At around 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 16, a woman in California surrendered to authorities in order to face charges for stealing six bottles of champagne. The 49-year-old woman was accused of taking the champagne from a grocery store in Santa Cruz on Jan. 19. On Feb. 10, police issued photos to the media that showed the woman they referred to as the 'bubbly bandit."
The alleged theft occurred at the Shopper's Corner store on Soquel Avenue. Store security footage reportedly showed the woman placing six bottles of champagne under her jacket. Afterwards, the woman was seen fleeing the scene in a green Ford Explorer. The six bottles of champagne were reportedly worth $600 in total.
After she turned herself in to the Santa Cruz police station, the accused woman was charged for misdemeanor theft and a violation of probation. She was held at Santa Cruz County Jail with the option of $1,000 bail. The woman was reported to be a transient with a long history of past convictions for theft crimes. At the time of the most recent theft incident, the woman was on felony probation.
A person who has been charged for a theft incident like this one might be able to avoid receiving the maximum penalties by working out a plea deal. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help a defendant in this situation to negotiate for a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. In some cases, a defendant who is facing multiple criminal charges may be able to have some of those charges dropped as part of a plea arrangement.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "'Bubbly bandit' arrested in Santa Cruz champagne theft", Stephen Baxter, Feb. 17, 2015