Imagine that your son or daughter was arrested for stealing a purse from a car. When you get a telephone call from the Duval or St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, you assume that your child was charged with a Florida theft crime. Instead, your child has been charged with Florida burglary of a conveyance. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I have represented Jacksonville juvenile delinquents and adults in Northeast Florida for this charge. The reason that stealing a purse or other items from a car is burglary is because you must enter the vehicle to take the property. This is a felony charge in the State of Florida.
News4Jax.com recently ran a story about car burglaries in the area. Police departments have see a rise in car break-ins all over Florida. People are breaking into cars from Central Florida to St. Augustine to steal purses. It does not take much time for a car burglary to occur. Channel 4 of Jacksonville reports:
“Police say it takes less than a minute for someone to break into a car, grab a handbag and get away…. Channel 4 Crime Analyst Ken Jefferson said the thieves have it down to a science. ‘They’ll pull up to the car and then they’ll conspicuously see the item, check the door. If it’s locked, crush glass, which doesn’t make a lot of noise, get back in their car, and they’re gone in less than a minute.’ Next, Jefferson said, the thieves get to a bank to use your checks, credit cards and whatever else they’ve gotten a hold of. To protect yourself, Jefferson said don’t make it easy for the crooks by locking your valuables out of sight. These criminals do not want to spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out what’s in your car and then breaking inside. Jefferson said. ‘If they see something that they want on the inside that’s in plain sight that you’ve left there, you’re going to become a victim.’ ”
A burglary arrest in St. Johns County is very serious. As a felony, it could result in a prison sentence. The same is true for Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties. Police will end up making some arrests for the car thefts. Before making an arrest, they will try to talk to the suspect. If you are being questioned about a burglary or another Florida theft crime, talk to a St. Johns County lawyer for help. You may call (904) 564-2525 to speak with an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.