Grand Theft Boating Equipment

July 7, 2022 Criminal Defense, Theft/Property Crimes

When it comes to stealing in Florida, it is the value of the item or items stolen that matter. The difference between petit theft and grand theft is merely how much the stolen property was worth. Florida takes theft very seriously, especially the crime of grand theft.

One man in Florida has recently been arrested for stealing boating equipment in multiple counties. After one county was suspicious of his theft, it turns out it was happening in other counties as well.

We will cover the details of the case, along with both burglary and grand theft charges in Florida.

What was the Incident?

Carlos Leodanys Lopez, 25, was arrested and charged with grand theft and burglary in Homestead Florida. Lopez was accused of targeting high-end GPS units from multiple boats that he was breaking into in both Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys.

On Thursday morning the Monroe County police were called to Venetian Shores neighborhood in Islamorada after reports of four boats were reported as getting their high-end GPS units stolen. According to the sheriff’s office, the stolen property was valued at $60,000.

The Monroe deputies later found out that Miami Beach detectives were also searching for Lopez on identical crimes. After Monroe County posted the wanted alert for Lopez, the Miami Beach police were alerted and contacted them about similar crimes in their county.

The Miami Beach police found Lopez attempting to discard the GPS units and arrested him for the wanted crimes. Lopez admitted to the theft in Islamorada after they recovered stolen GPS units from his home. He has been taken into the Miami-Dade County jail, but is set to be prosecuted in Monroe County.

Burglary in Florida

Burglary is codified under Florida Statute 810.02, which is defined as when an individual enters a space that is not open to the public with the intent to commit a crime. Unless the area is considered open to the public or the defendant has been invited or has a license to enter, they can get charged with a burglary crime.

In addition, if an individual enters and remains in a space to commit a forcible felony, it can be considered burglary under the above statute. For example, the following are forcible felonies that could then result in a burglary charge:

In order to prove that the defendant had committed a burglary crime, the prosecution must prove without a reasonable doubt that the individual did not have permission or a license to enter the premises, and that the premises was not an open space for the public. It is important to note that if the defendant entered an area that was open to the public, but then entered an additional area of the premises that the defendant knew was not open to the public while committing a crime, then it is considered burglary. For the instance of the Lopez crime, if the area where the boats were docked was open, but he then snuck into the private area of the boats to commit a theft crime, then he has also committed burglary.

To read more about burglary charges and the inference to prove the “intent to commit the crime” find our page here.

Grand Theft in Florida

Grand theft falls under Florida Statute section 812.014(1), which is defined as when an individual knowingly uses or obtains, or attempts to use or obtain another person’s property.  These acts must be done with the intent to (either temporarily or permanently) deprive the original owner of the property or use the stolen property as their own. For a theft crime to be considered grand theft, the alleged stolen property must be valued over $750.

For any alleged stolen property that is valued between $20,000 and $100,000, it is considered grand theft in the second-degree. For the Lopez case, the stolen GPS equipment was valued at an estimated $60,000, meaning it would likely be a second-degree grand theft charge. The penalties for grand theft in the second-degree is up to a $10,000 fine and up to fifteen years in prison.

To find out more about grand theft, read our page here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Getting accused of grand theft or burglary are both extremely serious charges in Florida. A criminal conviction for burglary or grand theft can result in harsh penalties, such as expensive fines and potential jail time. The best way to fight your case is to work with a theft defense attorney in your area. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing cases all across the state of Florida for various criminal charges. We will stand by your side throughout the entire legal process and fight for your freedom. For a free consultation call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today.

Written by Karissa Key

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