19-year-old Patrick Scanlon is accused of trying to exit the Dubliner bar with two kegs under his arm. on Saturday night with two empty kegs – each worth $200. Scanlon said he was in Boca Raton for five weeks and was struggling to save money, so he figured he’d steal some kegs and sell them each on Craigslist for $25.
Jacksonville theft crimes typically involve those who steal from private individuals, stores, banks, or other businesses. However, when the place being broken into and stolen from is a church, the situation becomes increasingly more difficult for the accused.
Under Florida law, theft crimes are crimes of dishonesty and will be available to any potential employer to see. Therefore, being convicted of a crime such as this can have horrible consequences. In this particular example, if Scanlon ever tries to get a job as a server at a restaurant, he will be quickly shown the door, because the store owners will be afraid he’ll steal their kegs too.
Many times, restaurants, stores and other facilities will have outdoor surveillance that will be used as evidence in trying to convict the accused of the theft crime. 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.
Even if one was not charged with stealing the item itself, one can still be charged with the crime of dealing in stolen property. Many do not realize that the mere buying of property one know or should have known was stolen does not establish one was dealing in Stolen Property if there is no evidence that one intended to resell the property.
Jacksonville police also use Craigslist and other communication forms as a way to investigate these crimes by going after those who advertise buying and selling air condition units, lawn mowers, and other easily stolen items that one has an unusual quantity of. Many of these advertisements, particularly regarding selling title-less cars on websites such as Craigslist are now against the law due to a recent change in the law. This leads to many convictions of either Grand Theft or Petit Theft for knowledge of receiving stolen property.
The charge can be particularly tough to understand for many and may end in a more severe punishment than others, depending on the judge. These situations can sometimes leave some first time offenders in worse situations than second or third time offenders because of the judge they come before. In these situations, one needs an experienced Jacksonville theft crimes defense attorney to mount the best defense possible, so that no matter what judge one goes before, one will have a better chance of having a more favorable set of circumstances, possibly even acquittal.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Sources: Attempted keg heist lands man in the drink, say police, The Orlando Sun-Sentinel