Can a Series of Petty Thefts Amount to One Grand Theft ?
In People v. Bailey (1961) 55 Cal.2d 514, the California Supreme Court held that a series of petty thefts, performed as part of a single intent and plan, amounted to one grand theft, stating in part: "Whether a series of wrongful acts constitutes a single offense or multiple offenses depends upon the facts of each case, and a defendant may be properly convicted upon separate counts charging grand theft from the same person if the evidence shows that the offenses are separate and distinct and were not committed pursuant to one intention, one general impulse, and one plan." (Id. at p. 519.)
That court has also held: "'When a defendant steals multiple items during the course of an indivisible transaction involving a single victim, he commits only one robbery or theft notwithstanding the number of items he steals.' (People v. Brito (1991) 232 Cal.App.3d 316, 326, fn. 8.)" (People v. Ortega (1998) 19 Cal.4th 686, 699 (Ortega), overruled on other grounds by People v. Reed (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1224, 1228-1231.)