Botox Bandit Faces Felony Grand Theft Charges in San Francisco (CA Penal Code 487)

Rabin Nabizadeh
January 8, 2015

There are many different ways in which to violate California law when it comes to theft.  Recently, however, one unidentified man found a clever way to feed his narcissistic tendencies.  He walked into a Bay area doctor’s office and requested very specific services, in the main, he asked for Botox injections and a laser peel.  The procedures went well and the doctor who performed them was pleased with the results.  There seems to have been only one hitch, the man never paid his bill.  Instead, he simply pretended to answer his phone, walked out of the office for what seemed like privacy and never returned.  Interestingly, this may not have been the first time that this ‘Botox Bandit’ has struck.  The procedures he received must be done about 1 time per year for maintenance; the physician who was tricked later realized that he’d read an article about a similar incident before and he suggests that the bandit may strike again in one year’s time.

Normally, California law describes the act of ‘theft’ as the purposeful and illegal taking of another person or entity’s property with the intention of never returning it.  We hardly ever think, however, about what happens when what is stolen is an expensive service like Botox injections or laser peels.

According to California Penal Code 487, theft becomes ‘grand theft’ when the property in question is valued at or over $950.  This particular violation is a ‘wobbler,’ meaning that it is up to prosecutors whether they treat it as a misdemeanor or as a felony.  If the Botox Bandit is caught and is convicted of felony grand theft, he may face up to 3 years in state prison for his foibles.


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