WSVN reports that Broward County has seen a rise in car burglaries at dog parks.
A car burglary is technically known as a burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in state prison.
Burglary of an unoccupied conveyance is typically charged along with other theft and property crimes, such as criminal mischief (if any property is damaged), grand theft (if items are stolen in excess of $300), or petit theft (if items are stolen that are valued at less than $300).
Penalties can vary depending on the accused's prior record. If the accused has no priors, diversion, such as Pretrial Intervention, may be available, provided the alleged victim agrees.
If the accused has serious priors, then the State may seek prison time.
In most cases, somebody who pleads guilty or no contest or who is found guilty of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance will be ordered to pay restitution to the alleged victim. The restitution can be costly if the alleged victim has no insurance or no comprehensive coverage (an auto insurance policy that covers burglary damages).
Car burglaries can be difficult for the State to prove without certain types of evidence. If the accused has left fingerprints on or inside of the car, that would be stronger evidence of guilt than if there was no physical evidence. Car burglaries may also be proven through eyewitness accounts, video surveillance, and statements of the accused.