Houman Fakhimi

Orange County Theft Defense: $10 Million Heist

Most individuals in need of theft defense in Orange County aren't typically involved in $10 million heists. But that is what's alleged to be missing as a result of a burglary in Hancock Park.

Veteran Orange County Defense Attorney Houman Fakhimi understands that not all thefts or burglaries are created equal. In fact, the more you are accused of stealing, the more serious the charges - and the higher the penalties.This may also be true in cases where violence, force or a weapon are used.

Theft is one of those crimes that once you are convicted, the stigma stays with you, particularly in your search for future employment. That's why if you're accused, your first phone call should be to an experienced attorney - before you offer a statement to police.

In this case, authorities haven't made any arrests as of yet, according to The Los Angeles Times. In fact, the incident reportedly happened about two weeks ago. The two suspects are believed to have jumped a security gate and broken into an unoccupied home using an unknown object to shatter the window. Once inside, the two reportedly located the safe, which is believed to have contained expensive jewelry, including diamond rings and gold watches, as well as cash - all totaling $10 million. Investigators believe the pair located the safe, in a closet of an upstairs bedroom, and used a rug to help pull it down the stairs and out to a waiting vehicle.

It's not clear why the investigators believe the exact number of alleged intruders was two. They were alerted to the scene by a security alarm.

On the surface at least, there are two potential charges that could be filed in this case: burglary and theft.

The definition and penalties for burglary are defined in California Penal Code 459 and 460. The charge can be either a felony or a misdemeanor.

First-degree burglary is always going to be considered a felony. A second-degree burglary could be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. Usually, the defining trait is whether the place you allegedly entered was a residence (occupied or not) or a commercial structure. The former is usually going to be charged as a first-degree felony. The latter is typically charged as second-degree.

In both of these cases, a prosecutor would need to show that you intended to commit a crime when you entered the structure in question - namely, some form of theft. One way they do this is by recovering what they call "burglary tools." These could be anything from screw drivers to crow bars. However, as an experienced Orange County defense attorney might point out, these items have many other purposes, and possession alone does not equal guilt.

In terms of theft, there are a wide range of possible theft charges, and almost all are tied to the value of the stolen item or items. To qualify for a charge of grand theft under California Penal Code 487, generally, the value of those items must be over $950 (unless any of the items in question were a car, a gun or certain types of animals - the theft of which can be labeled "grand" regardless of value). There are some cases of grand theft in which the value of the items must be just over $250.

If you are unsure about the consequences of criminal charges you may be facing, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Contact the Houman Fakhimi defense attorney at (714) 705-6701 as soon as possible if you are charged with a crime. Protecting your rights and setting up an aggressive defense at the beginning stages is critical in defending against criminal charges.