Apparently, everyone did not get the memo that said that this is the season for giving, not stealing. The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reported that hundreds of toys that were earmarked for the “needy”, food and gift cards and computers were among items stolen from an Essex Street building in Lawrence Massachusetts last week. The building was the office location for a computer company, a recording studio and a school for chaplains. The stolen items included eighteen gold plated badges that were to be awarded to students at an upcoming Chaplaincy graduation.
If stealing were not enough to dampen the holiday season, the culprits left water faucets running causing overflow and additional damage to the building. Tenants who went to the recording studio during the early morning hours noticed dripping water from the ceiling. Investigation revealed that the building had been broken into and ransacked.
When the perpetrators are caught they may face a number of charges including breaking and entering a building in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, malicious destruction of property over $250.00 and larceny over $250.00. If a person is convicted for breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony he or she faces the possibility of serving twenty years in state prison or two and one half years in jail.
In order to prove breaking and entering the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant broke and entered into a building in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony. In Massachusetts the breaking and entering are considered two distinct acts. Areas that are often litigated in these types of cases are whether the defendant actually broke into the building and/or whether he or she actually entered the premises. For example, the opening of a window or door, which was partly open, further than it was before in a manner in which was intended to be used is not considered a breaking. However, going through and open window that is not intended for use as an entrance is considered a breaking.
Although the facts of this case are not all known, in the event that anyone is arrested a viable defense may be that the individual was misidentified. As in many cases when a defendant is not arrested at the scene, an experienced Massachusetts defense lawyer must examine the circumstances under which a witness identified the defendant. The lighting, the opportunity for a witness to observe the defendant and whether the identifying witness was familiar with the defendant are a few area that must be explored.
Our Attorney has specialized in criminal law for over twenty years. If you have been charged with a crime, or expect to be charged with a crime, and you want experience and tenacity on your side contact Our Attorney online or and she will get to work on your case immediately.