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Larceny and commercial burglary where the value of the property is less than $950 is a straight misdemeanor. That is thanks to Prop. 47, which passed overwhelmingly in November of 2014. In Humboldt, 69.9% of voters approved it.
And keep in mind that misdemeanors are generally punishable by 6 months in jail or fines. He wasn't released because of Prop 47. He was released because authorities are still gun shy about overpopulation, thus misdemeanor suspects are often released after booking. They could have held him. They simply chose not to.
Well, I did not say that he was released because of Prop. 47. He probably was, though. I was pointing that out lest folks blame the SO for not booking them on felony charges. Before Prop. 47, these fellows could have been charged with second-degree burglary as a felony. And given the nature of the crime, that seems appropriate to me. They stole toys which were meant for tots. That makes them A$$holes in my book. Felony bail might have kept them in custody over the holidays at least. Overpopulation in county jails is a direct result of realignment (AKA AB 109) and 47 (because simple drug possession and most theft related offenses under $950 are now misdemeanors, which are served locally.
Released on "own recognizance" is NOT punishment. This low life will repeat again and again. How about an ankle bracelet for home detention,etc? No creativity by police other than let'm loose for more criminal activity! CAN'T STOP STUPID!