Eighteen-year-old Alexis Walters was the victim of burglary when property, including an Apple MacBook Pro laptop and a Canon camera, was stolen from her car, Las Vegas police said -- and two suspects each have been charged with five felony counts of burglary and possession of stolen property.
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It might seem like a run-of-the-mill theft case -- except the two suspects are Walters' mother and stepfather, and their lawyer said the mom helped buy the electronics in the first place.
"You can't steal something that's already yours," said Todd Leventhal, the attorney representing Walters' mom, Shanna Silva, 36, and stepdad, Andrew Sicad, 32.
Walters told police that her mother stole the items, with a total value estimated at just over $2,500, after the two adults kicked her out of their home, according to a report filed by a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department detective.
The stepfather later pawned the disputed items, according to the report, and Walters moved in with her stepmother.
Leventhal did not dispute some of those details, but cast them in a different light, saying the case was "not all that complicated."
It came down, he said, to a teenage girl who wanted to go to college and needed her parents to buy her some items for school, including the computer. By his account, her grades began to slip and she started racking up high phone bills. Her mother and stepfather told her to move out.
In Leventhal's account, the computer and the camera never left the family home. They were pawned, with the $700 they garnered being used to defray the phone bills Walters had run up, he said.
Sicad was jailed Tuesday. He was released after posting $2,000 bail.
Silva recently moved to Texas, Leventhal said, but now has an arrest warrant against her and must return to Nevada, either to serve jail time or post bond.
Bringing five felony charges against each of his clients amounted to prosecutorial overkill, Leventhal said.
"This should have been resolved as a family matter," he said. "The police should have told the family, 'Resolve this yourself or take it to small-claims court.' It's the kind of dispute Judge Judy hears, not the kind where you bring felony counts. It's insane."
Efforts by ABC News to contact Alexis Walters were unsuccessful.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment beyond the police report, and the Clark County District Attorney's Office did not respond to a request for comment.