Two Shoplifters Arrested After Getaway Car Flips
A News4Jax story details the arrests of Khadrede Brown and Cheneta Duffy on March 25, 2017. Brown, Duffy, and third suspect yet to be identified, entered into a Victoria’s Secret store inside of the Orange Park Mall. Once inside, according to reports, Brown distracted an employee while Duffy and the other woman began taking items off of hangers and placing the items inside of their purses. The merchandise is estimated to be valued at over $700.00. Police were notified of the theft and upon arrival saw Duffy and the third suspect inside of a vehicle that quickly sped away, running a stop sign in an effort to flee from police. The car attempted to negotiate a sharp turn and overturned onto its roof close to Wells Road. Duffy was taken into custody however the third individual fled on foot and is still at large at this time. Brown was taken into custody after a security guard located Brown’s purse full of stolen Victoria’s Secret merchandise. A further search of the purse revealed marijuana and a marijuana grinder. The stolen merchandise was returned to Victoria’s Secret.Brown was charged with retail theft of $300 or more coordinating with others (third degree felony), possession of less than twenty grams of cannabis (first degree misdemeanor), use or possession of drug paraphernalia (first degree misdemeanor) and possession of anti-shoplifting device countermeasure (third degree felony).
Duffy was charged with retail theft of $300 or more coordinating with others (third degree felony), resisting or obstructing an officer without violence (first degree misdemeanor), possession of an anti-shoplifting device countermeasure (third degree felony). A review of Duffy’s name shows she is also currently out on bond in two separate Duval County cases, one for driving while license suspended or revoked as a habitual traffic offender (third degree felony) and the second case for grand theft (third degree felony) and resisting while committing theft, transit fare evasion, or trespass (first degree misdemeanor). A review of Duffy’s arrest report on the Duval Grand Theft case shows that she is charged with entering a Belk’s Department store and placing close to $500.00 worth of merchandise into her handbag and attempting to leave the store without paying. In the Duval case, Duffy is also alleged to have committed the crime with an accomplice.
Analysis of the Charges
The Clay County cases utilize a Florida Statute designed to crack down on groups of people committing crimes together. The State of Florida will likely file a simple grand theft count instead of the retail theft charge as it is easier for the State to prove the elements of the crime. Theft crimes are defined in Florida Law under Chapter 812 of the Florida Statutes. A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property. The seriousness of the offense is determined by the amount in dollars of what is alledged to have been stolen. If the amount is under $100 the charge is petit theft, a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to sixty days in the county jail. If the amount is between $100 and $300 the charge is also a petit theft, but tunes into a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail. If the amount is above $300 the charge is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. It is quick to see how stealing a larger amount can end in a much more severe punishment. What is also important to notice regarding the way the law is written is even those who place items in their purses who never leave the store can still be charged with theft. The State can rely on the language of “temporarily depriving” to still convict those caught in the act of stealing. Commonly those charged with theft crimes feel that if they have not completed the crime they shouldn’t be guilty of theft, however the Florida law clearly contradicts that thought process. Continue reading