Officers from the Lacey Township Police Department are currently investigating an alleged theft reported by a man in Lanoka Harbor. The alleged victim told police that his handgun was stolen out of his garage recently.
According to Lacey police, a man reported his gun stolen out of the garage at his residence on Clairmore Avenue in Lanoka Harbor sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, August 6th. The firearm has been described as a 9 mm worth approximately $300. The man told police that he left the gun in the unlocked garage because he intended to clean it.
Now, police are searching for any potential leads as to who may have stolen the handgun. If they do ultimately identify and charge a suspect in connection with this incident, the person may face a host of serious criminal charges. First and foremost, they may be charged with burglary, which is typically a third degree crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. According to this statute, a person can be charged with burglary if he or she enters or remains in a structure (in this case a garage) with the intent to commit a theft therein.
Additionally, the defendant may be charged with theft for allegedly stealing the property in question, specifically, the gun. Note that a person can be charged with both burglary and theft in a case like this because burglary requires only the “intent” to commit a theft, not the actual commission of one.
Lastly, the alleged offender in this case could face charges for unlawful possession of a weapon, as he or she did not obtain or possess the gun through lawful means. In fact, you can be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in New Jersey if you possess any handgun without first obtaining a firearms purchaser identification card to purchase the weapon, and then a permit to carry it. Unlawful possession of a handgun is classified as a second degree crime, as explained under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5. These charges entail a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years, as well as a mandatory period of parole ineligiblity per the terms of the NJ Graves Act.
Clearly, if police apprehend and charge a suspect in connection with this case, the person is exposed to severe repercussions. Whether or not this investigation leads to criminal charges remains to be seen.
For additional information related to this incident, access the following article: 9mm handgun stolen out of Lacey garage