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Name: People v. McPike
Case #: A122030
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/26/2010
Summary

Appellant could not be convicted of both receiving stolen property and petty theft for the same property. Appellant and a codefendant were found in possession of credit cards, a cell phone, keys, and the purse of the victim. In an appeal from her conviction for misdemeanor petty theft and felony receiving stolen property, appellant argued that she could not be convicted of stealing and receiving the same property. Respondent argued that the dual convictions were proper because the allegations were based on different items of property. The appellate court rejected respondent’s argument, finding that the cell phone and purse were all taken from the victim at the same time, and all were recovered in or near the car in which appellant and the codefendant were riding. The court also rejected respondent’s theory that the jury must have found appellant guilty of the theft of the cell phone and not the purse because they rejected the greater charge of grand theft (the victim claimed the purse had $1200 cash in it), and convicted of petty theft. It seems just as likely the jury found appellant guilty of receiving the stolen cell phone, and judgment should not have been imposed on both counts. The court followed the customary practice to reverse the conviction for the lesser offense and allowing the greater to stand, rejecting appellant’s argument that it is always the receiving conviction which cannot stand, regardless of whether it is the lesser or greater offense.