Police in Manchester recently arrested a 30-year-old man for stealing copper from a Connecticut church. The missing metal downspouts and flashing, allegedly taken during three separate occasions in December and January, caused chaos during a church service. Parishioners rushed to contain damage caused by water gushing through the ceiling into St. Mary's Episcopal Church.
Theft, burglary and robbery are often interchangeable terms in common conversation, but legally, they are different things. While robbery and theft both involve obtaining someone else's property through illegal means, a burglary does not have to involve theft. Instead, a burglary is when a person enters any structure illegally with the intent to commit a crime. It is these two factors that are the most important to burglary charges.
A mandatory minimum sentence means that if you plead guilty to or are found guilty of a crime, the judge or jury is bound by law to impose at least a certain penalty. It is possible for the defendant to be sentenced to more than the mandatory minimum, but in most cases there is also a maximum sentence.
Just before Christmas, a Willimantic, Connecticut, man was arrested in a local Stop & Shop. Many times when you hear about an arrest in a grocery or convenience store, the charges are related to property crimes, burglary or shoplifting. In this case, the man faced charges associated with four warrants before he even entered the store.
Penalties can vary widely in criminal cases involving burglary and theft. From serious consequences related to larceny to less-threatening charges of shoplifting, possible consequences often depend on how much was allegedly stolen and how the robbery took place. In a recent Connecticut case, the robbery also included weapons, which could impact consequences.
Crime is, unfortunately, a relatively common thing in many American cities. It can be very frustrating for residents who are the victims of a crime to watch and wait for police to make an arrest. Often, residents see little evidence that their complaints are being followed up on, and so they attempt to apply more pressure on local police departments.
When police officers receive a call from the dispatch center sending them to a local home or area establishment, they never really know what they will encounter. They may end up providing assistance to an assault victim, issuing a citation for public intoxication or even making an arrest for domestic violence. Needless to say, they have to be prepared for anything.