On Sunday, October 23, a woman was walking her dogs near her home in the area of the San Bernardino National Forest. It was a little after six in the evening when the woman returned to a stranger in her home. In an effort to defend herself, she pulled bear pepper spray out and sprayed the intruder. This is an extremely potent version of the spray and is considered to be five times as strong as what is typically used by police officers.
The intruder fled from the home, got into his vehicle and raced away. He, however, crashed several miles away and suffered minor injuries. When police officer arrived at the scene, they noted the pepper spray and the valuables in the car. The defendant was taken to a local hospital and was then booked. He has since been charged with burglary and was released on a $125,000 bail.
During the booking process, it was discovered that the defendant was actually an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He has since been placed on administrative leave and there is currently an investigation from the internal affairs that is taking place.
Criminal charges relating to theft are taken extremely seriously by California law. According to §459 of the California Penal Code, a defendant is to be found guilty of burglary should they unlawfully enter into a house, dwelling, structure or building – no matter whether this is in regards to a floating home, a stable or even an outhouse. There does not necessarily need to be theft that took place for burglary to be successfully convicted, it simply must be proven that the defendant had felonious intentions. It is for this reason that this is a crime that is often referred to as "breaking and entering."
If you have recently been criminally charged with burglary or any other theft-related crime, it is in your best interests to get the involvement of a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney that you can trust to protect your best interests. At Okabe and Haushalter, we have earned a reputation for hard-hitting and aggressive representation even when the case is tough. We encourage you to contact a Los Angeles burglary lawyer from our legal team today if you would like to discuss your case more in-depth.