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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

California women apprehended in undercover sting operation

Two California women are facing a raft of charges including identity theft, burglary, and drug possession after being apprehended during a sting operation conducted by Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office deputies. The women were taken into custody on May 3 when they met undercover deputies in a Cupertino restaurant to allegedly sell an iPad that had been purchased with a stolen credit card.

The sequence of events that led to the women being taken into custody began at about 4:00 p.m. when the SCSO's West Valley Patrol Division received a call about a vehicle burglary. The caller told deputies that her car had been broken into and her credit card had been stolen. She also said that the card was being used to purchase goods at a nearby Target store.

After studying video surveillance footage of the crime scene, deputies were allegedly able to identify the perpetrators and the vehicle they used. Deputies say that they then checked websites that are often used by individuals selling stolen goods and posed as buyers. The two suspects were apprehended when they showed up at a restaurant meeting set up by deputies who told them that they wished to purchase an iPad they had seen advertised on the site. Deputies say that the women brought items stolen from the car with them to the meeting.

When the evidence against their clients is as compelling as it appears to be in this case, criminal defense attorneys with experience in cases involving theft crimes would likely seek to avoid a jury trial through plea discussions. Prosecutors with strong cases may be open to a negotiated settlement because they usually have heavy caseloads and trials are a burden to taxpayers.

Source: The Campbell Patch, "Santa Clara County Suspects Busted Trying to Sell Stolen iPads", Mark Nero, May 6, 2019

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