The incident in question was investigated after property and a motor vehicle were stolen from a Long Beach Island home. The investigation led police to 44-year-old Branchville resident John C. Jensen and 49-year-old Ewing resident Elizabeth A. Remboske. Both suspects were arrested and charged with theft of movable property, criminal mischief, burglary, possession of stolen property, and conspiracy.
At The Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver, our Ocean County criminal defense attorneys often see cases like this in Long Beach Township and throughout Long Beach Island. One of the most common questions clients ask is, “Why was I charged with burglary and theft? If they are accusing me of stealing, why charge me with two theft crimes in connection with the same incident?”
This is an important question that raises a significant issue within New Jersey criminal law. In New Jersey, a person can be charged with burglary for the mere intent to commit a theft. Then, they can face an additional charge for the actual act of stealing. Further charges can be issued for possession of stolen property or receiving stolen property. So why is this the case?
Under the New Jersey burglary statute, burglary is defined as entering or remaining in a structure with the purpose to commit a theft (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2). In other words, if you commit a home invasion or break into a car, you don’t have to take anything to be guilty of burglary. Typical burglary charges are classified as third degree crimes, punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.
As for theft, this offense is very much like it sounds. You can be charged with theft of movable property or immovable property in New Jersey in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2. In either case, you must unlawfully take or exercise control over the property of another. Theft of property is different from burglary in that these charges are graded based on the value of the property stolen.
How does criminal mischief fit into a case involving theft? You may be charged with criminal mischief if there is property damage resulting from the offense. For example, if you break into a house and damage property inside while searching the residence, the act of criminal mischief refers to the property destroyed or damaged in the course of the burglary. Criminal mischief charges are similar to other theft crimes in that they can range in severity based on the monetary loss caused by the offense.
Arrested for Theft in Long Beach Township, NJ?
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Long Beach Township, contact the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver to find out about the specific charges you face and how potential defense strategies that we can use to get them dismissed. Our seasoned criminal defense lawyers are available anytime to provide you with the answers you need to protect yourself. Contact our office in Ocean County at (848) 238-2100 for an absolutely free consultation.
For additional information about this incident, access the following: Long Beach Township police charge 2 with burglary, theft