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Stanislaus County May Charge Thieves With Looting During Coronavirus State Of Emergency

STANISLAUS COUNTY (CBS13) — During the coronavirus state of emergency, the Stanislaus County District Attorney announced anyone who commits burglary or theft in the county could also be charged with looting.

The announcement came Wednesday from Stanislaus County DA Birgit Fladager. In a press release, DA Fladager said: "anyone who commits a crime of burglary in the second degree, grand theft, or petty theft, in our county, during the state of emergency could be charged with looting in violation of Penal Code 463."

So far, the DA's office said they have filed 15 counts of looting during the state of emergency, 12 of which are felonies against seven defendants in six different cases. The remaining three are misdemeanor charges. The arrests came from Modesto, Turlock and Waterford.

READ: Woman Suspected Of Licking Groceries In South Lake Tahoe; $1,800 In Items Thrown Out

According to the DA, under the statewide emergency bail order that was put into place on Monday, bail is required to be set at $0 for most offenses except specified crimes, including looting.

So, defendants charged with looting will have to go before a court and cannot be automatically released on bail.

The minimum sentence for looting is three to six months in jail and can include an additional 80 to 240 hours of community service.

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