Under California Penal Code, shoplifting is defined as "entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950)." As you can see, in order to be charged with shoplifting, the defendant doesn't have to actually steal something. Having the intent to steal is enough.

Larceny refers to situations when someone plainly takes physical property that belongs to others.

Petty theft is the crime of unlawfully taking property that does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950.)

Most commonly, petty theft takes the form of larceny. However, it can also take more complex forms:

  • Theft by Trick. The thief obtains property by using fraud and deceit, being aware that the items in question do not belong to him or her. For example, a man intends to buy a shirt but switches the price tag, using one from a less expensive item. 
  • Theft by False Pretense. The thief obtains property by intentionally telling a lie. For example, impersonating another in order to convince the owner to transfer property.
  • Theft by Embezzlement. The thief takes something entrusted to him or her. For example, a cashier that takes money out of the cash register.

Shoplifting and Petty Theft Bail Bonds Costs in San Diego County

Initially, the Police Department or the Sheriff Department sets the bail according to the San Diego County's own Bail Schedule. If the defendants remain in jail until they are seen by a judge, which can take as long as three days, the court will decide if it will set bail and raise or lower the bail amount. A judge can raise the bail amount or can even refuse bail.

The bail amounts for petty theft and shoplifting can range from $1,500 to $25,000 depending on the circumstances of the case.

With the right bail bond agent by his or her side, a loved one arrested for petty theft can be released from custody faster. Contact us at King Triton Bail Bonds today. We are available 24/7, and if you have been arrested in San Diego, Vista or Santee, we are here to help you.

Call 24/7: 760.505.0811 (Local) | 844.BAIL.400 (Toll-Free)

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How Much Time in Jail Can Someone Get for Shoplifting and Petty Theft in San Diego County?

Shoplifting and petty theft may be charged as a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • And/or a fine of up to $1,000

Shoplifting and Petty Theft in San Diego County: Case Examples

  • The defendant, a 16-year-old, was shoplifting DVDs and video games by cutting the box and getting the disc. He got caught and was arrested and charged with shoplifting.
  • The defendant started shoplifting at 21 and continued to shoplift often. He got caught once but only had to pay compensation. When he got caught again he was arrested and charged with shoplifting.
  • The defendant was in a clothing store's changing room together with a friend who put some clothes in the defendant's bag while she wasn't paying attention. Security saw the actions on camera and both women were arrested.
  • While working at a gas station, the defendant was stealing food items and eating them. He was arrested for petty theft and fired from the job.
  • The defendant was caught at work stealing lottery tickets. He got arrested and was charged with petty theft.
  • The defendant was charged with petty theft after borrowing the neighbor's lawn mower and never returning it.
  • The defendant told his neighbor that he can help her in a broken car problem. He promised to exchange it for a working one, using a friend's service. The owner gave him the car, but he sold it and kept the money. The defendant was charged with theft by false pretense.