A 29-year-old former student has been detained in the investigation into laptop thefts at a California university. Authorities say that the man stole a total of 57 laptops in two separate incidents at UCLA.
Two laptops were reported stolen from Ackerman Student Union prior to the incident on Nov. 8. On that date, someone was caught on surveillance video smashing windows and breaking through a door at the Charles E. Young Research Library. Allegedly, the man then took 55 MacBook laptops reportedly worth more than $30,000.
The police identified the man by the clothes he was wearing in the surveillance video, and they say that they made the connection to the previous theft at the student union because the man was wearing a particular type of shoe. He is currently being held on suspicion of burglary.
The man might consider consulting an attorney regarding his defense. An attorney's approach to such a case may depend upon how clear the surveillance video is from the alleged burglary at the library. If the video is not very distinctive, it might be possible to argue that they have the wrong person. The man's clothing may not be sufficient to link him to the thefts beyond a reasonable doubt.
For those in similar situations, it may be possible to work out a plea deal with the prosecutor with the help of an attorney. This might lead to lighter sentencing. An attorney may also examine whether police had sufficient evidence to detain the defendant and if they did so legally. Charges might be dismissed if an individual's rights were violated at some point by the police.
Source: NBC Southern California, "Arrest Made in UCLA Laptops Theft", November 12, 2014