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Police Warn Of Car Burglary Spree In Dania Beach

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies are seeking alleged car burglars in Dania Beach.

According to WSVN, the alleged suspects are casing strip malls, gas stations and daycares, looking for purses left unattended. BSO deputies were out Friday handing out flyers, letting people know that they are being watched.

According to police, at least half a dozen of the purses stolen were taken from cars over the past month parked along Sterling Road all the way up to 30th avenue, west of Interstate 95. Police said the alleged suspects have been taking advantage of unlocked doors or even smashing windows to get inside.

Burglary of an unoccupied conveyance is the formal charge for a car burglary in the State of Florida. It is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison. A person convicted can be sentenced up to 5 years for each count, or each car burglarized.

However, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance is rarely charged by itself. Prosecutors can charge offenders with the accompanying crimes, such as theft (for items taken from the car) and criminal mischief (for damage done to the car).

The theft can be either grand theft or petit theft depending on the value of the items taken from the car. If the fair market value of the items taken is over $300, the charge will be grand theft. If under $300, the charge will be petit theft.

Restitution is normally an issue in a burglary of an unoccupied conveyance case. If the alleged victim has comprehensive insurance which covers car burglaries, then the accused will only be made to pay the alleged victim's deductible. If the alleged victim's insurance does not cover car burglaries, then the accused may be made to pay for the entire amount of the damage and theft.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward. Call today to discuss your case.