This depends on the local juvenile court and the timing of the offenses. If the allegations occured in a short span of time then the child is better off than if it occurred over a prolong period. In Los Angeles, the situation may result in HOP (Home On Probation, no hall, no jail, no prison) depending on the circumstances which is why I suggest contacting someone in your area who has had juvenile matters. Many reputable attorneys offer a free consultation. I suggest contacting one soon while the facts are still fresh.
The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.
This depends on many factors: value of property, time between theft offenses, whether juvenile was on probation when theft occurred, family living situation, attendance and grades in school. For the first offense (petty theft) the matter will likely involve a diversion program without a conviction. Subsequent theft offenses will lead to juvenile convictions and probation and possibly custody time. If this is not a hypothetical question and you or your child faces juvenile prosecution you should consult a local criminal attorney experienced in juvenile cases.
I offer a free office or phone consultation: 408.313.5606. Best of luck.