On the afternoon of Monday, April 27th, deputies from the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station responded to Central Park after receiving a tip that a purse snatching suspect may be located there. It all began earlier in the day in the parking lot of the Albertson’s grocery store on Bouquet Canyon Road. The victim reported shopping in the produce area of the store where she was distracted by someone and, during that distraction, had her possessions stolen from her purse by another suspect. When the victim noticed what was happening, she alerted bystanders, after which the suspect(s) fled.
At around 2:30 that same day, SCV Sheriff Station deputies received a report that matched the description of a vehicle that one of the suspects was believed to have been driving. The deputies located the man in his vehicle at Central Park and detained him.
Purse snatching is often considered robbery in California and therefore falls under California Penal Code 211 PC – California’s robbery law. Under the law, robbery is described as taking someone else’s personal property, from their immediate presence, against the victim’s will, through the use of force or fear.
In some instance of purse snatching, there’s no clear way to prove that force or fear was used to commit the crime, and the suspect isn’t charged with robbery. Instead, they are charged with one of California’s other theft crimes, California Penal Codes 487 & 488 PC grand theft & petty theft. Grand theft is charged when the value of the stolen property equals $950 or more, and petty theft if the value of the property is less than $950.
Robbery is by far the worst of the charges, and carries the potential penalties of two to six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. For grand theft charges, the potential penalties include 16 months to 3 years in jail. Petty theft carries a maximum jail sentence of six months.