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California man faces theft and drug charges

Law enforcement officials took a man into custody on allegations that he was shoplifting from various Walmart stores in the area of Murrieta, California. The incident occurred on Feb. 28 in the Murrieta Hot Springs neighborhood.

Officers arrived at the scene after receiving reports from a Walmart loss prevention employee that there was a suspicious-looking car in the area of Madison Avenue. The employee told police that the car resembled one that was driven by a person previously suspected of shoplifting from local stores.

Therefore, police asked the driver of the car, a 48-year-old man, to pull to the side of the road for questioning. Upon investigation, officers claim the vehicle's two license plates did not match and did not belong to the vehicle. They also apparently discovered drug paraphernalia as well as new tools in the car's trunk, which the driver reportedly said he had stolen earlier that day.

Police detained the suspected burglar after the initial Walmart tipster identified him as the same man who previously burglarized area stores. The man faces several charges including grand theft and possession of a controlled substance.

Charges involving drug possession and grand theft carry severe penalties upon conviction that could include incarceration. In addition, a criminal record could hinder efforts to obtain gainful employment in the future. Accordingly, those who find themselves in this position may want to have the help of a criminal defense attorney in countering the charges, which could include determining whether the police observed the defendant's constitutional rights at the time of the arrest.

Source: New York Daily News, "Man named LOSER arrested while trying to shoplift tools at California Walmart", Molly Crane-Newman, March 2, 2016

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