions:

    1) why isn't it a felony?

    2) why isn't the detective responding ? what should I do/ what is my next step?


    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    2,300

    Default Re: How is This Not a Felony (Over 1000$) and Why Isn't the Detective Replying to Me

    1) Possibly some depreciation, or fair market value, than when all totaled does not cross the felony line. It's not necessarily what you paid for stuff in some states and in some circumstances, it's what can be proven it's worth. Do you have receipts?

    2) Hate to be the one that breaks the news to ya, BUT, in the hierarchy of investigations, property crimes rate rather low on the totem pole. If you live in a metropolitan area you can pretty much figure that there's a lot of crime going on that garners more attention. You just hafta try and be patient!

    One more thing, try not to call the detective too often. You make think that the more messages you leave then the quicker they'll get back to ya 'cause they're tired of you being a pain in the ass, but such is usually not the case. What could be the case is your casefile moves to a lower position in the stack. Call maybe once a week and leave a simple, clear message.
    "Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death.
    There is no appeal and execution is carried out automatically without pity."
    Robert A. Heinlein

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    14,536

    Default Re: How is This Not a Felony (Over 1000$) and Why Isn't the Detective Replying to Me

    You moved to Kansas ... what state is the suspect in?

    Have you indicated whether you would be willing to go back to the previous state two or more times to attend court proceedings? This may play into the DA's decision. If he files felony charges, there is a greater chance of a contested trial which might require you to make some expensive journeys back to whatever state this occurred in. If he files misdemeanor charges it could be easier to extract a plea deal and thus resolve the case without an expensive trial.

    You say he stole $1,255 worth of stuff ... how do you know the stuff was worth that amount? Were you able to prove he actually stole all of that stuff and that it was - and still is - worth that much?

    As Souperdave alluded to, these matters involve the current market value of property, not what it cost when it was stolen. And, depending upon the laws of the unnamed state, the dollar amount could be a misdemeanor! In my state, for instance, theft of $900 or less is a misdemeanor ... though vandalism is a felony over $400 ... go figure. (When I was a young cop felony theft was over $400 but you could damage up to $5,000 worth of property and be charged only with a misdemeanor ... the laws can be odd.)

    So, what state did this occur in? What was stolen and how was the value determined?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    13

    Default Re: How is This Not a Felony (Over 1000$) and Why Isn't the Detective Replying to Me

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    You moved to Kansas ... what state is the suspect in?

    Have you indicated whether you would be willing to go back to the previous state two or more times to attend court proceedings? This may play into the DA's decision. If he files felony charges, there is a greater chance of a contested trial which might require you to make some expensive journeys back to whatever state this occurred in. If he files misdemeanor charges it could be easier to extract a plea deal and thus resolve the case without an expensive trial.

    You say he stole $1,255 worth of stuff ... how do you know the stuff was worth that amount? Were you able to prove he actually stole all of that stuff and that it was - and still is - worth that much?

    As Souperdave alluded to, these matters involve the current market value of property, not what it cost when it was stolen. And, depending upon the laws of the unnamed state, the dollar amount could be a misdemeanor! In my state, for instance, theft of $900 or less is a misdemeanor ... though vandalism is a felony over $400 ... go figure. (When I was a young cop felony theft was over $400 but you could damage up to $5,000 worth of property and be charged only with a misdemeanor ... the laws can be odd.)

    So, what state did this occur in? What was stolen and how was the value determined?

    I use to live in Texas. I now live in KS. The incident happened in KS and that is where we are both from now. So no traveling would need to be involved. And the detective asked for a list of all the stuff stolen and the value of them. I gave him a list + the value of all the items. I also provided ebay and online receipts to 1085 of the 1255 total stolen (not counting the narcotics, 56 lortab 10/500 taken). A discontinued special addition Fossil watch. A garmin GPS. A nokia N8 phone. 2 micro SD cards (8gb and 16gb). A usb charging cable. 2 Pairs of jeans, 2 shirts, and 56 Lortab.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    14,536

    Default Re: How is This Not a Felony (Over 1000$) and Why Isn't the Detective Replying to Me

    Okay, how recent were these purchases? Also understand that what you paid for them does not mean that is what they are worth. And the Lortab also has a dollar value to it, so what is your loss there? Anything? If you did not have to pay for them, then there's no loss unless you have a deductible.

    I suspect that the DA did not think he could make a case that the items stolen were worth over $1,000 so he opted for the class A misdemeanor for property UNDER $1,000. It's a common tactic to avoid a charge that could get tossed out upon a successful challenge to the real market value.

    So, right now it is a misdemeanor offense and likely not a high priority for anyone involved. It may be months before the matter goes to court, if it goes at all. In many counties in the country budget cuts are forcing prosecutors to either make sweetheart deals or not pursue lesser offenses at all. Whether that is the case where you are, i cannot say. You might consider calling the prosecutor's office and finding out the status of the matter. if they have filed misdemeanor charges (and you know they have, how?) then it seems clear that they do intend to proceed ... it would only be the "when?" that is the question.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How is This Not a Felony (Over 1000$) and Why Isn't the Detective Replying to Me

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    Okay, how recent were these purchases? Also understand that what you paid for them does not mean that is what they are worth. And the Lortab also has a dollar value to it, so what is your loss there? Anything? If you did not have to pay for them, then there's no loss unless you have a deductible.

    I suspect that the DA did not think he could make a case that the items stolen were worth over $1,000 so he opted for the class A misdemeanor for property UNDER $1,000. It's a common tactic to avoid a charge that could get tossed out upon a successful challenge to the real market value.

    So, right now it is a misdemeanor offense and likely not a high priority for anyone involved. It may be months before the matter goes to court, if it goes at all. In many counties in the country budget cuts are forcing prosecutors to either make sweetheart deals or not pursue lesser offenses at all. Whether that is the case where you are, i cannot say. You might consider calling the prosecutor's office and finding out the status of the matter. if they have filed misdemeanor charges (and you know they have, how?) then it seems clear that they do intend to proceed ... it would only be the "when?" that is the question.
    Thank you so much for the advice. Truly appreciate it. You seem very knowledgeable on the topic. One final question, is there a chance I'll ever see some money back from all of this? Restitution. Or do these cases generally end up with the court telling him he has to pay and the criminal never really paying. I hear it can be a hassle so i'm concerned. My biggest concern is just to get my money back (or items).

    Any advice on how I should go about getting my money back, tips or tricks, would be greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,536

    Default Re: How is This Not a Felony (Over 1000$) and Why Isn't the Detective Replying to Me

    Quote Quoting Texas_Pete
    View Post
    Thank you so much for the advice. Truly appreciate it. You seem very knowledgeable on the topic. One final question, is there a chance I'll ever see some money back from all of this? Restitution. Or do these cases generally end up with the court telling him he has to pay and the criminal never really paying. I hear it can be a hassle so i'm concerned. My biggest concern is just to get my money back (or items).

    Any advice on how I should go about getting my money back, tips or tricks, would be greatly appreciated.
    Ask yourself: Does the guy have the means to pay you back? If he has assets, income, or resources to pay you back, you might consider taking him to small claims court. At least in small claims YOU have greater control of the process.

    And, yes, in most criminal cases there will be an opportunity for restitution. However, as I am not from your state, I cannot say how closely they tie restitution with the completion of probation or other penalties. It may be likely that he can do time and jail and complete his probation without completing restitution. But, it could be that he cannot clear probation until he has made restitution or proven (somehow) that is incapable of doing so.

    Only you know whether or not this guy is capable of ever paying you back. It has been my experience that most thieves lack the resources to make any regular payments and often the loss is one you simply have to write off. If he has nothing, you might want to wait for the criminal process and hope he pays restitution in an attempt to minimize the impact of a conviction. If he has assets and means, you might consider the small claims angle. Keep in mind that if he goes to trial, he will likely be paying fines and court costs first before he gets to your restitution, so if you wait he might be less capable of paying you.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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