Hearing set for tomorrow for Pleasanton Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi on shoplifting charge Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm
A hearing is set for next tomorrow for Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-18th) on a charge of felony shoplifting after she was stopped leaving San Francisco's Neiman Marcus Union Square department store with nearly $2,500 in unpaid merchandise.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 28, 2011, 3:37 PM
Posted by NotFooled, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm
It's always a mistake when you get caught. Another politician who feels entitled and above the law. She's probably so used to the culture of corruption in politics that she forgot the real world has consequences for theft.
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:07 am
I'm not a supporter of Mrs. Hayashi, but she has been arrested and charged, not convicted. Presumption of innocence, remember? The Constitution?
My mother "shoplifted" because my sister was ill and my Mom had been caring for my sister's three children. Mom was exhausted and carried something out of the store that she had planned to pay for. Store security and management stopped her and when they saw my mother's obvious embarrassment at her "senior moment", they let her go.
It's possible that Mrs. Hayashi did the same thing. Nieman Marcus has security cameras and I'm sure those will tell the tale. But until all the evidence is presented to a jury, I will reserve my own judgment.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:28 am
YAT said: "My mother "shoplifted" because my sister was ill and my Mom had been caring for my sister's three children. Mom was exhausted and carried something out of the store that she had planned to pay for."
Yes, I was with my mother years ago at a small market and was chatting with her when she started talking and walking out the exit while still holding a fish than she hadn't paid for. Senior moment. I called her back. It's possible that Mrs. Hayashi simply forgot about the merchandise due to a preoccupation with her phones and other things. Still, a small fish is one thing and $2500 worth of high-end clothing is another. I have to marvel about someone who can accidentally forget that they have $2500 worth of merchandise in their bags. That's a far cry from the world I live in.
Posted by me, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:00 am
Are you kidding me? Stores like Nieman Marcus would never accuse theit high end shoppers of shop lifting unless they were positive and had serious proof. I'm sure there is surveillance that will show it was clear cut. If there was any chance it was a misunderstanding or mistake, they would have kindly asked her to return and pay for the items. NM an Nordstrom train their people NOT to accuse anyone of shoplifting. Loss prevention steps in and only goes after situations where they can prove it occurred.
This woman needs to step aside now. Its people like us who she is supposed to represent that will now suffer.
Posted by nicole, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:21 am
They do in fact have surveillance. The city attorney's office issued a statement saying they had video. She make 115K a year and her husband makes 165K per year as "public servants" and apparently that's not enough to support her "sense of style" which she is apparently known for. I wonder how many other times she's done this and not been caught. This is outrageous and she needs to resign. No judge better do her any favors given her husband is also a judge. They should throw the book at her.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:57 am
Nicole said; " I wonder how many other times she's done this and not been caught."
You're jumping to conclusions. You have no basis at all for saying that she has done this before. I hope that if you are ever accused of something that people around you jump to conclusions concerning your behavior.
Posted by Not for serial violators, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm
I remember the couple abused campaign finance LAWS....taking money from one's campaign fund to use for the other,etc. Major wink wink, nod nod, and being same Dem party, regulators did nothing, to my knowledge. But, it was the ultimate cronyism abuse of campaign laws. So I'd say she's a serial law breaker...sure hope they don't let this slide....karma finally caught her in the act. To campaign as an ethical person would be the ultimate hypocrisy !
Posted by Coco, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm
Read the article in SF Chronicle where it says that the merchandise was found in her shopping bag after paying for other items. It looks pretty intentional to me. Another thieving politician. Sorry, I'm not buying the lame excuse.
Posted by common sense, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm
Given that Department stores do not make charges of shopping lifting lightly because they open themselves to lawsuits, I would say Neiman Marcus has video evidence of the shoplifting. And gosh golly maybe this isnt her first time shoplifting,just the first time caught.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2011 at 7:32 pm
I guess I should not be surprised of the likes of sam and yat defending this dem politician caught in the act (on tape, no less). What will their defense be when she's convicted, which is inevitable, given the evidence. Pathetic shills, both of you, really. Will you excuse every misdeed, just because it was another dem? You guys are more like a gang, showin blind allegiance, than supporters of a political party.
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Oct 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm
I don't have the money to shop at Nieman Marcus, but from what I know of them, Mrs. Hayashi might have just had a scarf and walked out with $2,500!
I didn't read any mention of surveillance video in the full story (follow the link), but I see the San Francisco Chronicle article mentioned there was video tape. I haven't seen the tape, so I can't say what can and can't be seen on it. Apparently "steve" has viewing privileges, because he's really really really sure Mrs. Hayashi is guilty.
Everybody ought to be given the benefit of the doubt. The presumption of innocence is the foundation of our legal system.
I don't know for a fact that Mrs. Hayashi HAS shoplifted. I don't know for a fact that Mrs. Hayashi has NOT shoplifted. I wasn't there, haven't seen all of the evidence, and so must, out of a sense of decency and fair play, presume that she is innocent until proven guilty.
Guess that's too much to ask from some folks. I sure hope none of you ever serves for jury duty; you're supposed to keep an open mind.
Posted by nanci, a resident of the Laguna Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2011 at 12:10 am
They have the surveillance and these are FELONY charges. Niemas Marcus would NEVER accuse a shopper of stealing unless they had solid evidence. The NM even put her under citizen's arrest himself while waiting for the polpolice. My daughter works in a large retail store at stoneridge and they teach them NOT to confront customers even if they see someone steal. Only security can take action and only if they have surveillance. It angers my daughter, but she would be fired if she stepped in. You know the NM guards that caught her knew they had hard evidence.
And no, I don't see myself in a situation like this to hope I'm treated right. I make it a habit of not putting anything in my shopping bags that I haven't paid for even while juggling three kids under six and a cell phone.
And by the way, one thing she tried to steal were black leather pants. Ugh!
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2011 at 12:44 am
Nanci said: "Niemas Marcus would NEVER accuse a shopper of stealing unless they had solid evidence."
But the question is what is "solid evidence" of shoplifting? Take the example I gave earlier of my mother being preoccupied with other things and having a senior moment when she headed for the exit without realizing that she still hadn't paid for a fish that she was holding. It seems that the distinction between "shoplifting" and "honest mistake" is one of intent, and it's not clear that you can always determine intent (i.e., what was going through the person's mind) with video evidence.
Yes, Mary Hayashi walked out of Neiman Marcus with their goods in her bag without paying for them. No question about that. Mary Hayashi admits to this, and the video surveillance will undoubtedly confirm this. Now the big question is what was going was going through her mind when she stepped out of the store. She claims that she was distracted by her phones and it was an honest mistake. How is the video evidence going to prove otherwise? Now if the video shows Mary Hayashi acting furtively and looking nervously around while stuffing clothes into her bags or taking some suspicious steps to conceal the goods before leaving the store then, yes, I would feel comfortable beyond a reasonable doubt that she was attempting to shoplift. But none of us knows what the video shows. Neiman Marcus hasn't released it, nor have they said just what the video shows.
I'm not saying Mary Hayashi is innocent and I would agree that the guards at Neiman Marcus must think that they have hard evidence or else they would not have arrested her. But that's not enough to convict her in a court of law, nor should it be enough to convict her in the court of publlic opinion. Neiman Marcus deserves the right to present their evidence, and she deserves the chance to present her case.
Posted by NotFooled, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2011 at 9:21 am
Guess who also is on the list of top recipients from the Payday Loan lobbyist. That's right, Mary Hayashi:
Facing government crackdowns around the country, payday lenders are thriving in lightly regulated California, where they lure hundreds of thousands of desperate borrowers a year despite punishing, triple-digit interest rates.
Seventeen states and the U.S. military have effectively banned payday loans, which attract low-income borrowers who need a cash advance on paychecks. Georgia has declared payday lending to be felony racketeering. But in California, payday storefronts outnumber Starbucks coffeehouses.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2011 at 11:36 am
Sam and yat, I'm sure if this were a republican getting caught red handed walking out with thousands in merchandise, you'd be demanding a perp walk followed by a public flogging. You Dem hypocrites love to pass laws that continue to erode our freedoms, but you think none of them apply to you. I know this broad will get a slap on the wrist, despite the video evidence, so we can only hope that this is the end of her political career. She sets such a fine example for the residents of the area....
Posted by Rich Wade, a resident of Dublin, on Oct 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm
"Singer said Hayashi carries two cell phones and was texting and phoning with a bag in her hands and inadvertently stepped outdoors."
"inadvertently stepped outdoors"
Folks, have you been to that store? Go there, look at the layout.
The last thing you'd do if you wanted to make a phone call & text at the same time would be to step out onto the crowded sidewalk area.
Look at all the sculpted lines that her PR man is handing out.
Each one carefully crafted to make it sound like a simple mistake that ANYONE could do.
We've now heard from a couple people here talking about walking out with a "fish"....a "senior moment"... etc.
Mary Hayashi is a 45 year old, very sharp, woman. She didn't place a fish in her bag, she placed 3 items costing over $2,700 (with tax) into her bag, then apparently paid for a few inexpensive items as a cover, forgetting the other costly items.
How about if Mary Hayashi holds a press conference and gives Neiman Marcus the OK to release the tapes?
Even if they won't do it, Mary Hayashi could make the offer, demand the release of said tapes.
Instead I'm betting we continue to get ONLY the lame crafted excuses from her man Sam Singer. Singer known in San Francisco as the "damage control" master. Attempts to turn a month old fish into fresh sushi.
Was this anyone else, we wouldn't be talking about the 1% possibility that it may have been a "inadvertent mistake".
Lastly, how have the rest of us managed to live 40 to 60 years of life without ever being found with even $24 dollars worth of goods in our bag, let alone $2,400.
I've never walked out with even a $2.40 item in my bag.
What are the odds? What are the real odds that Hayashi was just distracted? Very very low
If she is allowed to walk, then thousands of teenage girls can rush down to the mall and make he same mistake with no risk.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm
Rich Wade said: "How about if Mary Hayashi holds a press conference and gives Neiman Marcus the OK to release the tapes?"
The reason she or any other public figure in a similar situation wouldn't do that is because it would make no difference to those like you whose minds are already made up. Suppose that the video shows Mary Hayashi behaving normally and busy fumbling with a cell phone as she steps out with the store with the bags. Would you then turn around and say that it was all a honest mistake? Yeah, I'll bet.
You're asking her to deal out a hand when when you've already stacked the deck against her. If the video tape shows her furtively and nervously stuffing clothes into her bags, you'll call her a crook. But if the video tape doesn't show her doing that, then you'll just say that the video proves that she is a smooth, crafty, and calm crook. Either way, she loses.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm
Pete, Sam is a leftist and though he may have stolen many times, he doesnt consider it a crime. Maybe he was stealing to feed his family (as though that's acceptable) or maybe it was a mistake because he really needed leather pants. In any case, as he confirmed in his immediate reply to my previous post, which he claims bored him, yet he responded anyway, Dem politicians are above the law. Even when obviously caught in the act.
Mary is a sick woman and Sam and yat are just enablers. You should be seeking ways to help her with her illness rather than trying to justify her illegal actions.
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Oct 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm
So once again, "steve" dazzles us with his ability to see the future and read people's minds:
"Sam and yat, I'm sure if this were a republican getting caught red handed walking out with thousands in merchandise, you'd be demanding a perp walk followed by a public flogging."
He knows what Sam and I will think, say, and do before we think, say, or do it.
And then it goes on there to accuse Sam of being a thief himself:
"Sam is a leftist and though he may have stolen many times, he doesnt consider it a crime."
And Steve the country club bartender apparently also has a degree in psychiatry, because he has also diagnosed Mrs. Hayashi as suffering from some sort of emotional or mental disorder:
"Mary is a sick woman...."
Steve...is there anything he doesn't know? Is there anything he cannot do? Steve for President! (We'll be at war with Canada before he finishes his first 24 hours in office...I can see the future, too.)
To paraphrase a line from a famous spooky film: "I see STUPID PEOPLE."
Posted by wait and see, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 8:58 am
We need to hear what happened before passing judgment. My daughter was shopping at a high end store about a year ago, and had already paid for the items she bought. The cashier forgot to remove the security tag from a pair of jeans, the alarm went off and she was accused of shoplifting, in a rude manner, in front of many people. She showed them her receipt, and they apologized (not in front of everyone but in private, as opposed to the accusation of shoplifting made in front of everyone). And yes, we wrote a letter to Corporate to let them know.
So we need to see what happened. You never know which employee is having a bad day and decides to be nasty (what happened to my daughter is an example of a rude, nasty employee combined with a poorly trained one as they are the ones who forgot to remove the security tag from the pants when my child paid for them - my child was not shoplifting)
Posted by Rosenbelcher, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 9:01 am
Given that her husband is a judge, is her trail going to be moved out of the Bay Area. I don't see how they can try her in the Bay Area and maintain they have an impartial judge. It's been said for years that judges look out for one another.
Posted by Emily W., a resident of another community, on Oct 31, 2011 at 9:31 am
I would hope that Hayashi wouldn't be caught up in something like this, as I appreciated much of her work to help ease the stigma of mental health and suicide prevention. Yet, I have to wonder why her "oops, I meant to pay for it" story didn't hold up with the arresting officers. Having known people who work in loss prevention, the elements have to be pretty solid to make a shoplifting arrest.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 10:13 am
"wait and see" said: "We need to hear what happened before passing judgment. My daughter was shopping at a high end store about a year ago, and had already paid for the items she bought. The cashier forgot to remove the security tag from a pair of jeans, the alarm went off and she was accused of shoplifting, in a rude manner, in front of many people."
Thanks for the reminder that being accused of something does not automatically mean that one is guilty of something, and that security guards at even high end stores occasionally make mistakes. Being falsely accused of something is a frustrating experience. For all those who are so quick to rush to judgement in the Mary Hayashi case, I have a question: Have you ever been falsely accused of something? How did it feel? Not much fun trying to explain your side of the story when everyone around you has already made up their mind, is it?
As for the Hayashi case, I would say that it doesn't look too good but that she should be given to present her case before being branded guilty of shoplifting.
Posted by Member, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 31, 2011 at 10:39 am
I have never walked out of a store carrying $2,700 of merchandise that I hadn't paid for.
In fact, I have never walked out of a store with $2,700 of merchandise.
How do you carry $2,700 worth of merchandise? How do you carry it without knowing about it? What was it - jewelry?
Regarding the "innocent until proven guilty" arguments, she is guilty of having carried merchandise out of the store without paying, and that is shoplifting. That part is undisputed. It is up to her to prove that "it was all a big misunderstanding" or that "I wasn't paying attention."
If she can be shopping at Needless Markup and buy $2,700 of stuff now, and do so without even thinking about what she is doing, I don't want her as my elected representative.
Posted by Member, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 31, 2011 at 11:01 am
Hey Pleasanton Weekly:
Could you reprint the story, and this time show her picture taken at her booking instead of her picture where she is all dressed up at her swearing in ceremony where the words coming out of her mouth were: "I do solemnly swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
What is your editorial criteria for when you publish a booking photograph versus when you publish a nice professional portrait?
Is she being treated with "kid gloves" because she is a Democrat, an elected representative, and married to a judge (who is also a Democrat)?
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 12:34 pm
Member said: "Regarding the "innocent until proven guilty" arguments, she is guilty of having carried merchandise out of the store without paying, and that is shoplifting. That part is undisputed. It is up to her to prove that "it was all a big misunderstanding" or that "I wasn't paying attention."
She did indeed by her own admission leave the store without paying. But at the same time it is universally recognized that people do occasionally make honest mistakes. That's why stores don't automatically arrest everyone and anyone who leaves a store with unpaid goods but generally handle incidents on a case by case basis. As for it "proof" what are you expecting? Suppose you are responsible for taking care of your little niece and while you are in Wal-Mart she reaches out from her stroller and takes an item off the shelf without your seeing it. You are then confronted by a security guard in the parking lot who accuses you of shoplifting a doll. How are you going to prove that you didn't?
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Avila neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm
It is laughable to compare an infant riding in a stroller taking a doll off a shelf at Walmart vs. a 45 year old elected representative being caught on video shoplifting three very expensive clothing items at Neiman Marcus (with the items ultimately found in a shopping bag outside of the store along with other merchandise) on Sunday around noon with an excuse revolving around 'cell phone calls.'
That is why stores have video monitoring in the first place.
And I guess that is why Hayashi has hired spin doctor Sam Singer to try to PR-her way out of this mess. Not paying attention is never an excuse for committing a crime, i.e., "I ran over the bicyclist because I wasn't paying attention and was occupied with a cell phone call."
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm
'just an honest mistake'....to pile articles you haven't paid for into your bag and walk out of a store with them.
I'm curious, which words or phrases presents Dems with a get out of jail free card: 'ooopppss', 'I made a mistake'; 'my bad'; 'I'm sorry'; 'you can't arrest me, I'm a Dem'!??? What amazing ignorance and arrogance you leftists possess.
Posted by Gloria Ramirez, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm
I voted for JILL BUCK, Pleasanton resident when she ran against her in a heavily democratic district. Not surprised. Wonder what kind of deal she will get. The day she was arraigned she was suppose to be at the Oakland Police Officers freeway sign dedication. Now I know why the dedication was canceled (it was her sponsored bill). Very sad.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm
Pretty sad to see the low quality of the discussion here in the Pleasanton Weekly forums. There are additional points that can be made which would seem to argue against Mary Hayashi's claims of innocence. Unfortunately, no one on the other side has made them. No, unfortunately, we just have characters like "Steve", who seems to believe that peppering his sentences with words like "leftists", "arrogance". and "ignorance" regardless of the topic is some sort of substitute for real thinking.
OK, enough for now. I'll withhold further comment until more details come out on this story,
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Avila neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm
Regardless of what political party affiliation people have, it is a shocking story. The only thing 'pretty sad' about this is number one, a public official arrested for shoplifting and number two, paying a media consultant big bucks to present claims of innocence to all media outlets. "Sam" claims "Unfortunately, no one on the other side has made them," but in fact Hayashi is paying a PR crisis specialist to do exactly that... taking to the PR-airwaves so that every newspaper and TV news segment quotes or films Sam Singer and the proclamations of innocence.
"Not paying attention" may fly when driving 62 mph in a 55 mph zone, but other than that, that excuse does not generally work in situations like this.
Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm
It's obvious she's guilty - Neiman Marcus wouldn't risk acusing a high-ranking official without evidence. Most likely she's done it multiple times, and probably at every upscale store in San Francisco - and given that she lives in Castro Valley - probably Nordstroms and Coach at Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton as well. She was probably a repeat offender at Neiman alone - the management got tired of looking the other way and finally said enough is enough.
I don't think she'll get off. Winona Ryder did because she is hot and men like her. If you're a Gen X man and you fantasize about Hayashi, I feel sorry for you...
What's interesting is that Mary is a money-whore known for pay-for-play politics. Why not sponsor a bill exempting sales tax for Neiman Marcus in exchange for a shopping spree now and then? Or ban those ridiculous anti-fur people from their free speech rights outside of the store - quashing free speech fits right in with her liberal agenda anyways.
Posted by Assembly District resident, a resident of Dublin, on Oct 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm
Granted, we don't know if Mary Hayashi is guilty.
However, about 98.6% of the people caught on video leaving the store with $2,450 of unpaid for merchandise hidden in a bag are in fact guilty.
The court and jury will decide if it passes the "beyond a reasonable doubt" test.
If simply saying "I forgot", or "I inadvertently" or "I was busy and got mixed up" or "I meant to come back and pay"...
If THOSE excuses are enough to get you off, then expect every store in the mall to be inundated with thousands of people from teen girls to hardened criminals, all claiming to saying they "simply got mixed up" and walked out with out paying.
Lets see the video. Would make great TV... all the actions, from entering the store to walking out.
So many details that are unclear. Other bags, other merchandise purchased in the same store at the same time.
Question that comes to mind. Did these expensive leather pants NOT have those bulky security devices on them? Or some other device that makes the bells and whistles go off. Or is that "below" the ambiance of Neiman Marcus.
Bottom line, a jury will make sense of this.
If she cops a plea, then there is NO WAY she should ever be elected to another legislative position. That to include the newly drawn State Senate district she is raising money to run for.
If local Democrats (I am one) over look a plea to a misdemeanor and try to support her, that would be a sure sign of a total dismal decline into the political pit.
She is either cleared 100% or she is done. No plea to a lesser charge, then "rehabilitation" of her political life.
Posted by Not for serial violators, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm
Usually clerks at high end stores place $500, 1,000. and $2,000. items in nice separate, carefully wrapped bags, or hanging on hangers and carefully folded. So likely these items didn't pass by a clerk.
BTW, I'm over-the-hill and pretty out there, but I've never known anybody charged with shoplifting. 'Misunderstandings' usually don't get to the point of charges and hearings.
Sadly, some politicians are so use to treating other people's money/property with disreguard, it's not even considred.
After the campaign finance abused, I'm so glad she was caught.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 10:13 pm
Member said: "Regarding the "innocent until proven guilty" arguments, she is guilty of having carried merchandise out of the store without paying, and that is shoplifting. That part is undisputed. It is up to her to prove that "it was all a big misunderstanding" or that "I wasn't paying attention."
Out of curiosity, I looked into California laws concerning shoplifting. "Member" and others here have said that carrying merchandise out of a store without paying is shoplifting, but that is NOT what California law says. According to California law you can't be convicted of shoplifting or any other form of theft unless you had the INTENT to steal. INTENT is a critical factor. "Member" got it wrong. The burden of proof is not on Mary Hayashi to "prove that it was all a big misunderstanding". The burden of proof is on Neiman Marcus to prove that Mary Hayashi left their store with the INTENT to steal their goods.
Now as many have pointed out Neiman Marcus would not have had her arrested unless they were certain that Mary Hayashi was guilty of shoplifting. So perhaps they do believe that their video evidence and other evidence is enough to convince a prosecutor, judge, and jury that their property was removed with the INTENT to steal. We'll see.
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Avila neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2011 at 11:06 pm
Winona Ryder reportedly cut off anti-theft security sensor tags of the merchandise at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and placed merchandise in a shopping bag with items she had already purchased, then when arrested, came up with the reason that she had shoplifted because she was told to shoplift by a director in preparation for an upcoming film role.
Of course the infamous Mark Geragos argued there was no intent to steal, just intent to really adequately prepare for a movie role. Funny, I don't think the judge and jury bought that line.
"Although the Constitution of the United States does not cite it explicitly, presumption of innocence is widely held to follow from the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments. See also Coffin v. United States and In re Winship."
I have noticed that while people like Sam argue cogently for a presumption of innocence in this case, those arguing on the other side have nothing to offer but slinging empty insults. Which means they know, in some fashion, that they're wrong, but of course can't admit it to anyone (or even themselves).
Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Oct 31, 2011 at 11:50 pm
And by the way, if Mrs. Hayashi hires a competent attorney and is truly innocent, there IS a defense to shoplifting charges:
"4. What are the Defenses to Shoplifting Under California Penal Code 484 & 488 PC?
The bad news is that a California shoplifting or other petty theft conviction will look pretty bad on your criminal record. Theft is considered a "crime of moral turpitude." Prospective employers will be hesitant to employ you if they don't think they can trust you.
The good news is that shoplifting and other California petty theft charges are definitely defensible. Depending on the situation, there are a wide variety of defenses to these charges that a California shoplifting defense lawyer could present on your behalf. Some of the most common include:
Being absent-minded (forgetting to either put back the merchandise or pay)
If you didn't have the intent to steal, you can't be convicted of this crime -- period! This means that if your California petty theft attorney can convince the prosecutor, judge, and/or jury that you simply "forgot to pay", you must be acquitted.
You may have just been distracted -- maybe your kids were acting up, maybe you were engaged in a conversation on your cell phone, maybe you realized that you left something important in the car, or maybe you were thinking about some bad news that you had just received.
As Darrell York, one of the top Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers puts it, "I've seen so many people get falsely accused of shoplifting. In today's world where people are so easily distracted, it's perfectly understandable that someone could leave a store for any number of reasons while still inadvertently holding merchandise. It's my job to make sure that the jury not only understands that, but believes it as well.""
Posted by Member, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Nov 1, 2011 at 12:30 am
Theft is defined as the taking away of another's property without that person's consent. See California Penal Code Section 484.
Intent is not part of the definition, Sam. Where are you getting your information from?
If you walk out of a store with $2500 of jewelry hidden in your bag without the store owner's permission, that is theft. You don't have to "intend" to be a thief. Taking someone else's stuff without their permission is enough to be theft.
The key in cases like this is in the circumstances that surround the actual taking away of the property. If it was a mistake, the circumstances look like a mistake, and no charges are filed.
But it is fairly difficult to argue "mistake" when you have hidden $2500 worth of stuff in your bag.
It sounds like a plea bargain is likely, and then off to "rehab" for Hayashi.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Nov 1, 2011 at 7:19 am
"Member" said: "Theft is defined as the taking away of another's property without that person's consent. See California Penal Code Section 484. Intent is not part of the definition, Sam. Where are you getting your information from?"
Member, that's not quite correct. Theft in the state of California is NOT simply defined as the taking away of another's property without consent. Code 484 says "FELONIOUSLY steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another". Note the use of the word "FELONIOUSLY". I'll leave it to you to look up the word but it implies INTENT. Accidently walking out of a store with goods is NOT "feloniously taking" the goods. Deliberately walking out of a store with goods IS "feloniously taking" the goods. Got it?
You can see further evidence of the fact that INTENT is a key consideration later on in Code 484 where it further elaborates that theft involves someone who "shall knowingly and designedly" defraud another of goods. Again, accidently walking out with goods is NOT an act of "knowingly and designedly" attempting to defraud another of goods.
Finally, check out the text and web link that YAT so kindly provided. It's a defense lawyer web site which explains Penal Code Section 484 and theft.
Again, I'm not saying Mary Hayashi is innocent. I'm saying that, based on California law, the burden of proof is on Neiman Marcus to show that she left their store with the INTENT to steal their goods.
Posted by Candy, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Nov 1, 2011 at 7:36 am
What I find most amusing is how all these money fetishists can only fixate on the dollar signs next to the items purportedly shoplifted. At the same time, because of their money fetish, they're incapable of even imagining that a person could have priorities in her life which might contribute to a de-emphasis on the goods one was intending to buy while attending to more important matters such as multiple phone calls regarding important political/civic matters.
I find it quite conceivable that the alleged shoplifter simply became distracted, preoccupied, and lost track of some things of lesser import -- you know, precisely the kinds of things the fetishists on this post are slobbering over. "Oh my God! $2500.00 worth of clothes. Oh my God! The thought of someone being able to walk into a store and purchase goods at that cost! (Ohhhhh, how I wish I could do that too!!!!)" I've always been morbidly fascinated by how the fetishists orient and organize around money, money, money, at the expense of other aspects of self. Republican values, I guess.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Nov 1, 2011 at 7:52 am
..and the excuses continue.....maybe she's a kleptomaniac and she will plead no contest and go off to rehab. After a few weeks in rehab, when most of the buzz dies down from this issue, she will start her newest election campaign with a shoplifting resume enhancement and a victim mentality. It's not really her fault...the voices told her to steal leather pants.......
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Nov 1, 2011 at 7:56 am
Candy, time to climb down from that pole in your living room and come to grips that the amount stolen is important because it's considered a federal offense, not because it's the amount for the cheap seats at an obami fundraiser.
Unbelievable that this mom was separated from her child for forgetting to pay for a sandwich she had already consumed at the store. She paid for all her groceries but forgot about the sandwich, and when approached by security, they explained the mistake and offered to pay but the store said no and instead took the woman and husband to be booked at jail and their child to protective custody!
It happened at Safeway, and I think it is ridiculous.
Posted by wait and see, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 1, 2011 at 8:26 am
"the amount stolen is important"
If that is the case, then why was a mom arrested and her child taken into custody for forgetting to pay for a 5 dollar sandwich at Safeway? See my post above for the full article. The mom, btw, was pregnant and hungry and shopping so she ate a sandwich and forgot to pay when she paid for the rest of her groceries, an innocent mistake, and only a 5 dollar deal, yet she was booked in jail and separated from her child for 18 hrs
Posted by Another disappointed TAXPAYER!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Is it just a coincidence that the very next day AFTER her arrest, I saw Assembllywoman Hayashi's name on a list of our illustrious representatives in SACTO who had received the most $$$$ from another lobbying group? That list was about 20 names long, and all but one were Democrats. Coincidence? I don't think so!
Last week I drove back from a 3500 mile trip to the Midwest, and it wasn't until I re-entered my dear California that I was reminded just how BAD roads can be!! We were in 5 other states, and the roads were fantastic, and maintenance work was being done. I-80 coming down from Donner is atrocious!!!! I know that is a Odifficult road to maintain, but I have to ask myself -- WHAT REALLY HAPPENS TO ALL THE GAS-TAX MONEY THAT WE CALIFORNIANS PAY?? Or, does it get spent at Neiman-Marcus-- or worse, how many of us can shop there, and how many people in our Assembly and Senate shop there? I think this is a valid question.
Someone said it earlier, but it's always a "misunderstanding" when one gets caught! I'd bet a lot that this is NOT the first time this has happened in this lady's career...it rarely is. And, yes, I know and respect our Constitution!!
A source tells us that store employees thought Hayashi was acting suspiciously Oct. 24 before she entered a dressing room to try on some clothes.
Those suspicions were reinforced when she came out with a Neiman bag in her hand, but not all the merchandise she had carried in, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.
A surveillance camera later filmed Hayashi leaving the store with the bag, at which point security guards detained her.
So, it would appear that earlier, during the same day, she had purchased other merchandise, then continued "shopping".
At that point the items in question were placed in her prior-purchase bag.
Then according to her spokesman, Sam Singer, "the assemblywoman had intended to pay for the merchandise on a different floor. She went to the cafe first, got distracted and accidentally walked out without paying"
So, we are to believe that she loaded the merchandise into the prior bag, was going to pay for it "on another floor", "after eating at the cafe", distracted by texting and cell phone(s).
So, put another shopper into that position. Perhaps a teenage girl at Macys in Stoneridge. Should we assume she is also just distracted, and inadvertently mixed up.
How about a young black man at Macys in San Leandro? Just too busy texting, mixed up, inadvertent mistake?
Where, and for who, do you draw the line and assume it was all innocent?
If 100 people get caught doing the same thing, how many can we assume did so inadvertently? One, three, eighty eight?
You decide. Apparently the SF District Attorney is not going to drop this case. By now, its too high profile.
Perhaps a plea bargain? BTW, the cutoff for grand theft from petty theft is $950.
Smarter to do all your shoplifting at a Walmart where it would be almost impossible to reach the grand theft limit.
However, if you enter a store with the intent to shoplift, then I think there is another charge beyond petty theft.
Posted by Nic, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In a good economy Nieman would probably just factor it in to leakage and raise their prices on their inventory to cover losses. I guess that maybe now things are tight for them too so they are paying more attention to the thieves that cause the prices to go up for everybody else. Not to worry, her hubby is a Judge and with leftie friends like Diane and Barbara they will find a way to make this go away Mary will come out the hero, Nieman Marcus the bad guy, after all they are the one percent. Too bad, thats one of the reasons we have so much unrest today, the crooked polititians get away with things that you and me would go to jail for.
Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2011 at 9:52 am
Please understand that as an esteemed Democrat public official, Mary Hayashi is indeed above the law.
Let us all be thankful that she only targets high-end retail stores for shoplifting - and doesn't come to our homes and take our stuff. After all, she's entitled to it as our elected representative - in fact as a Democrat; I know she would like to raise our taxes - basically steal from us the "legal" way.
She already got away with breaking campaign finance laws, so she's testing the waters to see how much she can get away with. In fact, she probably ought to have the SF Chronicle reporter who broke the story killed in retribution. How dare he exercise his first amendement right and besmirch an esteemed, fashionable Korean-American politician such as herself? Or maybe have the Neiman Marcus store manager who filed charges killed. She'd probably get away with it.
The bad thing about the liberal East Bay is that once a Democrat gets into power, they know they are protected and there is no touching them. Most of the electorate is too ignorant to get involved in the political process and at least police the reigning Democrat party so that the representatives are less openly and blatantly corrupt. For instance, Fortney Pete Stark openly threatens, mocks and chastises his constituents in public forums, he usually gets about 80% of the vote.
We get what we vote for, maybe this will open peoples' eyes to the self-aggrandizement, feelings of superiorty and downright contempt for the electorate that our local Democrat officials have for us.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm
Concerned Californian said: "In fact, she probably ought to have the SF Chronicle reporter who broke the story killed in retribution. How dare he exercise his first amendement right and besmirch an esteemed, fashionable Korean-American politician such as herself? Or maybe have the Neiman Marcus store manager who filed charges killed. She'd probably get away with it."
Posted by Dyanne, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Nov 4, 2011 at 7:56 am
I can try to understand someone being overwhelmed with shopping and getting some work done at the same time, but seriously!!! A pair of long leather pants, a skirt and a blouse??? How do you NOT know that you are stepping out of the store with these items in you bag??
I'm curious as to what was in the bag that was so heavy she could not tell that she had put an entire outfit in her bag before "walking out" of the store.
None of what she is claiming makes any sense or basic logic to me at all.
Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Nov 4, 2011 at 8:08 am
Sam - in your looney liberal world, the criminal is the victim/hero; elected officials are above the law, chasing business away (such is happening in Oakland) is good, and economic producers are bad.
And see how fast you fall into personal attacks when you can't refute what was said? You'd probably do really well on those MTV "Yo mama" name-calling contests - right up your "intellectual" alley.
So if you're not getting paid to defend Mary - are you doing it out of love? Maybe you're a criminal yourself and hoping to curry favor with Mr. Hayashi for when you get caught with your illegal activities?
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:43 am
Concerned Californian said: "So if you're not getting paid to defend Mary - are you doing it out of love? Maybe you're a criminal yourself and hoping to curry favor with Mr. Hayashi for when you get caught with your illegal activities?"
Ah, hah, Concerned Californian! I'm not going to get caught!
Posted by Jason, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm
There could be some merit to those who say she was distracted. She may have been wondering either how she was going to look in leather pants at her age or how it would look to the "99%" that she shops at Nieman Marcus.
Posted by nana, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:26 am
We are from the hayward area and we hear and read so much about people in our government doing wrong and yet some one always says they didn't mean to or forgot,well if an every day American Legal did that we'd be in jail it's time to get these people out of office and never get into any position that gives them the right to handle money or our government in any way. We have a President that is trying to change our consitution and our America and nobaody is even telling the people the truth on where he is putting our money over sea's folks wake up he brought his vans from canada is that standing by American made NO SO WERE TRIED OF BEING STABBED IN THE BACK BY OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICALS IT'S TIME TO STAND UP FOR THE TRUE aMERICAN'S NOW NOT LATER AND IF IT STARTS WITH THIS WOMEN SO BE KIT. tHEY ALL TAKE BUT DO THEY GIVE BACK TO cALIFORNIA OR CLOSE ARE BODERS TO KEEP US SAFE no.
Posted by Dred, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm
With the foamy-mouthed hatred and venom being expressed on these threads, it should be pretty obvious to any clear-thinking individual that it is a good thing we have procedural rules and laws in place that place the burden of showing guilt upon prosecutors. Thank goodness we have protections against vigilantism and the sickness and self-loathing that is at its core.
Posted by Assembly Dist. resident, a resident of Dublin, on Nov 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Regarding Hayashi running for re-election.
She is termed out from being re-elected to that seat, but she has been raising money to run for the State Senate seat that comes up either in 2012 or 2014.
I'm not exactly sure about the when that senate seat comes open because of redistricting. However apparently she has raised some $200,000 for the attempt to gain a senate seat for another potential terms of 4 years each.
If she cops a plea, even to a lesser charge, I'd say that should disqualify her in the minds of about 90% of the voting public.
People should stay aware of this case so that the SF Dist. Attny doesn't think they can just let it fade away to a misdemeanor.
Fair is fair. What would happen to a young man caught under the same circumstances at Southland Mall in Hayward?
He'd have to be fairly strong to cart away $2,500 worth of clothes.
Imagine 60 pair of Levis... or 250 T-shirts...
Just a fair trial is all we want. Perhaps all the facts aren't out yet. I'm sure they could get her phone and texting records that coincide with the precise moments shown before and after she left the store. Packed with intense phone and texting, or only a few calls while in the cafe. Not that those calls would give a excuse, but they'd be something that might raise a slight doubt.
Then again, if that worked, every shop lifter could claim the same.
Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Nov 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm
To the person who posted to Mary in Japanese - Mary is Korean-American (Kankoku-jin) - she took her husband's surname when she got married.
She's going to use the Winona defence. Since she's termed out of the Assembly, but realizes she's not Senate material; she's going to try a new career in acting - and her first role will be in "Sisterhood of the Stolen Leather Pants."
Posted by Wasted Opportunity, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:06 am
The Pleasanton Weekly comments section is of as much value as a 30 second political attack ad with zero substance or value for our democracy. Occasionally, substance creeps in from all corners of reason and political ideology. However, most of what is hear is more harmful than useful in our society.