LASD detectives working out of the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station are investigating two commercial burglaries that happened right next door to each other in Newhall. According to reports, the two suspects were caught on video breaking a glass window at the Popeye’s Chicken in Newhall. Upon gaining entry to the restaurant, they took the store safe and two cash drawers.
After leaving the Popeye’s, the two suspects then did the same thing at the Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor next door. Video surveillance at both locations appeared to capture usable images of the suspects, and store owners provided copies to investigators.
California Penal Code 459 PC describes burglary as a person entering any residential or commercial property with the intent of committing a felony once inside. The crime is divided into two parts: first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary deals with crimes that occur at residences, while second-degree burglary deals with commercial properties.
Burglary is often associated with theft, since the felony committed inside the structure is almost always stealing something. However, by definition, a person can be charged with burglary even if they don’t steal anything. For example, entering a residence with the intent of committing the crime of rape would be grounds for burglary charges (as well as rape charges), or going into a bank with the intent of committing check fraud.
Since the crimes occurred at commercial properties, the suspects are being sought on suspicion of second-degree burglary charges. The penalties for which include: felony probation, 16 months to 3 years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.