Police arrested a St. Augustine man accused of stealing more than $400 from a Girl Scout troop that was wrapping up cookie sales outside of a local grocery store. The 22-year-old man was arrested after he was found in a shed behind his home, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. When police found him, the suspect had marijuana and drug paraphernalia on him, the newspaper reported. He is now facing three charges – the most serious of which is grand theft, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. He is also charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors with maximum penalties of up to one year in the county jail.
This St. Johns County Theft Case is a felony because of the amount the man is accused of stealing. The severity of charges in St. Johns County Theft Cases is always based on the value of the property that was allegedly taken. The threshold for a felony charge is $300. Between $100 and $300 would have been a misdemeanor petit theft charge, and the maximum penalty would have been the same as the two drug charges the man is now facing in county court. Police said the suspect was sitting on a bench outside the grocery store when the troop started packing up for the day and put all of the proceeds into one bag, the newspaper reported. The man walked up, took the bag, and left the area on a blue bicycle, the newspaper reported. Police found the bicycle, which belonged to someone else, but learned someone borrowed it at the grocery store, the newspaper reported. The Girl Scout leader identified a picture of the person who borrowed the bike as the person who took the bag of money. Police went to his home, as that’s where they say they found him in a shed with marijuana.
This is a St. Johns County Theft Case where the punishment may be more than normal, simply because of the facts of the case. Rarely do cases of people taking $400 make headlines in the local media. But this one has been news for days because the money was taken from a group of Girl Scouts trying to raise money by selling cookies. If the case can be proven and the man is either convicted or chooses to plead guilty in this St. Johns County Theft Case, this will be an element the defendant will have to answer to. Not all St. Johns County Theft Cases are treated equally and those that victimize vulnerable or sympathetic figures, such as children, seniors or charitable groups, tend to garner stiffer penalties. Our St. Johns County Theft Attorney represents people accused of all levels of theft – from misdemeanor charges on up to serious felonies.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.