by David DeMullé
Kurt Koesler went from Hero to Zero when he started stealing copies of The Foothills Paper from the DIY Center and stores in Tujunga. Not content with his petty thefts, Koesler — who recently lost his home to foreclosure — would then go to the Starbucks parking lot on Foothill Blvd. to braggingly post pictures of the stolen newspapers as they sat in the front seat of his truck, and he has stolen newspapers at least twice a month, according to his posts.
Theft of newspapers as undertaken by Koessler is a misdemeanor and not a felony so the LAPD have no real interest in arresting him. California State Penal Code 490.7(a)(c) states: “The Legislature finds that free newspapers provide a key source of information to the public…that the unauthorized taking of multiple copies of free newspapers…to deprive others of the opportunity to read them, or for any other reason, injures the rights of readers, writers, publishers, and advertisers, and impoverishes the marketplace of ideas in California.
A first violation of subdivision (b) shall be an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $250, and a second or subsequent violation shall be punishable as an infraction or a misdemeanor [with]…up to 10 days in a county jail.”
Encouraged and praised by some of the mentally challenged readers of his Facebook site, Koesler would make almost daily runs to the DIY store to steal more papers and then brag about it yet again.
Koesler gained fame in the past by cleaning up trash under the 210 freeway bridge over the wash and posting that the transients were “worthless vermin and should be eradicated.” He even posted instructions on how to use “cracked glass marbles” and a sling shot with which to attack the homeless.