February 24, 2014
A 25-year-old Thousand Oaks woman has been arrested on suspicion of committing burglary at a used-car dealership. According to a news report in The Ventura County Star, the woman reportedly smashed windows and removed property from a business on Thompson Boulevard. Officials say they observed the woman removing computer components through a broken window. They also believe that she smashed the windows and stole property from two vehicles. She faces charges for commercial burglary, vehicle burglary, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
California Penal Code 459 defines burglary as entering a structure, room, or locked vehicle with the intent to commit a crime, such as theft. Burglary from a structure can involve breaking and entering or entry without force. Auto burglary, however, requires an actual break-in.
Common examples of criminal acts that can lead to burglary charges in Ventura include:
- Entering an open garage to steal items such as a bicycle
- Breaking into a home to steal electronics or jewelry
- Entering a store with the intention of stealing items such as clothes
- Breaking into a car to steal the radio
- Entering a bank with the intent to cash a fraudulent check
The penalties for these types of criminal acts are severe. Anyone charged with breaking into a home will face first-degree burglary punishable by up to six years in state prison. Anyone charged with breaking into a commercial building will face second-degree burglary punishable as either a misdemeanor or felony. A conviction for misdemeanor commercial burglary can result in up to one year in county jail while felony commercial burglary is punishable by up to three years in state prison.
Anyone facing burglary charges in Ventura would be well advised to research a number of possible defenses before agreeing to a plea deal. A skilled Ventura criminal defense attorney may be able to prove in court that the case involved a mistaken identity or that the defendant did not intend to commit a theft until after entering the building. It may even be possible to show that the defendant believed he or she owned the items. There are many potential defenses that can help the defendant avoid jail time and fight the charges.