Articles Posted in Theft Defense

A law recently passed in Colorado stiffens the penalties for setting off false store alarms or disabling store alarms in order to steal large quantities of products from retail stores, according to a recent article in the Associated Press. The law is aimed at a new trend in Colorado, in which organized groups take mass amounts of merchandise from large stores.

shoplifting-380578.jpgThis “organized retail theft” has been targeted by laws in other states, including New York and California, where researchers estimate that businesses lose $35 billion a year nationwide. Colorado lawmakers passed the bill after estimating that Colorado businesses lose $150 million to situations like these and taxpayers lose about $15 million each year.

A wide range of products are allegedly stolen in situations like these. Popular items recently include things like laundry detergent and small electronics, which can be sold at a premium in flea markets or on the Internet, according to law enforcement investigators.
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Six Colorado law enforcement agencies recently received a joint grant that allowed each agency to purchase an electronic license plate reader. The devices, which are installed in police patrol vehicles, allow officers to scan license plates at a much higher rate than a person can check them ordinarily – and it automatically alerts officers if a plate belongs to a car that has been reported as stolen.theft-car-4518290.jpg

The devices, which ordinarily cost about $18,000 apiece, are equipped with a small scanner and connected to a database of Colorado license plate numbers. As a police officer drives through a parking lot or other place where cars are sitting still, the device scans each license plate and checks its number against those in the database. If it finds a match, a notice pops up informing the officer that the license plate is in the database and explaining why it was entered. The device can examine 400 plates an hour. Police officers double-check any “hits” to make sure the plate was read correctly and take action if needed.
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Colorado law enforcement agencies have reported an increase in Colorado auto thefts – not of entire vehicles, but of certain parts that may contain valuable metals and other materials, according to a recent news report from KKTV. The parts most often targeted are catalytic converters, which contain platinum and other metals that can often be scrapped for money – and some scrapyards don’t ask where a person got their hands on the things they’re turning in.

A southern Colorado auto repair shop noted that many new customers have come through its doors recently needing a new catalytic converter installed on their vehicles because the old one had been cut away. Most vehicles have between one and four catalytic converters. These devices improve the quality of exhaust emissions by turning some toxic chemicals into less harmful ones. When they are simply cut away from the vehicle’s exhaust system, however, they can cause problems with the vehicle’s ability to run, including a great deal of noise. Repairing a catalytic converter can be expensive, and if a vehicle is kept outdoors, there are few ways to ensure its safety.
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The number of robberies reported in Colorado in 2010 was lower than the number reported in 2009, according to data collected by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The 2010 robbery rate, or number of robberies per 100,000 Colorado residents, also decreased in 2010. However, the number of other types of thefts, including burglary and larceny, increased overall in 2010 but had only a small impact on the rate of these crimes per 100,000 people.

In 2009, 3,310 robberies were reported in Colorado, while 3,131 robberies were reported in 2010, a decrease of 5.4 percent, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. These numbers represent 65.1 robberies per 100,000 residents in 2009 and 60.1 robberies per 100,000 residents in 2010, or a decrease in the robbery rate of 6.8 percent. Robberies differ from other thefts because they typically involve violence, like assault, or the threat of violence, such as the use of a dangerous weapon.
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A married couple from Aurora, Colorado, has been accused to stealing as much as $140,000 from state workers’ compensation funds after the husband was injured in a workplace accident in 2008, according to an article in Insurance and Financial Advisor.

The man, who worked for a roofing company, was injured when he fell from a ladder that year. He received workers’ compensation payments to cover medical care and lost wages. His doctors informed him he was fully functional and could go back to work in 2009, but the man instead began to allegedly complain of ever-worsening symptoms and eventually began appearing at doctor’s appointments, accompanied by his wife, reportedly with symptoms of catatonia. However, investigators claim that they recorded video of the man driving and shopping during the same time period in which he and his wife were telling doctors that he was catatonic. He is also suspected to have passed a driving test during this same period, when both he and his wife were telling insurers that he was totally unable to function.
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Recently, retail stores along Colorado’s interstate highways have been hit by alleged shoplifting rings, often authorities believe involve drug gangs, according to TheDenverChannel.com. Reportedly, these organized criminals shoplift from store after store, often using much more elaborate methods as compared to the everyday Colorado theft.

Several people, or teams, allegedly enter the stores and work together to completely clear the shelves of everyday products, such as aspirin and baby formula. Store surveillance cameras have recorded a woman filling a baby stroller with baby formula and then putting a blanket over it; another captures a team of women loading a shopping cart.

Supposedly, most of these stolen goods end up being sold on the Internet. A 7News reporter notes that there are multiple websites where consumers can purchase baby formula other than an official distributor. Some stores are labeling their products with special stickers to designate where they came from.
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The Colorado Springs theft defense attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., a Colorado Springs criminal defense law firm, are proud to announce the debut of their new Colorado theft website, http://www.coloradospringstheftattorneys.com/. Visitors to the Colorado theft website will find helpful, informative, and easy to navigate pages relating to armed robbery, auto theft, burglary, check forging, embezzlement, extortion, grand theft, identity theft, petty theft, receipt stolen property, robbery, shoplifting, and white collar crimes. The new Colorado theft website also provides frequently asked questions (FAQs) about theft as well as access to The Bussey Law Firm, P.C.’s FAQ Video Library Center, Criminal Law Information Center, and DUI Information Center.

Theft crimes are not as simple as one might think. To help website visitors better understand the complex laws surrounding various theft crimes in Colorado, the theft website addresses examples and types of certain theft crimes as well as the potential penalties an individual may face if they are convicted. The site also highlights some of the options a person has when they are arrested for a particular theft crime in Colorado.
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The Denver Post reports the story of a man who was recently arrested and believed to be an alleged serial burglar by Eagle County police, who used Facebook to help them find and then arrest the man.

Using the man’s Facebook friends, police were able to trace him to Boulder, where he was celebrating the New Year holiday. On the popular social networking site, users are able to restrict access to their list of friends, which includes their names and the ability to contact them. However, the man did not set those privacy controls, which allowed police to contact the man’s 120 online friends, and warned them not to shelter him. They also asked that if anyone knew of his whereabouts to contact them, and many of the man’s friends responded with tips, and one friend reported recently seeing him.

Now the man is in the Eagle County jail, held without bond. He is accused of breaking into at least four homes in Eagle-Vail, where he allegedly stole computers, various electronics, jewelry, and prescription medications. He is also being investigated for more than seven felony crimes in Colorado, including theft, identity theft, burglary, and possession of burglary tools.
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A local convenience store clerk stopped two would-be robbers recently, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Instead of handing over the store’s money as ordered, the clerk grabbed the large stick carried by one of the two suspects. Surprised, the pair fled the convenience store without taking anything or harming the clerk.

The suspected robbers, both freshmen at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, were arrested after an officer pulled their vehicle over for weaving between lanes on Nevada Road. The convenience store clerk identified them as the men she had chased out of the convenience store. Both men are being held on charges for attempted aggravated robbery and conspiracy, both of which are felonies in Colorado. They have also been banned from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus, pending a decision by the university administrators on whether they should be suspended.

Being accused of a Colorado crime, especially one that is a felony, can result in life-altering consequences, even if a person is not convicted for the offense. If you or a loved one has been accused of theft or conspiracy in Colorado, an experienced Colorado Springs theft defense attorney can help guide you through the confusing and often intimidating legal process.
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According to a CBS News report, a man had his iPad stolen at a mall in Denver and had his finger ripped off by his assailant in the process. The man was shopping in a Denver mall and picked up a new Apple iPad for a coworker who had just received a promotion. He tied the iPad bag around his hand. Apparently, two men on an escalator followed him from the mall out to the parking garage. They were caught on a surveillance video. Jordan felt a sharp pull at his arm and saw a man trying to grab his bag. The man jerked on the bag violently until the skin from the man’s hand came off and the bag was released.

The man went into shock and he was rushed to a hand surgeon; however, the report mentions that his hand is permanently damaged. The man claims that he moved his family to Colorado from New Jersey to escape the crime in New Jersey. The police are investigating the incident.
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