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Commercial Burglaries in the local newspaper's police log listing crimes

Torrance, CA |

Our local police department listed the following crimes as commercial burglaries. All three of them sound like theft to me. Are they being charged as burglaries to give the prosecutor leverage with a plea-agreement, and make the offenses sound worse? Or am I missing something here?

Commercial burglary: 4800 block of Pacific Coast Highway. A coin slot in a vending machine was damaged. Coins were reported stolen.

Commercial burglary: 3500 block of Carson Street. A lock was cut off a locker. A cell-phone was reported stolen

Commercial burglary: 5500 block 190th St. A lock was cut to access a carport locker

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The key in each one of the examples given is the entry with the intent to steal and not necessarily the amount involved.

    OSCAR E. TOSCANO
    Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

    I am licensed to practice in the state of California. I handle cases from Sacramento to San Diego. I have handled cases in Federal District courts from Alaska and throughout the United States. My comments and opinions are based on California law and are based on the limited information provided in the question. Legal questions are usually fact specific and a few facts can and often does change the opinion I would give. It is better to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction (your geographic area) and provide specific details regarding your case in private. You would get more specific advice. The contents of the conversations with your attorney are confidential and are protected from being revealed. The statements made in this public forum (AVVO) are not confidential and could be revealed. Therefore, you must be very careful in the details you provide. Do not disclose information that could be a crime or that could be used in order to prove a crime was committed. If you are in California and want to clarify any of my answers, feel free to contact me.


  2. These all qualify as 2nd degree burglaries if it can be proven that the person had the specific intent to commit a felony prior to entering the structure. Since the properties were not residences, which would be charge as 1st degree burglaries, then the crimes can be charged as second degree burglaries.

    The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The responses provided herein discuss general principles of law and should not be relied upon by the asker in making legal decisions. Only an attorney who has met with the asker and fully reviewed the facts and circumstances of the asker's individual case should be relied upon for legal advice. If you find my suggestions helpful, please mark the appropriate box as helpful.


  3. Generally under PC 459-460 this is considered 2nd degree commercial burglary. Unlawfully enter a commercial building with the intent to commit larceny and theft.

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