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Miami-Dade School Bus Depot Burglarized

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Unknown suspects are alleged responsible for stealing the batteries from 32 buses at the Miami-Dade County Public Schools' bus depot. The Miami-Dade School Board said the break-ins occurred at the school bus depot in the 7000 block of Southwest Fourth Street.

School bus drivers arrived to work Tuesday morning to discover that the batteries had been stolen from the buses.

School officials are investigating whether the theft may have been captured on surveillance video.

This crime would be categorized as burglary of an unoccupied structure, as a fenced-in bus depot is considered a "structure." The burglary crime would be the theft of the batteries.

Burglary of an unoccupied structure is a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in state prison. Each count of theft would likely be petit theft, as batteries normally cost less than $300.

Little has been reported as to what type of evidence is available to law enforcement at this time. While there may be video surveillance, that alone does not always mean that there is solid proof of identity. Video surveillance is often grainy and does not always show the person in great detail. Other evidence, such as fingerprints, along with video surveillance can be compelling. Also, if the accused gives a confession to police, that will make the case that much stronger.

It's important not to speak with police if accused of a crime. Ask to speak with a criminal defense attorney before you decide whether or not to give a statement. Your silence cannot be used against you in a criminal proceeding.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, call today to speak to Eric Matheny.