DOCUMENT: Florida, Stupid, Crime

Cops: Man Stole Nameplate Off Courtroom Door

Facebook photo shows suspect posing with sign

Steven Mulhall

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Stealing From Judge

MARCH 9--Meet Steven Mulhall.

The 21-year-old Florida man is facing a felony rap for allegedly prying a judge’s nameplate off a courtroom door, a crime that was solved after a photo showing Mulhall holding the hot sign was posted to his girlfriend’s Facebook page.

According to a sheriff's report, Mulhall last month removed the nameplate from Courtroom 5840 at the Broward County courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. He had appeared in court February 23 before Judge Michael Orlando in connection with a misdemeanor theft case.

A day later, Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies received an anonymous tip fingering Mulhall and his girlfriend in the theft of Orlando’s nameplate. A check of the woman’s Facebook page “showed the def. posing with the sign,” according to a sheriff’s report. Mulhall is pictured above in the Facebook photo (click to enlarge).

After matching up the Facebook photo with a mug shot of Mulhall, deputies busted him for stealing the sign, valued at $39.45. “The def. knew that the sign he was holding was stolen and thus deprive Broward County of it’s right to the sign,” noted Sgt. Daniel Lindsey.

While the theft of such an inexpensive item would normally be treated as a misdemeanor, since Mulhall (pictured in the adjacent booking photo) is on parole and has several prior petty theft convictions, the case has been upgraded to a felony.

Mulhall, a Coral Springs resident, was booked yesterday into the county jail and later released.

Last April, a man was arrested for stealing a judge's wooden gavel from an Ohio courtroom. The perp subsequently entered a no contest plea to a misdemeanor theft charge and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, fined $250, and ordered to make restitution to the Municipal Court magistrate whose gavel he pinched. (1 page)