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One Little Mistake Can Lead to Big Consequences


According to reporter Jeremy Pittari of the Picayune Item, “on February 1, 2013, Police Officers investigated a shoplifting case that found drugs. Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said the case began on Feb. 1 when officers responded to a report of shoplifting at a retailer located on U.S. Highway 11.

When officers arrived, they spoke with the business owner who said a woman and a man had just taken items from her store, and that the suspects were at the apartment building behind the business, Magri said.

Magri said the officer came into contact with 23-year-old Ashley Thorbjornsen of 1701 U.S. Hwy. 11N Apt. 5, who was asleep in her vehicle, which matched the description of one that had been involved in a hit-and-run earlier that day. The officer also saw the second suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Christopher Frelich of 2326 Marietta St., Chalmette La., who, upon seeing the officer, attempted to walk into the apartment, but was stopped by the officer with a verbal command, Magri said.

Both of the suspects appeared to be intoxicated and admitted to taking Klonopin prior to being involved in the hit and run accident, Magri said. A search of Frelich found an unmarked pill bottle with 12 Klonopin pills inside along with an amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, Magri said. The officer then had enough evidence to take Frelich into custody for leaving the scene of an accident, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and public drunk, Magri said. The officer inventoried the vehicle and found a number of items reported to have been stolen from the store next door, which were recovered and returned to the business owner, Magri said.”

In New York on this count you would be charged with Petit Larceny which in New York refers to stealing property. You should know that there is no minimum value set for this crime and you can be arrested and prosecuted for stealing a penny’s worth of merchandise and if any illegal or suspicious items are found during your arrest, you may face additional charges. As the officer took Thorbjornsen into custody, she disobeyed his commands leading to disorderly conduct being added to the charges of public intoxication and shoplifting. He said shoplifting was added after the stolen merchandise was located in the car.

Due to the physical altercation, in New York State, this could lead to a felony charge because it could be charged as a Robbery.

So ask yourself if you are caught shoplifting and it spiraled into this scenario, what should you do? Any action you take may lead to very serious consequences. You should act to protect your rights and avoid penalties. Don‘t attempt to go to court alone. Also be aware that this is especially true if you have been arrested before and/or are not a U.S. Citizen.