A Virginia Beach couple has been arrested for allegedly stealing purses from shopping carts at several local department stores. The couple was arrested for larceny after police received tips from Crime Solvers about the pair. The couple was accused of stealing purses out of the shopping carts of customers at a local Wal-Mart, Target, and a Food Lion. Charges against the pair include grand larceny, petty larceny, and two counts of conspiracy to commit larceny. The male spouse was also charged with a failure to appear in court. The couple is currently being held on a surety bond while awaiting trial.
A charge of larceny involves the taking of property from another with the intention to permanently deprive the other person of the property. In this case, the couple is accused of taking the purses of shoppers from unattended cars. It is unclear from the facts what the couple hoped to do with the purses, whether they were interested in money or credit cards contained within. But police believe their alleged actions fit the definition of larceny.
Department stores and discount stores like those mentioned above are frequent hangouts of thieves, despite the vigorous actions of these retailers to curb theft. Not every crime can be prevented, and shoplifting losses are simply built into the price of merchandise.
Despite how the evidence may look, anyone accused of larceny or another theft offense is entitled to an aggressive criminal defense and a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendants have the constitutional right to question witnesses, challenge the admissibility of evidence, and dispute the constitutionality of the charges. Defendants in theft and larceny cases need not plead guilty, but instead have the option to win a legal vindication of their innocence in a court of law.
Source: PilotOnline.com, "Va. Beach couple charged in purse thefts from carts," Cindy Clayton, Sept. 4, 2013.