A West Hills jeweler was charged with grand theft after allegedly swapping customers’ real diamonds for fake stones. Ara Ghazarian was arrested after several customers noticed that their jewelry “looked different” after he had worked on the pieces. One woman took her wedding ring to another jeweler for an examination after becoming suspicious. The second jeweler confirmed that the ring’s new stones were not diamonds.
A second victim brought a family heirloom ring to Ghazarian for work and was also the victim of a diamond swap. Ventura Police investigated and determined that there was evidence that the jeweler had swapped real diamonds for manufactured replicas of lesser value. The stolen diamonds had an estimated worth of more than $8,000. Ghazarian was booked on two charges of grand theft.
An experienced Ventura grand theft attorney
Grand theft charges in California can lead to a number of different outcomes, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Grand theft is generally the taking of property whose value exceeds $950. You can also be charged with theft if you remove property directly from a victim, or if you steal certain items, like a car or a firearm.
Theft can be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor, and can result in a number of different sentences. The charges can also be “enhanced” under California law, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Enhancements – which could result in additional penalties – could be applied if the value of the stolen property exceeds certain thresholds. They are $65,000, $200,000, $1.3 million and $3.2 million. You can also receive an “enhanced” charge if the victim is elderly or otherwise vulnerable, or if you commit multiple acts of theft.
The enhancements provide for additional prison time of 1-4 years. Additionally, separate acts of theft can be added together for the purpose of prosecution. You can also be charged individually for each act of theft the prosecutor can prove.
The complexities of this crime require the assistance of an experienced Ventura grand theft attorney like Robert Helfend. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience exclusively in California law, your best strategy is to work with a respected attorney.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County grand theft case.
Photo Credit: Daniel West, via FreeImages.com