On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Essex County.
Skillman and Landau. The opinion of the court was delivered by Landau, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).
The State of New Jersey here appeals a judgment dismissing the indictment of defendant-respondent Doreen Tsoi by the Essex County Grand Jury for third degree theft (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9). The State urges that dismissal of the indictment based upon double jeopardy and mandatory joinder was improper. We agree, and reverse.
The indictment encompassed multiple acts of theft by embezzlement alleged to occur between on or about June 25, 1985, and on or about November 14, 1985, from the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Short Hills.
On November 13, 1985, the Abercrombie & Fitch security manager reported to the Millburn police discovery of a number of unexplained shortages, and the possible involvement of one or more as yet unknown store employees. On November 14, 1985, store officials brought Tsoi, a sales clerk, to the Millburn police headquarters where they signed a single complaint against her for theft that day of $85 from her assigned cash register. She had confessed to the single theft in a handwritten informal statement dated November 14, noting the transaction and sales check numbers. On the same day, she wrote and signed a second brief note which stated, "I've been doing these fauders*fn1 [ sic ] for about three months."*fn2
On November 18, 1985, Tsoi appeared before the Millburn Municipal Court on the November 14 complaint. She was not represented by counsel. The transcript does not disclose
whether the municipal prosecutor participated. The entire proceeding occupies one page of transcript and is here set forth:
THE CLERK: Doreen Tsoi, Docket No. C1894-85.
THE COURT: Doreen Tsoi, is it?
THE COURT: You are charged on the 14th day of November of this year with committing an act of shoplifting [ sic ] by altering sales slips while employed at Abercrombie and Finch [ sic ] for monetary gain. This is in ...