Articles Posted in Robbery/Burglary

With the proliferation of smart phones – each containing a great deal of personal information. In some cases, that information can be incriminating. Courts across the U.S. have been attempting to find common legal ground on the issue of whether persons should be compelled to reveal their cell phone passcodes if it could unlock potentially self-incriminating information.criminal defense attorney

This summer, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys wrote about the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court ruled attorneys can subpoena private social media posts where they are pertinent to a criminal case.

Now, Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal has sided with a criminal defendant who fought against being fought to comply with an order requiring him to supply prosecutors with his cell phone password. This is welcome news for Florida defense lawyers, but it does conflict with a previous state appellate court ruling, making the issue ripe to be heard by the Florida Supreme Court. Continue reading

One boy is a ninth-grader who is just 15. Another is a 16-year-old girl and another just turned 18. All three are facing charge that could put them behind bars for many years.self

Detectives say the teens are involved in nearly a dozen cases of alleged assault, battery, carjacking and robbery in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Dania Beach and Aventura. According to The Sun-Sentinel, the teens robbed at least five women at their homes or at local shopping centers. Authorities say the women were robbed, punched and in some instances pepper-sprayed while the teens snatched what they could from the alleged victims. Most occurred in supermarket parking lots, though there was one case outside of a restaurant and another in a woman’s driveway. In one case, a woman’s vehicle was reportedly stolen from her property just hours after she was attacked at a nearby grocery store.

At a detention hearing, a Broward judge denied the youngest defendant the chance to be confined at home. He will instead be housed at a juvenile facility until prosecutors decide whether to direct file on a felony charge of robbery. The 18-year-old defendant faces 10 felony charges so far (including carjacking, robbery by sudden snatching and aggravated battery on an elderly person, who was 73). The 16-year-old is also facing numerous charges.  Continue reading

It wasn’t a good couple of days for Francis Keller. The 56-year-old was arrested for allegedly breaking into the U.S. Post Office where he worked for 30 years, and rifling through packages with plans to sell valuables he discovered in exchange for crack cocaine. A Boynton Beach police report indicated Keller had used an old security code to gain access to the building, on Seacrest Boulevard. He was reportedly intoxicated at the time. postoffice

He was booked into jail around 2:30 a.m. and was released about 12 hours later. By then, local news outlets had heard of the alleged offense and were working on stories detailing the work of the “Postal Grinch” for trying to steal packages containing gifts.

But Keller allegedly wasn’t finished. By the looks of a consecutive mug shot, he did have an opportunity to change clothes again. When he headed back out that night, he allegedly approached an employee at a drive-in to ask about a job. However, instead of continuing the conversation in that vein, he is accused of pulling a firearm from his waistband and demanding money. He then allegedly ran into the car parking lot, pointed a gun at the head of the driver and ordered him out of the vehicle.  Continue reading

Bank robbery has historically been a man’s game. Even dating back to the days of “Pretty Boy Floyd” and “Baby Face Nelson,” bank robberies generally involved men who organized a hostile takeover of the entire bank, holding up the entire business at gunpoint, forcing managers to open the vaults, taking hostages and engaging in gun battles with police.

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Women, if they were ever involved, usually almost always were accomplices, either driving the getaway car or helping out in some other capacity.

But bank robberies today look very different, and increasingly, it is women who are facing down the charges. The Sun-Sentinel reports this is largely due to the fact that these crimes are no longer as violent as they once were. In fact, it often isn’t necessary to wield a gun or to even necessarily have one.  Continue reading

The state attorney is considering whether to charge a Miami woman with murder after she gunned down a burglar on her property.guncloseup

Florida has one of the strongest “Castle Doctrine” laws on the books, which allow homeowners to use lethal force against those who unlawfully enter their homes. The law does require that in order to threaten or use deadly force, the resident/ homeowner has to believe such force is necessary to either prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to herself or someone else or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

In this case, the 54-year-old homeowner wasn’t at the time of the burglar’s initial entry, but rather was alerted to the break-in by a home security camera. She reportedly returned home and searched the property room-to-room, until she spotted the teen climbing out a window. She told investigators there was a confrontation and she shot him. Further, police were reportedly on their way. Continue reading

Tramaine Beard was preparing to stand trial in Broward County for armed robbery when the case took a turn that even Beard’s own criminal defense attorney wasn’t expecting: His twin brother, an ex-felon, was prepared to confess.

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But as the jury selection was getting underway, defendant excused himself for a restroom break – and disappeared. The judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest while his attorney called his cell phone and tried to convince him to come back to court.

That’s unlikely to be the end of this strange story, with numerous twists and turns as reported by The Sun-SentinelContinue reading

As far as robberies go, this one was about as daring as you can get. diamonds

According to authorities, four men burst into the jewelry store located in The Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale, armed with hammers, their faces covered with masks.

Inside, stunned store owners and customers scrambled for cover under various items of furniture as the men used the hammers to smash the glass cases. Authorities said in all, they snatched nearly 50 high-end watches, most of those Tag Heuer and Rolex, with a combined value of $250,000. Continue reading

A 22-year-old suspected burglar was found deceased in a Brevard County pond (which is more like a lake) near where he is believed to have hid as police with K-9 units pursued him ten days earlier. The cause of death? An 11-foot alligator, which was aggressively guarding the man’s corpse as authorities approached. alligator

According to Bay 9 News, Matthew Riggins had notified his girlfriend that he and another man were in the Barefoot Bay community with the intent to commit house burglaries in the middle of the night on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13th. But a resident called the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office around 2 a.m. to report that two men wearing all black were walking behind houses in the neighborhood.

Authorities responded to the scene, but the two men took off on food. Deputies deployed a helicopter and a K-9 unit, but they couldn’t find the men. Meanwhile, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Riggins called his girlfriend to report he was hiding because the authorities were after him. He indicated he would probably be laying low for a few days. That was the last anyone spoke to him. Unfortunately, it seems he was laying low near a very large and aggressive alligator. Continue reading

In a criminal investigation, if law enforcement waits too long following the issuance of a search warrant to make an actual search or if they wait to long to act on certain information pertaining to a criminal act, the warrant or information could be deemed “stale.”
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That means even if the warrant was valid or the information was sufficient to establish probable cause, a defendant may challenge this evidence if the delay was unreasonable, and therefore no longer supported by probable cause.

Most courts agree that warrants are stale 10 days after they are issued, but there are often subjective factors the court may consider.
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In many Florida theft cases, a key point in determining one’s sentence upon conviction is proving the value of the items allegedly stolen.
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For example, a person who steals less than $300 worth of valuables may be charged with petit theft, which is a second-degree misdemeanor. However, once the value exceeds that amount, it becomes a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. (This is true unless items are stolen from a residence, in which case the threshold is just $100.)

Per F.S. 812.014(2)(c)(1), other aggravating factors may enhance the level of crime and subsequent penalty. For instance, if the stolen item was a firearm or was taken from a law enforcement officer or vehicle, the punishment is likely to be much harsher.
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