A pet store in Jacksonville FL was burglarized last Friday and two puppies were stolen. The store is located in the Mandarin area. Lynn Lamereaux is the owner of Pet World on San Jose Boulevard. “Lamereaux has owned Pet World for 25 years. Friday night, shortly before 11 p.m. a burglar alarm went off. She was contacted and police responded to her business.” She stated “When I got here [the] door was busted out.” It appears that the burglar only took the two dogs. They are valuable puppies. “A 3-month-old Morkie valued at more than $1,000 was taken, as well as a 9-week-old English bulldog valued at more than $3,000.” (First Coast News article)
This Mandarin pet store has had animals stolen before. The pets are usually taken during normal business hours while the store is open. Pet World is often able to get the dogs back, because people show their families and friends that they have a very expensive animal. Then, the person would be reported. This can certainly create a problem if the new owner was not the person that stole the animal. The new owner may be falsely accused of a crime.
When I look at this case as a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I see a variety of criminal charges that may result from this scenario. In this case, there is an obvious Jacksonville burglary to a structure. Someone broke into the store with the intent to commit Jacksonville grand theft while inside. The burglary is a felony charge. If the person would have stolen the dogs while the store was open, this would have been a grand theft charge. The theft is grand theft instead of Jacksonville petty theft due to the value of the property taken. Grand theft is also a felony crime. Petty theft is a misdemeanor.
There may also be an issue with dealing in stolen property. If the person that stole the dogs sells them, he or she is dealing in stolen property. What about the person that purchases the animal? In order for that person to be charged, he must know that the property was stolen or he should have known that it was stolen. A person that purchased the animal without a clue that it was stolen is not guilty of dealing in stolen property. If the purchaser should have known that the animal was stolen, then he may be found guilty of dealing in stolen property. The Jacksonville dealing in stolen property law is Florida Statute Section 812.019. This law states “Any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that he or she knows or should know was stolen shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree.”
If you are being questioned about a Florida theft crime, you should talk to a Jacksonville criminal attorney first. You may call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525. Just because you want to speak with a Jacksonville lawyer before you talk to the police, it does not mean that you have done anything wrong. If you have been arrested, you should only talk about the facts of your case with your Jacksonville criminal lawyer.