I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
Only the county District Attorney's office has the legal ability to file criminal
charges. All you can do is file a complaint
of theft with the police department in the city where the theft occurred and allow them to pass on the information to the DA's office.
As for the small claims action, do know that under CA law, small claims limits you to seeking $10,000 in damages and so while you could sue in small claims, you would have to waive any damages in excess of the monetary jurisdiction of the court
. You could however choose to sue in limited jurisdiction Superior Court or Superior Court and seek the full value of the instrument as well as costs and your legal fees as well as punitive damages---perhaps far exceeding your actual loss.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you.
I wish you and yours the best in 2015,