Business owners in the Port St. Lucie area are breathing a collective sigh of relief with the recent arrest of a Port St. Lucie resident who is being accused of multiple burglaries in the area. According to the Port St. Lucie police department, the suspect fit the description that was given by an anonymous individual using the Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers network. The Port St. Lucie police then located the suspect during the investigation process based on a description of a vehicle being used in several of burglaries.
According to multiple police reports, a burglar was using a Buick to run through the store front windows of small businesses to gain entry, immediately going to the cash register. In other cases, entry was gained by throwing an object through the window or prying a drive-through window open. The amounts of money were relatively small, with one business owner only reporting the theft of $29 and another reporting a theft of $8.
The real problem for the businesses is the physical damage, in particular the store windows. Burglaries of a similar description were also reported in Indian River, Martin, and Lucie counties, totaling approximately 20 reports of theft since February. The suspect was arrested based on the reported description of his clothing that police noticed during questioning, along with reportedly admitting to one of the burglaries.
After running a criminal history check on the suspect it was determined that he has a significant track record of illegal behavior, with most of the convictions being attributed to a drug problem. He is also a registered sex offender, stemming from a 2000 conviction. The suspect was only charged in three actual burglaries, two felonies and one misdemeanor, and then was incarcerated without setting a bond amount.
There could easily be several defenses that a Port St. Lucie criminal defense attorney could establish, including the fact that the man was effectively arrested on hearsay evidence provided via an anonymous tip. Although police will use any lead they can find, these crime stopper programs can also result in charges on innocent individuals, as the state must prove the charge is valid. In addition, the man’s criminal history also appears to have influenced the arresting officer. And, the only real evidence of the admission is police testimony, which could be redirected by calling the officer to the stand for questioning.
If you or anyone you know has been charged with a crime in this manner contact the Port St. Lucie criminal defense law firm of Jonathan Jay Kirschner and let them investigate the charges and evaluate the case for a potential dismissal.