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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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An alleged variation of an attempted "smash and grab" has California authorities searching for suspects. Police in Santa Cruz, California say that two men used sledgehammers while trying to break the glass cases holding watches at a jewelry store Friday. Police further assert that a third man, who entered the store with the two sledgehammer wielding men, used pepper spray to assault a female worker at the jewelry store.

Emergency responders reportedly treated the woman at the store. Police claim that the three young men fled the establishment empty handed after the alleged attempted theft Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, Santa Cruz Police reportedly fielded reports of an Audi driving recklessly in downtown Santa Cruz.

Authorities say that an Audi was found abandoned roughly an hour and a half after the alleged attempted robbery. A police spokesperson says that the Audi displayed dealer plates from an outfit in Oakland. The car dealership had not reported the car stolen, but says that the vehicle was taken from the auto-dealership lot.

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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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