The Florida Times-Union reports that a man is wanted for stealing more than $3,000 in video games from a Fleming Island Wal-Mart.
Theft crimes in Jacksonville may seem like minor charges, but they can involve serious prison sentences, especially if police investigators are able to establish the defendant participated in several cases.
Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys have seen how prosecutors stack charges against defendants, seemingly forcing them into a plea deal. If they charge a person with 30 counts of grand theft for instance, the fact that anyone could face that many counts of grand theft may sway jurors to think the person is guilty, even before any proof is presented.
Prosecutors know that, so sometimes this makes defendants take the first plea offer that comes around. But an aggressive defense attorney can work to get charges dismissed and create doubt about whether the state has enough evidence to go forward on other charges.
In this case, the newspaper reports, a man walked into the store and for an hour piled up Madden NFL 2012 video games from a display and walked out of the store with $3,200 worth of merchandise. By the time video surveillance, which allegedly caught the acts, was reviewed, the man was gone. At a sticker price of $60 each, the man allegedly got away with more than 50 games.
Clay County officials are still attempting to find the man who allegedly was caught on video pushing a shopping cart to the display and grabbing a number of games. He then is seen going to the hardware department and begins opening the game cases with a screwdriver.
The discs are stuffed in his pants while the cases are stuffed behind other merchandise. The newspaper reports 54 games were taken from the display. Officials say he got away in a white four-door vehicle.
While it appears investigators are leaning heavily on the video surveillance, it will be interesting to see how clear the video is compared to images of the suspect, if one is arrested. Sometimes, police tell the media that video surveillance has identified a person, but in reality, the video is so fuzzy it can't possibly be used to identify a person.
Typically, in cases where a person is arrested for a large-scale theft crime in Jacksonville, it is only after he or she has sold the stolen goods that they are caught. This sometimes requires using the word of less-than-credible pawn shop workers or others who may not be trusted.
Shaky evidence and even shakier witnesses must be challenged by an aggressive attorney, regardless of the charges faced by the defendant. A person's liberty mustn't be stripped away because of weak evidence presented by the prosecution. They have the burden, not the defendant, to prove the charges beyond all reasonable doubt. It is not the defendant's responsibility to disprove the charges or prove him or herself innocent.