Miami-Dade Schools Police said that they have documented as many as 10 incidents of burglary at schools across Miami-Dade County during spring break.
According to police reports, several of the incidents were captured on surveillance video. The video allegedly captured suspects wearing masks and hoods and causing damage to the property.
The incidents stretched throughout Miami-Dade County, and have resulted in 12 arrests. Depending on the ages of the defendants, the suspects may be charged as juveniles or adults. The suspects will likely be charged with burglary, criminal mischief (the felony charge, because of the dollar amount of damage), and grand theft, if any items were allegedly stolen.
The burglary charge will be burglary of an unoccupied structure, a third-degree felony. The charge will not be a dwelling burglary because a school building is not considered a "dwelling" under Florida law.
The main issue in this case will likely be restitution. Depending on the amount of damage to the schools, restitution could be in the six figures.
Burglary is a serious charge but it takes evidence to prove somebody guilty. That means video surveillance, fingerprints, eyewitness statements, DNA, and/or possession of stolen of property. The strength of the cases against the accused suspects will depend on whether their images are visible in the video surveillance, or possibly whether their fingerprints were found anywhere on the burglarized property.
I am a criminal defense attorney who serves Miami-Dade and Broward. I represent clients charged with burglary crimes. If you are in need of an attorney to handle your burglary case, call me.