Man Arrested in Connection with Orange County Church Burglaries

A 39-year-old man was arrested in connection with a series of burglaries throughout Orange County. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the man was arrested outside a family member’s apartment in Anaheim.

Officials believe that the man stole from the Our Lady of Peace Korean Catholic Center in Irvine on June 10, 2013. He has been accused of stealing a safe during that burglary. He is also a suspect in two previous burglaries at the Mandir Temple in Laguna Beach and the Islamic Center in Irvine. The authorities have arrested four additional suspects in connection with the burglary spree.

There are many different types of thefts, and they each carry significant penalties. California law defines burglary as entering a structure with the intent to commit a theft. Under California Penal Code 459: “Every person who enters any house, room,” or other building, “with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.”

It is possible to face burglary charges without taking anything. The prosecution only has to prove that you entered a building or some other enclosure with the intent to commit a theft. If charged with burglary, you could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. Factors that will affect the severity of the penalties include the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. If the prosecution chooses to pursue felony charges, the defendant could face up to six years in a California state prison.

A skilled Orange County criminal defense attorney will work to fight the charges and negotiate for reduced penalties. Possible questions a skilled attorney will consider include:

  • Intent: Intent is a key factor.  If you did not intend to commit a theft or other felony, you cannot be convicted of burglary.
  • Consent: If you owned the property or were invited onto the premises, you may be able to fight the burglary charges.
  • Mistake of fact: you believed that you were taking an item which belonged to you.

The skilled criminal defense team at the Law Offices of David A. Stein has a history of handling burglary and other theft cases in Orange County. If you or a loved one is facing burglary or theft charges, please contact us at 949-445-0040 for a no-cost consultation.