On Thursday, June 13th, a suspected burglar was seen entering an apartment at the West Hills Apartment Complex through the window. Deputies were called who set up containment in the area shortly after they arrived. The suspect was later seen climbing over a wall in the backyard of another home and making his way through the Tesoro Del Valle neighborhood. Deputies pursued the suspect and eventually arrested him. He, and his Yorkshire Terrier, were taken to the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station where the suspect underwent booking and processing. The dog was later sent to Los Angeles County Animal care and control.
When the suspect illegally entered the apartment, it’s believed that someone else was inside at the time, thereby making the crime a “hot prowl” burglary. “Hot prowl” burglaries are a type of residential burglary wherein the suspect enters the residence while it’s occupied by someone.
Burglary is covered under California Penal Code 459 PC and is described as the unlawful entering of a commercial building, residence, or room with the intent of committing a felony or theft once inside. The law is divided into first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. To be charged with first-degree burglary, the building the suspect entered must be a residence. For second-degree burglary charges, the building must be anything that isn’t a residence (and often ends up being a commercial property).
First-degree burglaries are the more serious of the two, and is always charged as a felony. The possible penalties include felony probation, 2 to 6 years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Second-degree burglary charges can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony charges include the possible penalties of felony probation, 16 months to 3 years in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. For misdemeanor second-degree burglary charges, the possible penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.