LOS ANGELES — Adding to her long string of legal troubles, Lindsay Lohan was in court again Wednesday afternoon, this time facing felony theft charges for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jewelry store.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Lohan, who is on probation for a 2007 DUI, is accused of putting on the necklace and leaving the store without paying for it. The owner of the store contacted the Los Angeles Police Department, which led to an investigation of the Jan. 22 incident. The resulting evidence was presented to the D.A.’s office last week.
During the arraignment, which was both televised and broadcast online, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz made it clear that Lohan’s celebrity status would neither help her current situation nor her ongoing legal problems.
“You’re just like everybody else,” Schwartz told the starlet. The judge’s blunt warning was due to the fact that Lohan’s probationary status for the 2007 DUI case, combined with the new felony charge, leaves her toying with the possibility of some serious jail time. “If you violate the law I will remand you and set no bail,” Schwartz cautioned. “Don’t push your luck.”
As reported in The Los Angeles Times, Lohan was seen by witnesses and security cameras trying on the $2,500 necklace at Kamofie & Company before it disappeared from the store. Other pictures soon followed, showing Lohan sporting the suspect piece of jewelry. While an associate of Lohan’s reportedly returned the necklace after it was learned that a search warrant for Lohan’s residence was issued, this failed to resolve the situation.
Though not responding to press inquiries, Lohan’s lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, did release the following statement on Saturday, before the Wednesday court appointment: “We vehemently deny these allegations and, if charges are filed, we will fight them in court, not in the press.”
Signs of tension between the defense and prosecution were evident when Chapman Holley pointed out to the judge that, aside from the felony theft charge, Lohan had been a good probationer.
“A good probationer doesn’t pick up a new case,” fired back Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers.
On behalf of Lohan, Chapman Holley entered a not guilty plea for the felony theft. Total bail amount for Lohan was set at $40,000 and Lohan was led out of the courtroom by deputies. Chapman Holley indicated that bail was prepared to be posted right away and Lohan was reportedly released. The next court date is scheduled for Feb. 23.
E!Online reports that following the arraignment, Dr. Drew Pinsky of “Celebrity Rehab” came to Lohan’s defense on Twitter in response to some negative attacks. “I am mortified how @Lindsaylohan is getting attacked when she is so fragile and just establishing her sobriety, not at all what she needs.”
“@drdrew thank you for your support,” Lohan responded. “I appreciate it.”