Articles Posted in Larceny/Stealing

On April 5, 2019 ML was working as a bar tender at a hall in Haverhill. There was a mercy meal function and she had been called in to work the function. ML was a 49 year old single mother of two children.  During the course of the evening ML had occasion to go out to a storage hallway behind the bar to pick up an additional bottle of liquor for the bar. While in the back hallway a woman came out of the ladies room (which was located off the hallway) and handed a pocket book to ML. The lady told ML that she found the pocketbook in the ladies room. ML quickly glanced inside the pocketbook and then walked back into the area behind the bar and placed the pocketbook on a shelf under the bar next to her own pocketbook. All the above was captured on a security video in the hallway and behind the bar. At a later point in the evening ML can be seen (on the security video) bending down under the bar in the area where she had placed her own pocketbook and the pocketbook that had been handed to her. Later in the evening a woman at the mercy meal can be seen running around the hall and finally approaching the bar. The woman tells ML that she cannot find her pocketbook. ML is seen immediately getting the pocketbook and handing it to the woman. The lady looks inside the pocket book and yells that her $500 in cash for her rent was missing from the pocket book. The woman dials 911 and the police respond. The police speak to ML who denies stealing anything from the pocketbook.

The next day the police review all the security videos from the bar and charge ML with Larceny (stealing) of the $500 allegedly taken from the pocketbook.

ML then meets with and retains Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. ML and Attorney Lewin go to Haverhill District Court. ML – from day one – insisted to Attorney Lewin that ML was innocent. The case went through an arraignment, a pre-trial hearing, several discovery compliance dates (so that Attorney Lewin could get all the security videos), and ultimately was set down for a trial by jury on March 31, 2020. Then the covid 19 pandemic struck. It took a year and a half to finally get a new firm date for jury trial. The case was set down for trial on Monday, August 16, 2021. In the weeks leading up to the trial ML and Attorney Lewin prepared for the trial. Attorney Lewin prepared ML to testify in her own defense at the trial. At the same time Attorney Lewin “pestered” the DA’s Office to drop the case. On Friday morning, August 13, 2021, the Judge in Haverhill District Court had scheduled a “trial readiness conference” with the Assistant District Attorney and Attorney Lewin (on the phone). The Assistant District Attorney told the Judge and Attorney Lewin that the District Attorney was filing a “nolle prosequi”. A “nolle prosequi” is a termination of the prosecution of a criminal case by the Commonwealth. It is a dismissal of the case that is filed by the Commonwealth.

MT, is a building and roofing contractor. He is now (April of 2021) age 57.

  • In 1994 he took a $5,350.00 deposit from a customer in Andover, MA but did not do the work. He was charged by the police with Grand Larceny. In 1994 he went to Lawrence District Court, was found guilty, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,350.00. He failed to make the payment and a default warrant issued for his arrest.
  • In 2015 he took a $4,000.00 deposit from a couple in Chelmsford, MA but did not do the work. The police charged him with Grand Larceny and a straight warrant for his arrest was issued by Lowell District Court. (A straight warrant simply means the court did not summons him; rather than a summons the court issued a “straight” warrant.)

On Friday, August 21, 2020 two 18 year old twins got caught shoplifting at Walmart in Tewksbury. The police were called to the store and the twins were arrested. They were bailed from the Tewksbury Police station and told to appear in Lowell District Court on Monday, August 24, 2020. Over that weekend the twins met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin explained that the twins would qualify for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Young Adult diversion program. The program essentially allows young adults to avoid prosecution for certain criminal offenses.

Over that weekend Attorney Lewin prepared a Motion to Divert the cases out of the criminal court system. On Monday, August 24, 2020 the twins and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lowell District Court. At Attorney Lewin’s request neither girl was arraigned. This is important because it is the taking place of the arraignment that creates a criminal record. Instead the cases were referred to the diversion program and the cases were continued to October 8, 2020 to see if the Diversion Program would accept the twins.  On October 8, 2020 everyone appeared virtually (the twins had gone off to college and were away from Lowell) and the Assistant District Attorney and Attorney Lewin reported to the Judge that the twins had been accepted into the Diversion Program. On October 8, 2020 the arraignment again did not take place and the cases were continued until April 5, 2021 to allow the twins to complete the diversion program.

The twins successfully completed the diversion program. On April 5, 2021 the twins and Attorney Lewin appeared virtually one last time before the Court. The Assistant District Attorney and Attorney Lewin reported to the Judge that both young women had successfully completed the Diversion Program. The Judge then ordered both cases DISMISSED, prior to arraignment. Attorney Lewin explained to the two young women that because the cases were dismissed prior to any arraignment taking place the following took place:

In 2010, SL, a 19 year old exotic dancer was living with another dancer in Fitchburg. They had a falling out and SL moved out and moved down to Florida. Unbeknownst to SL, her former roommate in Fitchburg accused SL of stealing money and a cell phone from the apartment they had shared. The roommate went to the police and the police took out a criminal complaint against SL for Larceny Over $250 (a felony). Because SL was of parts unknown a warrant was issued for her arrest by Fitchburg District Court. Years passed and SL moved to upper New York State. SL went to apply for a driver’s license but was turned down by the NY DMV because her right to drive in Massachusetts was under suspension because of the warrant in Fitchburg District Court. That is when SL first learned of the case in Fitchburg District Court.

SL contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. After a thorough initial free consultation SL, now age 29, hired Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin explained to SL that with a little luck they might be able to get the case favorably resolved without SL having to come to Massachusetts. On February 4, 2021 SL retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the Fitchburg District Court and was able to obtain all the court papers and the police report. Attorney Lewin emailed copies to SL and they reviewed them together. SL told Attorney Lewin that she was innocent of the charge and after reading the police report it was clear to Attorney Lewin that the State could not prove the case against SL. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the DA’s Office and within five days the DA’s Office agreed to dismiss the case without SL having to come to Massachusetts and the court.

On February 17, 2021 Attorney Lewin and SL appeared via Zoom in Fitchburg District Court. Attorney Lewin had prepared and filed a Motion to Cancel the Warrant, Allow the parties to appear via zoom, and Dismiss the case prior to arraignment. After a brief hearing the Judge Ordered the warrant cancelled and the case dismissed prior to arraignment.

On March 1, 2020, RL, a 22 year old senior at a prestigious local university, went into a market in Waltham and stole (shoplifted) about $36.00 worth of merchandise. She got caught. RL is a Chinese National here on a student visa. She saw her life passing in front of her: she jeopardized her graduation and degree from the University and she jeopardized her ability to return to the United States if she left the U.S. and then tried to return. RL contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin told RL that if the case were handled carefully then prosecution could possibly be avoided. Shortly after March 1 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic RL was forced o return to China.

Attorney Lewin requested a Clerk-Magistrate hearing. The hearing was scheduled for April 2, 2020 but because of the pandemic had to be rescheduled three times. Attorney Lewin spoke at length with the police prosecutor from Waltham and explained the situation that RL had put herself in.  Attorney Lewin advocated for the police to dismiss their application for criminal complaint.

On Thursday, October 29, 2020 a virtual (via zoom) Clerk-Magistrate Hearing was held at Waltham District Court. Attorney Lewin explained RL’s situation and (as Attorney Lewin had requested) the police prosecutor told the Clerk-Magistrate that the police were withdrawing their application for criminal complaint. This was the best of all possible results.

On November 15, 2019 KA, a 21 year old Senior at Salem State, put his college enrollment and graduation at risk by breaking into a campus building and stealing a case of beverages from the school cafeteria. At 2:30 in the morning he and another student entered the building and were in the process of stealing the bottles of beverages when the campus police came upon the two students. KA and the other student ran. KA got away; the other student did not. The other student identified KA for the campus police as the other intruder.

The police applied for a criminal complaint against KA for breaking and entering and larceny; the application was set up for a hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate at Salem District Court. The hearing was scheduled for Friday, January 17, 2020. Three days before the hearing, KA and his mother consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately took control of the case. Attorney Lewin obtained and reviewed the police reports with KA. Attorney Lewin then reached out to the officer in charge of the case and the police prosecutor and advocated for the case to be diverted out of the criminal justice system. The Essex County DA’s Office runs a diversion program the principal benefit of which is to completely avoid criminal prosecution. Attorney Lewin then went over to Salem District Court and met with the head of the diversion program and advocated for the program to accept KA. The program director agreed that KA was a suitable candidate for the program.

On January 27, 2020 KA, his Mother, and Attorney Lewin appeared at Salem District Curt for the hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate. At the commencement of the hearing Attorney Lewin pointed out to the Clerk-Magistrate that Attorney Lewin had already spoken to the program director and that the program director felt that KA was a suitable candidate for the program. The police prosecutor told the Clerk-Magistrate that the police did not object to KA’s case being diverted. The Clerk-Magistrate agreed and said that she was referring the case to the Diversion Program.

KS, a 27 year old male from Reading, worked as a manger for a self-storage company with locations in many areas including Malden and Salem. Part of his job was to make deposits at the bank each day of the checks and cash he took in from customers. One day he was called into the office and accused of not making the deposits on several dates from both the Salem and Malden locations. He denied the accusations; however, he could not account for what happened to the checks and cash that were taken in on his watch. The police were called in and an investigation ensued and the evidence against KS was overwhelming.

KS had some emotional issues and a slight learning disability. KS’s parents got involved and contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. KS and his parents met with and then retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin explained to KS and his parents that if there is one thing that can help make this type of case go away it is paying the money back. The amounts of money were not large ($562 from the Salem facility and $457 from the Malden facility). KS and his family asked Attorney Lewin to see if the cases could by ended without court by paying the money back.

Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the Malden Police, the Salem Police, and the employer. The employer was interested in getting their money back and agreed to tell the police that if they were paid back they would not push for KS to be prosecuted in court. Attorney Lewin spoke directly with the Malden Police Officer handling the theft in Malden and he was agreeable to not bringing charges against KS if the money were paid back. The Salem Police, however, had already filed for a criminal complaint against KS prior to Attorney Lewin entering the case. That case was in Salem District Court; however, KS had not yet been arraigned. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the District Attorney at Salem District Court and explained the situation. On July 8, 2019 KS and Attorney Lewin appeared in Salem District Court. Attorney Lewin asked that KS not be arraigned but that the arraignment be postponed to give the District Attorney time to confirm that the employer had been paid and that the employer was not interested in prosecution. The reason Attorney Lewin did not want KS to be arraigned is that once he would have been arraigned an entry would be made on KS’s criminal record. It is the taking place of the arraignment that creates a criminal record.

In December of 2016, WX, a 32 year old female nanny, with several client families in Andover, MA, was caught stealing from one of her client families. The family contacted the police. WX had been stealing expensive children’s clothing (with the tags still on them) from the family’s home and then selling the clothing online. The police filed an application for a criminal complaint for felony larceny over $250 against WX and the application was set up for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing at Lawrence District Court. It was critical for WX to avoid having a criminal record – especially for stealing – as virtually all her client families did criminal record checks on WX before hiring her. No one will hire a thief.

WX contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA to represent her. Attorney Lewin spoke with the Andover PD police prosecutor to see if an agreement could be reached to avoid a criminal complaint from issuing. The prosecutor told Attorney Lewin that $1,700.00 worth of clothing had been stolen.

Fortunately for WX, the family from whom she stole loved her work as a nanny with the children. WX was patient, kind, instructive, and supportive with the children. The family was sad to have to fire her. Attorney Lewin explained to WX that if a criminal complaint was to be avoided – a long shot in this case – she would have to pay the $1,700.00 in restitution. WX asked if she could pay that over time; Attorney Lewin told WX that if she wanted to maximize her chances of making the case go away she would have to be prepared to pay the restitution in full on the day of the Court hearing.

TK, a 52 year old sales manager at a car dealership in Burlington, MA, was charged with Larceny By Check Over $250 back in 2001 in Woburn District Court. The charge arose out of a series of bad checks that TK had written in 2001. The checks were written on a business account that TK had. The account had virtually no money in it. TK simply walked away from the case and a warrant for his arrest was issued. For some reason the Registry of Motor Vehicles did not pick up on the warrant until 2017 at which time the Registry revoked TK’s license. TK needed the license to work at the car dealership. TK contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA.

Attorney Lewin went over to Woburn District Court and obtained copies of all the relevant court papers and police reports. From the police report Attorney Lewin was able to determine that the bank which was victimized in the case was no longer in business. Attorney Lewin approached the Assistant District Attorney in Woburn District Court and was able to furnish the Assistant District Attorney with evidence that the State (the Commonwealth) could not at this time successfully prosecute the case: the bank was no longer in business;  it would be virtually impossible to find the witnesses (16 years later); and no one could identify TK as the person who wrote the bad checks.

On July 31, 2017 TK and Attorney Lewin appeared in Woburn District Court. The case was called and the Assistant District Attorney stood up and told the Judge that the Commonwealth could not go forward with the case. The Judge looked over at Attorney Lewin and Attorney Lewin then moved (asked) for the warrant to be recalled and the case dismissed. The Judge granted Attorney Lewin’s motion (request). The warrant was recalled (cancelled) and the charges against TK were dismissed.

TQ, a 29 year old woman from India with a degree in Computer Science, was apprehended on February 14, 2017 at a store at the Burlington Mall and charged with Larceny Over $250.00. The charge arose out of her stealing a $425.00 pair of designer sunglasses. Normally, stealing at the mall results in a charge of shoplifting (a misdemeanor). In this case, however, the police charged her with Larceny Over $250 (a felony). TQ consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Fortunately for TQ the police set the charge up for a hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate. This is critical. The police have three choices at the outset of a criminal case: (1) the Police can arrest the individual in which event the person is brought before a Judge for an arraignment on a criminal complaint and a criminal record is created; (2) the Police can release the individual without an arrest and have the court issue a criminal complaint and a summons for the person to come to court for an arraignment in which event a criminal record is created; or (3) the Police can chose not to arrest and not to summons the person to court but rather the police can file an application for a criminal complaint with the Clerk-Magistrate of the Court and request that the Clerk-Magistrate set the application down for a hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate. This third option – which is rarely used when the criminal charge is a felony – gives the accused person a chance to avoid prosecution and avoid a criminal record. In this third option the Clerk decides whether or not a criminal complaint (and summons) will actually be issued against the accused. That is the option the police chose with TQ.

Immediately after being retained Attorney Lewin contacted the store and he contacted the police prosecutor. Attorney Lewin confirmed that the matter was going to be set down for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin sent the Police Prosecutor a lengthy email setting forth TQ’s family and educational and employment background and the fact that she had never been in trouble before. It was critical to TQ to avoid a criminal record – especially for felony larceny; NO ONE wants to hire a thief and having a Larceny charge on your criminal record brands you as a thief. Attorney Lewin advocated hard with the Police Prosecutor to agree to a disposition of the case that did NOT involve a criminal complaint being issued against TQ.

On March 28, 2017 TQ and Attorney Lewin appeared in Woburn District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin made a strong pitch to the Clerk-Magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint against TQ. Attorney Lewin was successful in getting the police to agree to ask the Clerk-Magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint. At the end of the Hearing the Clerk-Magistrate continued the hearing for four months and ordered that if TQ remained out of trouble then in four months she did not have to return to court and the application for criminal complaint would be denied and dismissed. As a result of this disposition Attorney Lewin explained to TQ the following;

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