Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

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leaf-on-the-pavement-1563587According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Framingham man stole a $600 leaf blower this past month. The article states that at approximately 12:45pm on a recent Monday, the alleged victim called the police and reported that a man had just stolen his leaf blower. He indicated that the item was taken from his front yard, located on Swanson Street. According to the alleged victim, the man who took the leaf blower then drove of off in a U-Haul. Police responded to the area, located a U-Haul truck matching the alleged victim’s description, and pulled over the driver. The driver, who was later identified as the defendant in this case, denied stealing the item and told officers that he believed that the leaf blower was his. The defendant was subsequently charged with larceny over $250 and driving with a suspended license.

For the Commonwealth to obtain a conviction against the defendant for larceny over $250, under G. L. c. 266, § 30, it would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant took and carried away property; (2) that the property was owned or possessed by someone other than the defendant; (3) that the defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently; and (4) that the value of the property exceeded $250. An honest and reasonable belief that the property belonged to the defendant is a legitimate defense to the charges. Specifically, if the defendant took the leaf blower in an honest and reasonable belief that he had a legal right to it, then he cannot be convicted of the charge (even if that belief was in fact mistaken) because he lacked the intent to steal. Continue reading →

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dutch-weed-1251539According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, three men were arrested earlier this week and charged with robbery in Marlborough. The article states that the three defendants met the alleged victim outside a Burger King for the purpose of buying marijuana from him. When the alleged victim presented the drugs, the three defendants reportedly reached into their pockets and pretended to have weapons. One of the defendants then reportedly grabbed the marijuana from the alleged victim while the other two defendants allegedly pushed him and attempted to steal his cellular telephone. The defendants then reportedly drove off in a silver vehicle. The alleged victim called the police and provided them with a description of the vehicle and the license plate number. Officers stopped the car a short distance away. Inside the vehicle, the officers found a bag of marijuana. Following the stop, the alleged victim identified the three men in the car as the people that robbed him. The driver was charged with unarmed robbery, use of a motor vehicle without authority, and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. The other two defendants were charged with unarmed robbery, assault and battery, and conspiracy to violate the drug laws.

The evidence against the defendants appears to be strong at first glance. However, the case ultimately hinges on the alleged victim’s testimony – he is the only witness who will be able to testify to what happened in the parking lot – and there appear to be two potential problems with calling him as a witness. Continue reading →

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stacked-denim-jeans-16-1056359According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Woburn woman was arrested on larceny and drug charges this past week at the Marshalls located at Shoppers World. The store security officers were allegedly familiar with the woman because she had been involved in thefts at both Marshalls and TJ Maxx on various dates in November of this year. These thefts reportedly consisted of the woman taking several pairs of jeans from the shelves and bringing them into the dressing room. Once in the dressing room, the woman would reportedly remove the security tags and bring the items to the help desk to return them. She allegedly used the gift cards that she got for the returns to purchase other items in the store. According to the article, the woman got more than $1,000 worth of gift cards. Police officers reportedly identified the woman from surveillance footage and obtained a warrant for her arrest. When the woman returned to Marshalls after the issuance of the warrant, store security alerted police, who then came to the store to make the arrest. After arriving, police reportedly confronted the woman and asked for her name, which she provided. When the officers told her that there was a warrant for her arrest, the woman allegedly claimed that the warrant was for her sister, not her. The woman then reportedly attempted to give a different name but was ultimately arrested. While effectuating the arrest, the woman reportedly resisted, flailing her arms. She also allegedly dropped a small plastic bag on the ground and attempted to kick it away. The officers recovered the bag and found that it contained a substance that they believed to be heroin. The officers also found two additional bags of what they believed to be heroin in the woman’s purse, as well as $500 in cash. As a result, the woman was charge with possession with intent to distribute heroin, resisting arrest, and five counts of larceny under $250.

Although the woman is facing serious charges, she does appear to have at least some defenses – specifically, she may well have an argument that she did not have the requisite intent to sell the drugs. To prove the woman guilty of possession with intent to distribute under G. L. c. 94C § 32, the Commonwealth would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the substance in question was in fact heroin; (2) that the defendant possessed some perceptible amount of that heroin with the intent to distribute it to another person; and (3) that the defendant did so knowingly or intentionally. Continue reading →

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gasoline-pump-88377-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a Framingham man robbed a Sunoco station in Wayland this past week. The article states that the man was previously employed at the gas station and believed that he was owed back pay. Presumably as a result of this belief, he walked into the gas station store and seized a number of money orders. He then left the station and entered an Acura. Following the alleged theft, surveillance footage was obtained and the man was identified as the alleged culprit. There is no indication that he displayed any weapons at the time that he took the money orders. One day after the theft, the police arrested the man and found heroin on his person. He was subsequently charged with possession of heroin and unarmed robbery.

To prove that the man committed the offense of unarmed robbery under G. L. c. 265, § 19, the Commonwealth would have to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the man robbed, stole, or took property; (2) that the property belonged to someone else; (3) that the man had the intent to permanently deprive that person of the property; and (4) that the taking was done by force and violence or by assault and putting the person in fear.

While the man may have a difficult time defending against the possession of heroin charge, he does appear to have at least two potential defenses to the unarmed robbery offense. First, there is no indication that the man used any force or violence to take the money orders – to the contrary, it appears that he simply grabbed them and left the store. Therefore, it seems as though the Commonwealth will not be able to establish the fourth element of the offense.  Continue reading →

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more-questions-1238452-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, two women in Framingham were recently arrested for separate assaults against each other. One of the women called police and reported that her ex-girlfriend had assaulted her at her home and stolen several items. A warrant was issued for the ex’s arrested, but the police were unable to locate her at the time. Several days later, the police were called to the ex’s apartment for a report of a loud argument between two women. When the police arrived, they found both the woman and her ex. Police arrested the ex on the existing arrest warrant, which charged her with one count of larceny and two counts of assault and battery. When she got to the police station, however, the ex told police that the woman had come to her house and punched her in the face. Following these allegations, the police arrested the woman on one count of assault and battery.

Whether one or both of the women is telling the truth, it is unlikely that the Commonwealth will be able to successfully prosecute either of them.  The women are considered cross-complainants. In other words, they are both charged as defendants in the alleged incidents, but are also the alleged victims. Prosecuting cross-complaints can be a somewhat complicated process because there are potential Fifth Amendment issues for both of the involved parties. Continue reading →

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jewel-3-556738-mAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a man from Worcester allegedly stole necklaces and a ring from his ex-girlfriend’s Framingham home and sold them to a local jewelry store. The investigation began in May when the mans ex went to the police station and reported that some of her jewelry was missing. She stated that she thought her ex boyfriend took the jewelry. The article does not include why she believed this to be the case, or what, if any, information she had to support her conclusion at the time that the allegations were made. The police then began checking local jewelry stores and apparently discovered that the man accused had sold a gold necklace and ring to Stardust Jewelers, located on Route 9, on March 30th for $41. The store provided photographs of the jewelry and the ex identified the items as hers. After she identified the jewelry as hers, the police then returned to the store and asked the store to return the items. The store, however, had already melted the necklace and ring down. At some point after that, the ex told either the police or the district attorney’s office that she did not want the police to prosecute him for the purported theft, but police sought charges anyway and he was arraigned on one count of receiving stolen property over $250. For the Commonwealth to convict him of receiving stolen property over $250 under G. L. c. 266, § 60, it would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the property in question was in fact stolen; (2) that he knew that the property had been stolen; (3) that he knowingly had the stolen property in his possession; and (4) the total value of the stolen property exceeded $250. As to the first element, the Commonwealth must establish that someone  had taken the property and carried it away without the right to do so, and without the consent of the owner, while intending to permanently deprive the owner of the property. The Commonwealth is not required to prove who stole the property. As to the second element, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he knew that the property was stolen, or at least believed that it was stolen – it is not sufficient to simply prove that a reasonable person in his position would have known or believed the property to be stolen. As to the third element, the Commonwealth must show that he “received” the property – specifically that he knowingly took custody or control of it. Continue reading →

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car-stealing-565690-m.jpgAccording to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, a man broke into his brother’s Natick home and stole a bottle of vodka. He also reportedly took his brother’s jacket, along with the car keys in the jacket pocket, and then left in his brother’s car. His brother woke up to find the car gone and reported it stolen. When police showed up at the brother’s house to take the report, the defendant drove by in the car and the police pulled him over and arrested him. Despite what appears to mostly be a lapse in judgment fueled by alcohol, the defendant was charged with: (1) unarmed burglary; (2) larceny of property worth more than $250; (3) using a vehicle without authority; (4) driving with a suspended license; and (5) possession of an open container of liquor while driving. At the arraignment, the prosecutor stated that “whether [the defendant] intended to steal the car or it was just happenstance [wa]s not known.”
While the defendant may face challenges defending some of the misdemeanor offenses, such as use without authority, driving with a suspended license, and possession of an open container, it appears that he has a strong defense to the two felony charges: burglary and larceny over $250. To prove that the defendant is guilty of burglary under G. L. c. 266, § 15, the Commonwealth would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the defendant broke into the house; (2) entered the house; (3) someone lived in the house; (4) the entry was at night; (5) the defendant entered the house with the intended to commit a felony; (6) he was not armed; and (7) he did not assault any person lawfully in the house. To prove that the defendant is guilty of larceny over $250 under G. L. c. 266, § 30, the Commonwealth would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) the defendant took; (2) the property of another; (3) with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the property; and (4) that monetary value of the property was $250 or more.

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vector-knife-1226578-m.jpgSara Mulkeen wrote a recent article in the MetroWest Daily News regarding an alleged armed robbery in the area. A 44 year old Framingham man was arrested on the night of Saturday, August 3rd, after he allegedly held a knife to a man’s throat and stole $200 from him. The alleged victim told police that he was walking at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evening when he noticed a man following closely behind him on a bicycle. He reportedly recognized the man as his daughter’s boyfriend. He alleges that the defendant then stopped, grabbed him by his shirt, and held a knife to his neck while demanding money. He reportedly told the alleged victim that he wanted all of his money or he would kill him. The alleged victim then gave him $200 from his pocket, at which point the defendant allegedly fled on a red bicycle. Police reportedly showed the alleged victim a photo array of possible suspects, and the alleged victim reportedly identified the defendant as his attacker.

The defendant was later arrested at his home and charged with armed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. When police arrested the defendant, he reportedly told officers that the alleged victim made the whole story up because he does not want the defendant dating his daughter. The defendant was scheduled to be arraigned Monday, August 5th in Framingham District Court.

Either the defendant or the alleged victim is telling the police a false statement. Either way, the situation is less than ideal for the man who is being dishonest. The defendant is facing felony charges that could result in prison time. In order to prevail on the armed robbery charge against the defendant, prosecutors will have to prove that the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon, which is any weapon that can cause serious injury. The prosecution must also prove that the defendant put the victim in fear or caused harm to them by force. Third, they must prove that the defendant took the alleged victim’s property with the intent to deprive him of it permanently. Finally, the prosecution must prove that the defendant actually took control of the alleged victim’s property. To prove with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charge, the prosecution must prove that the defendant touched the alleged victim without having any right or excuse to do so, that the defendant intended to touch the alleged victim, and that the touching was done with a dangerous weapon.

Clearly, the defendant is facing serious legal trouble due to the accusations against him. However, if the alleged victim filed a false police report, he could face serious penalties. Ultimately, the evidence and the credibility of any statements to the police will likely determine what the police and prosecutors do in this case. Additionally, courts exist to sort out situations like this one where the truth is not readily apparent.

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forced-entry-657836-m.jpgNorman Miller of the MetroWest Daily News wrote an article recently regarding a string of burglaries in the Metro West area. A 24 year old Ashland man and a 26 year old Marlborough man are facing charges in connection to multiple alleged burglaries in Ashland, as well as homes in other towns. The defendants are alleged to have burglarized several homes in Ashland. One home in Ashland reportedly had $30,000 worth of jewelry stolen from it.

Ashland Police reportedly began their investigation of these break-ins after Wrentham Police contacted them about a burglary allegedly involving one of the defendants. Police reportedly executed a search of that defendant’s home on Tuesday, July 30th.

Ashland Police have reportedly connected the two defendants to break-ins in Southborough, Shrewsbury, and Wrentham. The burglaries allegedly happened during the day. The defendants allegedly knocked on the front door; then, if no one answered, they would break in trough a back door.

All of the towns that have had break ins are reportedly still investigating the incidents and are also reportedly visiting pawn shops in the area to attempt to locate some of the stolen goods.

Police have issued the two defendants summonses to appear at Framingham District Court. They will likely be charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony. In Massachusetts, breaking and entering is charged as either “with intent to commit a felony” or “with intent to commit a misdemeanor.” Because the value of the goods that were allegedly stolen was so large, it will likely be charged as “with intent to commit a felony.” Additionally, the men will likely face felony larceny charges.

The defendants are facing serious, felony charges that could result in prison time. It is not clear at this time what evidence the police have against the defendants though. An experienced and skill Massachusetts criminal defense attorney may be able to advocate on behalf of one or both of the men and achieve a favorable outcome for them. However, it is not certain at this time how much evidence and from what towns may come to light against them.

To prevail on the charge of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, the prosecutors will have to prove that the men broke into a building, that they then entered the building, and that they did so with the intent to commit a felony. The crime is punishable by up to ten years in prison. The sentence can be longer if a weapon was used during the commission of this crime or if the person broke into the building at night.

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klcc-1-833930-m.jpgAccording to a recent article by Norman Miller at the MetroWest Daily News, a 32 year old Framingham woman is facing charges after allegedly taking three teenagers, including two of her children, shoplifting with her at the Natick Mall on Friday, July 26th. The defendant also reportedly had a 3-year old and 1-year old child with her in a stroller.

The defendant was arrested Friday at approximately 6:00 p.m. after store security at J.C. Penney allegedly caught her leaving the store with more than $740 worth of goods that she allegedly stole with the three teens.

Store security had reportedly been watching the defendant and the teenagers because they allegedly recognized them from a past shoplifting incident. The defendant and two teenage girls allegedly took several pieces of clothing into a dressing room and then emerged empty-handed two different times. Security personnel reportedly found price tags and empty clothes hangers in the dressing room. The teenage boy allegedly took several pairs of earrings and put them in his pocket.

After the woman and girls left the dressing room the second time, the group reportedly left, but security stopped them. The goods were allegedly found in the stroller that the group was using for the children.

The defendant is charged with three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child, larceny of property worth more than $250, and conspiracy to commit a crime. She was arraigned at Framingham District Court on Tuesday, July 30th. She was released without bail and is due in court on September 17th for a pretrial conference. The three teenagers will be summoned to Framingham Juvenile Court and charged with larceny of property worth more than $250 and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The defendant is facing serious charges, including a felony charge. If she were indicted and tried in the superior court she could be facing up to 5 years in prison and significant fines. If convicted, these charges will have lasting repercussions and affect her life for a long time to come. In order to prevail on the misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a child, prosecutors will have to prove that she knowingly or wilfully encouraged, aided, or contributed to a child under the age of 16 to violate a law. To prevail on the larceny charge, prosecutors will have to prove that the defendant took and carried away property that was owned by someone else and that she did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.

The teenagers are also facing serious charges, including a felony. Being convicted of a felony at such a young age can affect a person’s life well into the future and impact his or her ability to fulfill aspirations of college and career success.

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