Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

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1136586_case_with_dollars_3.jpgA Marlborough man was arrested on Friday, December 7th on charges of unarmed robbery and destruction of property, according to an article in the MetroWest Daily News. The man, who is 36 years old, allegedly handed a bank teller a note stating that he was robbing the bank and that the teller should give him money. The teller allegedly complied but attached a GPS tracker to the money. The man was arrested approximately 10 minutes after the 9:04 a.m. robbery at the St. Mary’s Credit Union on Northboro Road in Marlborough.

Police allege that the man threw the GPS tracker out of his window but that officers pulled him over about a mile from the bank after noticing money stacked on the passenger seat in his vehicle. Officers found the GPS tracker broken on the ground, which led to the destruction of property charge.

Police allege that the man admitted to committing the robbery after he was taken into custody. The man is reportedly on probation for armed robbery convictions and he reportedly served two years in prison for a bank robbery in Cambridge in 2007. He was also convicted of a bank robbery in Dedham in 2008. A warrant for the man’s arrest was reportedly issued earlier in the week in Middlesex Superior Court due to his failure to appear for a probation hearing. The man is currently is being held without bail pending a hearing on Tuesday to determine if he is a danger to the public.

Prosecutors will have to prove that the man robbed the bank without a weapon, that he did so by using force or violence by assault or putting the teller in fear, and that he stole property that may be the subject of larceny to prevail on the charge of unarmed robbery. If the man is convicted of unarmed robbery, he could be facing up to life in prison.

The man is facing serious charges that could lead to imprisonment ranging from a few months up to life. Fortunately for the man, he did not have a weapon. If he used a weapon to rob the bank, he would likely be facing armed robbery charges. An armed robbery conviction would lead to a minimum punishment of five years in prison or a maximum punishment of life in prison. Unarmed robbery does not have a mandatory five-year minimum sentence like armed robbery. However, because the man has been convicted of similar crimes in the past and is on probation, a judge is less likely to give him a light sentence if he is convicted this time.

The man could fight this case by arguing that the police did not have probable cause to pull him over just for seeing money on his passenger seat. However, he is facing tough odds in this case. He needs an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to fight this case.

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565690_car_stealing.jpegTwo individuals –  a woman from Framingham and a man from Springfield, were arrested at 2:26 a.m. on Tuesday November 27 for allegedly breaking into at least seven vehicles, according to an article in the MetroWest Daily News.

Police reportedly responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Porter Road around 2:26 a.m. When they arrived, they found the man allegedly leaning into an open vehicle.

Both the man and the woman, who was also present, reportedly had several GPS devices, cell phones, watches, and other items in their possession. Police reportedly determined the couple broke into at least seven different cars to acquire the items.

Both individuals were charged with seven counts of breaking and entering into a vehicle, and six counts of receiving stolen property worth less than $250. Police allege that the man had several GPS units in his possession, as well as $80 in change, several cell phones and watches. Police also allege that they found the woman standing nearby next to a backpack that contained two more GPS units and a cell phone. Police also reportedly suspect the couple of breaking into more cars because they allegedly had several items in their possession that were not identified by the known victims.

The woman was released with no bail, but the man was reportedly held on $1000 bail. The man reportedly has a long record with several crimes similar to the charges he is now facing. He also reportedly made some admissions to police at the time of the arrest. Both individuals are due back in court on Dec. 10 for a pretrial conference
To prevail on the charges of breaking and entering into a vehicle, prosecutors will have to prove that both the man and the woman used force to enter a vehicle that belonged to another person for each of the separate charges. The charge can lead to imprisonment if they are convicted. Breaking and entering can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how the defendants are charged. Additionally, committing the offense at night can lead to a longer sentence if the defendants are convicted. To prevail on the charges of receiving stolen property worth less than $250, prosecutors will have to prove that both the man and the woman knew that the property was stolen for each of the separate counts. Because they have been charged with receiving stolen property worth less than $250, they have likely been charged with a misdemeanor regarding this alleged crime. However, if the man has been convicted of this offense previously, he may be facing a felony charge for this alleged offense.

The couple may be able to get some of the charges dropped, or the prosecution may not be able to meet its burden for every charge that they have lodged against them. According to the article, the man and the woman were allegedly found with the items in their possession while the man was leaning into an open vehicle. Therefore, prosecutors may have a hard time meeting their burden for all of the breaking and entering charges.

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531971_million_buck_cheque_2.jpgTwo men – a 40 year old and a 19 year old – were arrested a little after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19 as they were leaving the automotive department at Sears, according to an article in the MetroWest Daily News. The men allegedly used a fake check to buy goods at Sears and later attempted to return the items for money.

Police arrested both of the men and charged them with conspiracy to commit a crime and larceny of more than $250 by a scheme. The 19 year old was also charged with uttering, or passing, a false check.

The 19 year old pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday at the Framingham District Court. He posted $100 bail after his arrest, and the amount was not increased at his arraignment. The 40 year old was sent to the hospital for a three-day mental evaluation. He is due in Court on Dec. 13. The 19 year old is due back in court on Jan. 2 for a pretrial conference.

This case seems to rely heavily on eyewitness identification and reporting. Police first responded to Sears around 2 p.m. after receiving a report of a bad check being used. The men were allegedly seen on a security tape gathering a tool and car battery and then buying the items. The two items reportedly cost approximately $340.

A few hours later, the men allegedly went back to Sears and tried to return the battery. A store employee reportedly recognized the men and called police who responded and arrested the men.

The men are facing charges that could potentially result in jail time, fines, community service, or probation. Larceny of property exceeding $250 is a felony in Massachusetts and is punishable by up to five years in prison. It is unclear from the article whether the men have prior criminal convictions. Based on the 19 year old’s low bail amount, it is unlikely that he has a lengthy criminal record. The men’s criminal records could play an important role in their cases. Prior convictions for theft could result in their receving harsher punishments if convicted of these charges.

In order to prevail on the charges against the men, prosecutors will have to prove that they took and carried away the property, that the property was owned by another, and that they intended to deprive the owner of the property permanently. Additionally, the 19 year old is facing a charge of passing a false check. Prosecutors will have to prove that the he wrote, cashed, passed or delivered a bad check; that he obtained money, property, or services as a result of delivering the bad check; that when he wrote the check, he did not have sufficient funds in the bank to cover the check; and that he did this with the intent to defraud the bank or the person who received the check. A bounced check is prima facie evidence of intent to defraud and of knowledge of insufficient funds. An exception to this rule occurs when funds sufficient to cover the check are deposited within two days of receiving notice of insufficient funds from the bank.

The article makes it clear that the 40 year old man is undergoing an evaluation of his mental status. However, the article does not state whether his attorney is going to use his mental state as a defense or how his mental state will come into play in his case.

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349764_silver_purse_2.jpegA Natick man was arrested on Monday, October 22, and charged with unarmed robbery and disorderly conduct, according to the Metro West Daily News. The arrest occurred around 1:30 p.m. outside of a Dunkin’ Donuts on 245 North Main Street in Natick.

Witnesses claim they saw the man and a woman yelling and struggling before the man allegedly ran away with her purse. Witnesses reportedly stopped and held the man until police arrived. The man claims he was trying to get $200 back that his ex-girlfriend stole from him.

The man posted $200 bail after his arrest. However, the probation department asked for him to be held on a probation detainer. The man was placed on probation last month for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, based on a Framingham arrest in 2011. The judge at the Framingham District Court did not order the man to be held on the probation detainer. Rather, the judge increased the bail to $400. The man is due back at the Framingham District Court for a pretrial conference on November 4th.
The man’s claim that he was only trying to get the $200 back that his ex girlfriend stole from him did not persuade the judge to dismiss the charges against him. However, the man has not been convicted, yet. The Commonwealth must prove that he robbed the alleged victim beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict him.

In order to prove the man guilty of unarmed robbery, the Commonwealth must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The first element the Commonwealth must prove is that the man either applied actual force and violence to the body of the alleged victim or put the alleged victim in fear by threatening words or gestures. The Commonwealth must also prove that the defendant took the money or other property with the intent to steal it. Finally, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant took the money or other property from the immediate control of the victim. If the Commonwealth is successful in convicting the man, he could be facing up to life in prison.

An experienced attorney could help the man assess his possible defenses and decide on the best course of action. The Fifth Amendment could help him overcome these charges. The alleged victim is the man’s former girlfriend. The man claims that she stole money from him that he was trying to recover. His former girlfriend may want to “take the Fifth” in this case and not implicate herself in any possible crimes by testifying against him, including theft or assault and battery due to the alleged struggle that ensued between them. However, because this incident happened outside of a Dunkin Donuts, there are other witnesses that the Commonwealth may call. Therefore, even if the man’s former girlfriend exercises her Fifth Amendment right not to testify against him, the Commonwealth may be able to convict the man based on the other witnesses’ testimony. Additionally, even if the money the man took belonged to him, he allegedly stole his former girlfriend’s entire purse, not just the money. The Commonwealth could make a successful case for robbery based on the taking of the purse, even if the money inside belonged to the man.

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565690_car_stealing.jpegThe Metrowest Daily News has recently published an article regarding three teenagers from Framingham who are facing multiple charges in connection with a crashed stolen car. Police allege that the three teenagers stole a car from Natick and then crashed the car into a stone wall around 2:00 a.m. Monday, October 8th near 1300 Worcester Road. Police allege that the three teenagers stole GPS equipment, sunglasses, cell phones, and iPods out of cars parked at the Chapel Hill apartments near the scene of the accident. Police also allege that police found half an ounce of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a stun gun upon searching the stolen car after the accident.

One of the teens was charged with possession of a stolen car, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, leaving the scene of personal injury, as well as seven counts of possession of stolen property worth less than $250.  The second teen was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, seven counts of possession of stolen property worth less than $250, and possession of tools commonly used by burglars. The second suspect was also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon. Police allege that he was in possession of a stun gun. Both of these two teens were ordered held without bail Tuesday October 9th because they have outstanding cases.

A third teen suspect was not arraigned because he was in the hospital. Police report he was found injured in the crashed car when the other two suspects were found in the woods near the crash. He is charged with possession of a stolen car, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of tools commonly used by burglars, eight counts of possession of stolen property worth less than $250 and had a default warrant, police said.

Each of the suspects in this case is facing jail time if he is convicted of some, or all, of his charges. They are all facing the serious charges of possession of a stole vehicle, as well as possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Though suspects facing these charges may be able to negotiate down to lesser charges that do not include jail time, the two teens found in the woods have outstanding cases and are now being held without bail. Because they have outstanding charges, they have less room to bargain for a light sentence. The third suspect is also facing these serious charges and has a default warrant. A default warrant means that he failed to appear in court previously. This default likely means he has faced criminal charges in the past. It also means that he has less room to bargain for reduced charges or a light sentence if he has had previous criminal convictions and has failed to appear in court in the past.

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1260785_laptop_work.jpgIn the Metrowest Daily News I read an interesting story by Norman Miller regarding a Framingham man. According to the article, the man brought an Apple Macbook laptop to P.C. Exchange in Framingham, and asked them to repair it for him because it wasn’t working. When the store employees attempted to power on the computer it prompted them for a password. Allegedly, The employee asked the man for the password, and he claimed he didn’t have it with him. The man then stated he wold come back with the password and left.

The employee became suspicious that the computer may be stolen. The employee was able to get into the computer without being provided the password and identified a name of the likely owner of the computer. He contacted that likely owner who then came into the store and identified the laptop as one that had been stolen from his Framingham home in an October break in.

The police were contacted, and when the man returned to the store later in the evening, he was arrested by the police. The police indicate that the man spoke with them after being arrested, and claimed two people he knew asked him to bring the computer into the store. Police also indicated that the man stated he brought the computer in because he knew the two men were getting marijuana, and he wanted to smoke with them.

The man was charged with receiving stolen property over $250 which is a felony under Massachusetts law. The case can be indicted and tried in the Superior Court where the maximum penalty is up to 5 years in state prison. If prosecutors do not indict the man then his case will remain in the Framingham District Court where the maximum penalty he can face is 2 1/2 years in the house of corrections.

In order to prove that the man is guilty of receiving stolen property prosecutors must be able to prove that the man knew the laptop was stolen when he took possession of it. Although the full details of the man’s interview with police are not given in the news report, it does not appear he admitted the laptop was stolen. In many instances if there is no admission that the property in question was known to be stolen it can be difficult for prosecutors to prove all the necessary elements of this crime. Prosecutors must show that the man actually knew, or at least believed the property was stolen. Unlike many other situations prosecutors face, it is not enough to show that a reasonable person should have known it was stolen, or that the man recklessly disregarded the risk the property was stolen, instead they must prove his actual knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt. For more details on the legal analysis involved in determining someone’s actual knowledge read Commonwealth v. Boris.

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car peeling out.jpgRecently the Springfield Republican ran an article about the arrest of a woman for her alleged role in a theft of a car that occurred over craigslist. The article tells the story of a Springfield man who attempted to sell his Nissan Maxima on The seller went to meet a potential buyer in the parking lost of the basketball hall of fame. While showing the car to the potential buyer, the seller got down on his hands and knees to look at the under carriage of the car. Once he did this the potential buyer drove the car off and did not return.

The seller reported the car stolen, and was surprised a few days later when he received a phone call from a person offering to sell his own car back to him for $500 dollars. When the seller arranged to meet someone to get the vehicle back he was allegedly approached by the defendant and she tried to resell him his own title. At that point she was arrested by the police.

Larceny of a motor vehicle is a very serious crime in Massachusetts. It is a felony and punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. In addition to the potential lengthy prison sentence any conviction on this offense must be reported to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. The RMV is required to suspend the license of anyone convicted for 1 year the first time they are convicted, and for 5 years on any subsequent offense.

The defendant finds herself in a difficult position now. She has exposed herself to a larceny charge, and although prosecutors have only charged larceny over $250 to this point they could very well add the additional larceny of a motor vehicle charge at a later date, or in a grand jury presentation if they choose to indict her.

Of course at this point the case against the defendant only consists of allegations. The report from The Republican leaves a lot of information unknown to the reader. It is entirely possible the defendant was a fall guy, and thought that she was engaging in an entirely legal actions when she approached the owner the day she was arrested.

Whatever the case is, the defendant will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help her fight these allegations and make sure that her rights and record are protected for the future.

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By way of the Springfield Republican I recently came across the cautionary tale of a man who recently posted some items for sale on craigslist.  After some communication over the internet, the man went to meet the person he believed would purchase these items at a local Starbucks.

Unbeknownst to the man, the interested buyer was not a potential customer at all, but rather the original owner of the equipment who had recognized his stolen goods when he saw them posted. That original owner called the police and with their help organized the sting that lead to the man’s arrest in the Starbucks. The man has been charged with receiving stolen property and it is likely a felony because the value of the property involved is greater than $250
Cases like this are becoming more and more common. Although the average receiving stolen property case never receives any media attention this one likely got coverage because of the excitement involved with a police sting spurred by a citizen pursuing his stolen property over craigslist.

An initial reading of the article might leave one with the impression that the man’s case is a hopeless one, that he was “caught red handed” and couldn’t have any possible defense. However receiving stolen property cases are not always as clear cut as they might seem at first blush.

In order to prove someone guilty of receiving stolen property it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the person accused not only had possession of stolen property, but that the person in possession of the stolen property knew or believed it was stolen. (for a deeper discussion of exactly what that means read Commonwealth v. Sandler )

In this man’s case it’s not apparent at all that he knew the items he brought with him to the Starbuck’s were stolen property. There is no indication that he admitted to being the one who even posted the ad on craigslist. It is entirely possible that the man was the unknowing fall guy for the real guilty party, and was just used as a pawn to complete the transaction. Its also possible that the man bought these items from a source he thought was legitimate, and saw an opportunity to resell them for a profit.

Whether the man is guilty or not, he certainly finds himself in a difficult situation now. Being charged with a felony for receiving stolen property could have a major negative impact on his life. According to Massachusetts General Laws the maximum penalty for receiving stolen property over $250 is 5 years in state prison. On top of potential jail time if he is convicted the man will have the conviction on his criminal record, and may find it to be a significant bar to any attempt to gain employment over the next 10 years.

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