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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Shoplifting From A College Bookstore In California

    Shoplifting in orange country, CA. 1st offense

    So here is our situation:

    25 days ago, my best friend and I attempted to steal books from our college bookstore. We were approached (by an undercover bookstore security) as we exited and then ran. They sent about 4 cop cars for us, but we were able to get away. I dropped my bag knowing that I had no traceable information, but my friend was not as fortunate. She had this device in her bag that is linked to her school ID. There have been no official charges, but the school sent her a letter saying she has "allegations on theft," and is forcing her to see the dean. Her parents have convinced her to confess and tell the dean that it was an act of desperation. Tuition and textbook prices have significantly risen in the past year. On top of that, they are in debt and struggle to keep her in school.

    My questions:

    Would it be correct to assume that the dean/police are going to cut her a deal so that they can identify me? If so, will I get a more severe punishment? How much more severe? Would it be better for me to confess? If I’m going to give myself up, should I have a lawyer with me?

    I had a $150 Textbook, she had a $120 textbook. $270 total. We've stolen from here before on different dates, can they add all these up to grand theft (assuming they take the time to go through all of the surveillance tapes)?

    I know some of these questions are too hypothetical, but I would really appreciate your input. School is very important us, we both are bio majors (really competitive in this university) and are in the top 10 percentile in our classes. We both have a lot to lose . I just want to know the best way route to getting the most minimal punishment.

    Thanks for all the input

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Shoplifting In California

    You BOTH need attorneys. Hypothetical though your questions may be, they may do exactly what you fear they will.

    That will add up to a big pile of trouble for you.

    I wouldn't expect the Dean to buy the "act of desperation" defense. There's a difference between Jean Valjean stealing bread to feed his family and college students stealing books and other items from the college bookstore. Many colleges offer "loaner" programs for indigent students, and it's not unusual for students to work while they're in school to take care of expenses like books.

    Don't be surprised if the Dean says exactly this, in much harsher words.

    We both have a lot to lose.
    Yes, you do. You stand to be kicked out of school, depending on your school's Honor policy.

    Get a lawyer and do what he tells you to do.

  3. #3
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Shoplifting From A College Bookstore In California

    LRM is dead on right. Yes your foolish actions may cost you much. Your looking at expulsion and criminal record either or both can ruin your future plans

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Shoplifting From A College Bookstore In California

    You need to find out if the store has security cameras. If they did, and you know you could be seen by a camera, then you might be in a bad position. You need to talk to your friend and find out if they have talked to her yet, and if so, if they inquired about you.

    It would be nearly impossible for them to nab you on this without security tapes. You don't need to admit to anything. Get a lawyer, and he will tell you exactly what I am telling you. It is highly unlikely they will ask your friend to turn you in while offering her leniency. This is petty theft, not Sammy the Bull Gravano turning against John Gotti. They reserve bargaining with defendents for bigger crimes. I think you will be fine. Stick to your guns, say you didn't attempt to steal anything from the store if you are ever approached.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Shoplifting From A College Bookstore In California

    Don't get a lawyer yet unless you need one. Talk to your friend and find out what she is going to do. She won't rat on you if she is a good friend, and they won't be offering deals for this kind of crap. By the way, how did the security guy see you stealing the book? Do you know where it was in the store that this person may have first suspected you for concealing the book?

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