Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

The Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog Visits Theft In Natick

Not too far from Boston is the town of Natick. Natick had a couple of problems this past Tuesday evening. One of those problems got away. The other one, Aretha B., 33 of Worcester (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) did not. She was arrested, given a free trip to the local courthouse, the services of an attorney and a new court date.

The incident happenned at Neiman Marcus.

According to a security officer, he saw the pair( the Defendant and an as-yet unidentified gentleman) walking around the store. At some point, said gentleman took an expensive belt off the rack, handed it to the Defendant, who hid it in her jacket.

They left the store, and the guard confronted them.

According to police spokesman Lt. Brian Grassey, the lovely couple struggled with the security officer, the gentleman trying to free the Defendant from the grip of the officer. Apparently, there is a security video which depicts the struggle.

The store security officer was nonetheless able to grab the Defendant and bring her back to the police officer. The video shows her accomplice walking off.

When police searched the Defendant, they found the belt, a $295 Gucci belt, a shirt stolen from Zara, another store in the mall, worth $30, Grassey said.

The mystery gentleman got away empty-handed, the lieutenant said.

The Defendant was charged with Massachusetts larceny of property worth more than $250, receiving stolen property worth less than $250 and disorderly conduct.

Police are asking for help to identify the other suspect. He is described as approximately 5-feet-9 inches tall, with an athletic build.

Anyone with information are asked to call the Natick Police at 508-647-9500.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

We have all heard about the sad thefts people feel forced to engage in because of hard economic times. A woman stealing a loaf of bread to feed the family…a man cashing bad checks because the kids need a home…that sort of thing.

That is not this. Very few people are found either starving or homeless because they were unable to afford a $295 belt.

The laws regarding thefts are a bit complex. First of all, there is a dividing line between what is more than, or less than, $250. More than is a felony. There are also laws which govern even smaller thefts which are aimed at shoplifting-type crimes. The amount at issue is important, as are, of course, the surrounding circumstances.

If you find yourself on the unfortunate end of the finger of accusation regarding such thefts, my advice is the same as always. Comply quietly. Do not fight with law enforcement (including store security), do not flee, do not try to out-talk. You will fail and make matters worse.

“But Sam”, you say. “The ‘gentleman’ got away!”

“Ah yes”, I reply. “For now.” Do you really think with the struggle being on a videotape and his lady-friend, whom he left in the dust, facing charges for which I would imagine she would prefer not to become a Commonwealth guest, that he is likely to stay that way for long?

“It could happen”, you retort.

“Sure it could. Or, he could more likely be arrested, charged with the same charges the Defendant got, plus new charges for fleeing and whatever it takes to bring him in as well as the extra evidence of “conciousness of guilt” to help convict him before a judge or jury.

Another consideration is how he comes into custody. If, after he is identified, an arrest warrant is the vehicle by which he comes to court, it will likely be reflected in his whether or not he is held on high bail.

It is also worth pointing out that heavier charges could also be brought against the Defendant and her gentleman. For example, assault and battery against the officer is a possibility. Given the struggle, robbery is another one.

I would tend to cut my losses with the shoplifting…but that’s just me.

Tomorrow: The Madoff Plea

To read the original article of this story, go to http://www.telegram.com/article/20090306/NEWS/903060363/1003/NEWS03

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