Rudy Marenco, 21, of Bradenton, was spotted by a Spencer’s employee examining a bottle of “Orgasmix” personal lubricant inside the store at DeSoto Square mall. The employee then found an open, discarded box that previously contained the “Orgasmix”.
The employee quickly confronted Mr. Marenco who pulled out the $7.99 product and apologized for shoplifting. Orgasmix, described on Spencer’s website as an enhancement gel made to increase women’s pleasure, turned out to be the suspect’s downfall. Despite his regret, local police were called and he was arrested for the theft. To add insult to injury, police found marijuana in his pocket and proceeded to add the drug charge to him.LEGAL ANALYSIS
Petit theft is usually a misdemeanor. What many people are shocked to find out is if one has two or more prior theft convictions, they can be charged with felony petit theft!
Felony petit theft is found under Florida Statutes 812.014(3)(c). Depending on this suspect’s prior theft convictions, the simple shoplifting of a $7.99 product may result in a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison! As a shoplifting defense attorney, I have seen people being sentenced to prison for relatively minor thefts.
A felony petit theft does not score many points in the Florida criminal punishment scoresheet. However, many judges get frustrated with a repeat theft offender and may sentence harshly.
The scoresheet mentioned above is an important way in how the state of Florida determines how long or if a defendant should be sentenced to prison. That will be a subject for the next blog.
Have you or a loved one been arrested for a theft offense or possession of a controlled substance charge? Then call the Pinellas theft defense lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors are experienced criminal defense and personal injury attorneys who handle all such cases throughout the Gulf Coast of Florida including Bradenton, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay and Clearwater.