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Stupid Case File for March 19, 2006

Adults Stealing From Kids ...

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A Los Angeles man and woman were each sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday for stealing a gold chain from around the neck of a 5-year-old girl in January.

Julio Cesar Beltran, 18, and Patricia Serrano, 31, each pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree robbery and were given two year sentences by a Los Angeles judge, prosecutor June Chung said.

A videotape captured Beltran leaping from a car being driven by Serrano and grabbing two chains on the girl's neck as she stood in front of a meat market, Chung said.

Serrano ripped one of the chains off the girl, giving her an 8-inch (20-cm) cut, she said, and the couple admitted to police that they later pawned the necklace for drug money.

"It's very shocking to have a 5-year-old robbery victim," Chung said, adding that when the robbery was first reported "people were calling in from around the country offering to buy her a new necklace."

Chung said the girl still has a slight scar on the back of her neck but was otherwise doing well.


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