Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

While the Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country’s independence, enjoy summer vacation, and watch as fireworks explode in the sky, it is also a time when many individuals take the opportunity to engage in crime. This article will look at some of the most common types of Fourth of July crimes and provide some tips for preventing these crimes from occurring.

Types of Crimes

Some of the most frequent crimes committed during the Fourth of July include the following:

Have you been charged with a crime in the state of California? If so, you should regard the charges with the utmost seriousness regardless of your personal perception of their validity.  The state’s prosecutor will be making every effort to convict you – an outcome that could change your life for the worse in a drastic way. Depending on the crime you have been charged with, the penalties issued by the court upon conviction may include jail time, fines, fees, community service, loss or restriction of driving privileges, loss or suspension of driving privileges, and reputational damage. The purpose of this article is to explain the most common types of criminal charges in the state of California. If you have been charged with a crime in California, contact a skilled and experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney.

Assault and Battery Among the Most Common Criminal Charges in California

Assault and battery are common criminal charges in the state of California. Despite the relatively commonplace nature of these charges, confusion persists regarding the difference between the two. The dividing line between assault and battery is whether an actual use of unlawful force occurred. If so, then the proper umbrella charge is battery. If not, then the proper area of criminality is assault, which concerns an attempt at a use of unlawful force. Depending on whether a weapon – especially a deadly one – was used in either on assault or battery, the charge may be classified as a felony. Another important factor in determining whether to classify a battery as a serious felony is the extent to which serious bodily injury was inflicted on the victim.

CNN San Diego reported that things aren’t looking good for Tom Greer, an 80-year-old man who sealed his own fate when two individuals tried to rob him. The two burglars, later identified to be 26-year-old Gus Adams and 28-year-old Andrea Miller, broke into his home in Long Beach, CA. When Greer approached the pair of robbers – who were trying to get into his safe -they quickly began assaulting him. They threw the old man onto the ground, immediately fracturing his collarbone, but he wasn’t down for the count yet. While the thieves continued their effort to open the safe, Greer took advantage of their distraction and grabbed his .22 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. The pair, Miller and Adams, ran out of the house as soon as they saw the elderly man was armed and packing some heat. You’d think a homeowner would be happy when they were able to drive criminals away and still have mostly everything in tact, but not Tom Greer. He followed them outside and everywhere they went, leading to a nearby alleyway – where he shot his .22 caliber at Miller; hitting her in the back. Adams had already ran off out if site, but Miller was in trouble. She was a bloody mess on the ground and when Greer approached her, she begged for her life and even claimed to be pregnant; he shot her anyway. Adams was later found and taken into custody on suspicion of murder for taking part in a crime leading to Miller’s death, and Greer is merely in custody awaiting charges. Speculation leans more towards Greer getting charged for second-degree murder because his actions weren’t premeditated but left the realm of self-defense.

Sources:
“Sould 80-year-old Homeowner Be Charged With Murder?” – CNN San Diego

Earlier this week thieves targeted two schools in the San Diego Unified School District, Lewis Middle School and Patrick Henry High School. At first, for some reason, it was thought the two burglaries at the schools were unassociated coincidences, but later determined to be two consecutive crimes by the same culprit(s). The robberies weren’t well planned as apparent by the lack of knowledge on what was exactly in the middle school classroom; a window was smashed in, but nothing was missing. Under an hour later, the high school was targeted and yet another window was busted in. This time, however, the thieves got lucky; 38 iPads were hiding away in the classroom they chose to break into. They escaped with 38 iPads the students presumably used for learning purposes in that particular class. Fortunately, a handful of night patrol officers came across two of the thieves, eventually leading to the arrest of five people; three adults and two juveniles. The names and ages of the suspects have yet to be released.

Sources:
“Police Recover Stolen iPads, Make Arrests” – UT San Diego

Last Tuesday, a little over a week ago, the College Grove Walmart shoppers experienced something most of us hope we never have to go through. At approximately 10pm, a shooting occurred inside the Walmart, sending shoppers into a state of disarray and fear. A chilling image was recounted by witnesses who were actually in the scene, describing it as a cash register mini-heist. A large, African-American man with long dreadlocks was shouting, demanding one of the cashiers to open her drawer and surrender to him the money inside. After dictating his request and waiting on the cashier’s response, things started to get intense. The robber angrily fired a shot into the air; the cashier was apparently not moving fast enough for his liking. As if that weren’t enough to get things moving, the man fired another shot into the air, just mere moments after he fired the first bullet. Dozens of on-looking shoppers were petrified as they ducked behind impulse buy shelves and clothes racks. As things started to get hasty, however, those trapped inside started slinking to the various exits. Once the shoppers were in the clear and able to escape safely, they fled from the scene. The glorified purse-snatcher‘s exit was done after he extorted an undisclosed amount of cash from the unfortunately selected cashier. Authorities described his escape vehicle as a silver Mustang – possibly possessing a white door. According to eye witness recollections, he hopped into the Mustang with the cash and the vehicle sped off onto state Route 94 going 100 miles-per-hour. The San Diego police department of robbery will be investigating the case using camera footage from the property, along with witness testimonies.

Sources:
“Shots Fired At College Grove Walmart” – San Diego 6

Former Oceanside Detective Brian Bruce who was accused of misconduct while on duty by Detective Aaron Miller, his partner, will not be prosecuted by the San Diego District Attorneys Office. Mr. Bruce was a former Detective for the Oceanside Police working on cases related to drugs, prostitution and gang activity.

Mr. Bruce alleged misconduct was brought about due to a current lawsuit between Mr. Miller and the Oceanside Police. Mr. Miller is fighting that he was wrongfully demoted after telling Oceanside Police of Mr. Bruce’s misconduct.

Former Detective Brian Bruce was accused of stealing cash and an iPod from suspects he had arrested. Along with these accusations Mr. Bruce is also accused of stealing Mr. Millers T-shirt from his vehicle. Prosecution of Mr. Bruce is being declined because a district attorney feels that there is not enough evidence to prove he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Car.jpgIn Escondido, North County San Diego, around 6p.m. Friday, police officers pursued a vehicle in a long and violent car chase. Initially, the officer observed the car driving suspiciously so he ran the license plate number and found the vehicle was reported stolen Honda Accord out of Chula Vista. The driver then sped off in the car and the chase ensued. Shortly after the pursuit started, the driver of the stolen vehicle fired several rounds through the sunroof of the car at a police helicopter that was providing aerial support to the to police units on the ground. The driver of the stolen Honda Accord also fired several shots at police units. The driver while evading arrest used a variety of weapons including a handgun and shotgun to fire at pursing officers.

In addition, the driver fired several rounds at the police K9 unit. One shot pierced the windshield passing just over the officers right shoulder and going through the seat almost hitting his dog partner in the back. Lucky neither the officer nor his partner were injured in the firing however other rounds fired disabled the vehicle, blowing out the front two tires. The pursuit continued at speeds ranging from 5 to 130 miles per hour.

At one time during the chase, an officer on foot unsuccessfully tried to deploy a spike strip but was fired at several times. The officer was not hit but the bullets hit other vehicles. Once again no one was injured by the reckless and dangerous firing done by the driver of the stolen vehicle. As the driver approached Westfield’s North County Mall parking lot, he exited the vehicle and laid down on the ground before officers had the opportunity to approach him. Lt. Craig Carter, said “I don’t know why he stopped, he obviously knew we were there.” The pursuit stopped here as the man was taken into custody.

In San Diego County and elsewhere theft and identity theft cases are on the rise. Recently, in the Vista Superior Court, Juanita Williams plead guilty to commercial burglary and other identity theft charges and is looking at a thirty-two month prison sentence.

Ms. Williams charged about $10,000 dollars worth of computer equipment and other office supplies to the Vista Chamber of Commerce by posing as a Chamber of Commerce representative.

San Diego Sheriff Deputies in the financial crimes unit were investigating the unauthorized charges after Chamber officials reported a series of unauthorized purchases on their Staples account.