Oakland Man Resorts to Social Media to Find Car Thief (CA Penal Code 487(d)(1))

Rabin Nabizadeh
February 12, 2014

A 67-year-old Oakland man is on a mission to find the person who stole his white 1996 Honda from his apartment complex in Oakland.  He’s posted video footage taken from his building’s surveillance cameras on popular social websites in an effort to get information concerning the thief, who was caught on camera several times during the course of the crime.

If his scheme works, the person who stole his vehicle will be subject to the laws and penalties pursuant to (CA Penal Code 487(d)(1)) and (CA Vehicle Code 10851) grand theft auto.  If you steal a vehicle in the state of California, you may face one of these or both of these charges, depending on whether or not you can prove that you meant to permanently deprive the owner of said vehicle (CA Penal Code 487(d)(1)) or that you were taking it out for a joyride (CA Vehicle Code 10851).

Both of these crimes are known as ‘wobblers’ in California, meaning that they may be prosecuted either as felonies or as misdemeanors, depending on the specific circumstances of the particular case at hand and whether you have priors.  If you are convicted of grand theft auto, you may be looking at up to 3 years in jail.  However, if you are convicted of joyriding, you may only spend up to 1 year in county jail and pay a maximum fine of $5,000.