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Santa Cruz criminal defense attorneyMany people mistakenly use the terms burglary, robbery, and theft interchangeably. In everyday conversation, this is not an issue. Most people understand the terms to mean that someone is accused of taking something from someone else without permission. However, there are vast differences between the terms when it comes to the law. Not only do they mean different things, but they also carry varying penalties. Therefore, when reading the charges filed, it is important to understand what you are being accused of before you can defend yourself against it.

Burglary

Burglary, by definition, is breaking and entering into a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony. This crime occurs without the consent of the victim and involves opening a previously closed area to enter the property. How the premises becomes open makes no matter. If a window or a door is opened that was unlocked, it is still considered breaking. Entering is any physical portion of the intruders body crossing the exterior boundary of the premises, even if it is just a hand or a foot. California statutes define burglary as “entering any home, room, apartment, store, barn, floating home (or many other qualifying buildings) when the doors are secure, for the purpose of committing grand or petit larceny.”

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In 2010, federal judge ordered the release of a man who was sentenced under California's three strikes law in 1999. State officials delayed the man's release as the man's appeal works its way through the courts. State officials claim that technical issues in filing the criminal appeal justify holding the innocent man in prison until the courts rule on the legal issues. However, a federal magistrate ordered that the man be released pending the outcome of the appeal.

The release follows the federal court ruling finding the man innocent of the alleged third strike crime. The judge ruled that the man had not received proper representation in his criminal defense in the 1999 trial.

Despite the federal ruling finding the man "actually innocent" of the alleged crime, the legal issues are not necessarily over, according to KTLA. The man had been sentenced under California's three strikes law after being convicted for allegedly carrying a concealed knife during a 1998 bar fight in Northridge, California.

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Police in Oakland, California arrested a parolee on suspicion of theft crimes after searching his cellphone Sunday morning. This blog has previously discussed a variety of issues where law enforcement needs to obtain a search warrant. However, Oakland Police say that no search warrant was necessary in Sunday's investigation because the man is on parole.

What law enforcement claims to have found in the cellphone search were pictures of a Gold-Rush era jewelry box and a pistol which were stolen in two separate alleged burglaries at the Oakland Museum. Law enforcement arrested the parolee after the investigation.

Police believe that the man is linked to a burglary at the museum on January 9 when the jewelry box disappeared, and also to a burglary November 12, when gold nuggets and gold-rush era pistols disappeared. However, for now at least, the man is charged with receiving stolen property related to the box.

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Law enforcement took two people into custody at a Salinas, California truck stop. Authorities claim the two can be linked to a December 31, 2012 burglary at the same location. Police claim that a man smashed a glass case at the store in December and took several items.

Staff members at the gas station and truck stop claim that a woman returned to the store in early January seeking to return some of the items that authorities believe were stolen during the late December commercial burglary. Store personnel claim that the woman was seeking a refund for the allegedly stolen high-priced items.

Monday, as several California Highway Patrol officers were inside the store, authorities claim that a man and woman walked into the establishment. Staff members claim that the man was the one who stole items in the late December incident, while they also claim that the woman is the same person who allegedly tried to return stolen items to the store for a refund in early January. Store personnel called over the CHP officers, who reportedly detained the man and woman until Salinas Police officers could respond to the location.

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Police in Angels Camp, California say that a Citrus Heights man stole five bottles of champagne on New Year's Eve, loaded the bottles into a golf cart, and attempted to make a roughly 74 mile trek home in the stolen golf cart. Police claim that the 46-year-old California man had been staying at a resort in Angels Camp for the holiday. But authorities say that the man had an argument and decided to leave the resort.

Police claim that the Citrus Heights man spotted a golf cart in a garage roughly 20 minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve. That's when police say the man decided to drive home. Authorities accuse the man of taking the electric golf cart and the champagne and hitting the highway.

Police believe that the man took a wrong turn while searching for Highway 4 and got lost. Law enforcement arrested the man near Copperopolis on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police claim that the man drove more than 13 miles in the cart. Officials claim that the man admitted to stealing the machine.

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Police in San Mateo recently issued a public statement over a perceived increase in residential burglaries in the city. Law enforcement claims that they enlisted the help of what media reports describe as neighborhood agencies to assist in investigations. The city says it put in place a rapid response system for burglaries.

San Mateo Police say that a call came in reporting a possible burglary in progress. The California Highway Patrol dispatched air support and the neighborhood agencies reportedly set up a perimeter around the area where the possible burglary report came from.

San Mateo Police claim that three young men, two juveniles and an 18-year-old adult were found during the search of the area. The three males were arrested on suspicion of burglary and other charges. Police now accuse the three, ranging in age from 13 to 18-years old of as many as seven burglaries in San Mateo.

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Law enforcement has made four arrests in connection with the theft of gold and gems from a museum in Mariposa, California. However, police say that more arrests are not out of the question. With the size of the alleged take in the break-in, police apparently are looking to round up as many suspects as possible.

Authorities say that men broke into the California State Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa during the light of day and ransacked the place during the alleged robbery. Officials say that the alleged thieves were disguised as ninjas as they entered the museum. After gaining entry, officers say that the men moved two workers to a back room, and then went on a rampage-smashing display cases inside the museum.

The alleged thieves set off an alarm while accessing a vault at the facility. Authorities say that the alarm triggered an automatic sequence to close the vault door. The intruders reportedly were able to escape from the vault before the door slammed shut. A nugget reportedly mined during the California Gold Rush weighing nearly 14 pounds made of crystalline gold is housed in the vault, but reportedly was left intact at the museum.

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Police claim that a 38-Year-old Morgan Hill woman went shopping with her 10-year-old daughter at a grocery store last week, and then fled from the store when staff confronted the young girl. Police claim that the mother and daughter had nearly filled a grocery car and planned to leave the store without paying. Law enforcement accuses the woman of directing her daughter to wait near the front door with the groceries while the mother retrieved her car in the alleged shoplifting event.

However, when staff from the store walked out to confront the girl, the mother is accused of leaving her daughter behind. Police claim that the mother and daughter were previously successful in a similar theft crime roughly two weeks earlier.

After the most recent allegations, authorities say that they were able to contact the woman on the telephone and learned the woman was traveling with her 11-month-old son. Law enforcement issued an alert for an endangered and missing child. A deputy in Nevada reportedly found a car matching the description of the woman's SUV outside a hotel in Fernley, Nevada.

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California officials say that an 82-year-old woman will be facing seven counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary after a police detective says that he recognized the woman's hair in a security video. Law enforcement says that the woman has a so-called M.O. that has led to many arrests for California theft crimes. The woman reportedly told authorities after her arrest last week that this is a case of mistaken identity.

Like the current allegations, in 2009 a Torrance Police detective had claimed to have recognized the woman in a security video, based upon a bulletin issued several years earlier from Beverly Hills. After that incident, the woman was given a three year prison term, and was released on parole after serving nine months.

The newest charges are being brought in Los Angeles County. Authorities say that the woman targeted doctor's offices. Police began receiving reports from doctor's offices claiming that cash was missing from the office. That is when detectives looked to find security videos, and one detective says that he recognized the woman's hair on the footage. Authorities say that the alleged thefts fit the woman's M.O.

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Tagged in: Burglary theft crime
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