Criminal Defense in Orange County

Two Men Detained in Ongoing OC Theft Investigation

Two men were detained at Mariner's Church in Irvine yesterday for their possible connection to an ongoing theft investigation. The Sheriff's department is currently investigating an incident in which two black males stole a vehicle from the Laguna Hills area, drove to Laguna Niguel and robbed an AT&T store, stealing iPads and cellphones. When the two potential suspects were arrested yesterday, the church was evacuated as a precaution. Authorities have since located the stolen vehicle and the investigation will continue until the proper suspects are identified and charged.

An Explanation of California Theft Laws Pertaining to This Case

Authorities did not say that the two suspects used or threatened to use deadly force in the motor vehicle theft or AT&T store robbery, but if they did, they could be facing charges of armed robbery and grand theft auto. The use of deadly force, if applicable to this case, could constitute enhanced penalties. If deadly force was not used, the suspects will likely still face robbery and automobile theft (carjacking) charges.

Robbery is defined in § 211 of the California Penal Code as,

The felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.

The criminal offense of carjacking is also listed in the theft section of the California Penal Code. According to § 215, carjacking is a felony offense that involves taking a motor vehicle (whether car, motorcycle, truck, etc.) from the owner's immediate presence against their will with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of his or her possession. Carjacking, like robbery, is also accomplished by means of force or fear.

With both robbery and carjacking, the items are taken from the owner's "immediate presence." What does this mean? It means that rather than taking someone else's property while they aren't looking or aren't in the immediate vicinity, carjacking and robbery involve theft directly from the person. With carjacking, this might mean that the driver or a passenger was in the vehicle at the time.

If these two men who were detained at Mariner's Church are the actual suspects the police are looking for, then with the evidence law enforcement investigators have already obtained, they will likely charge the two men on multiple felony counts.

The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs handles a wide range of theft cases, such as carjacking, robbery, grand theft auto, burglary and more. If you or someone you care about has been arrested for a theft-related offense, then you are entitled to defense representation because you are innocent until proven guilty. To learn more about how an Orange County theft lawyer from the firm could help you, call today and receive a free case evaluation.