A suspected burglar has been arrested in Lompoc after he allegedly stole several pairs of jeans by smashing the glass doors of a Surf Connection shop.
Officers arrived on the scene at about 2 am after the shop’s alarm went off. When they arrived, they observed the shattered doors and, upon further investigation, saw that a single stack of jeans was missing from the shelves. Officers saw a man running from the scene to a nearby motel room, and questioned the clerk as to the name on the room, which was M. Limon. The officers then confronted the suspect who confessed to the crime. He was then arrested on burglary charges.
According to reports, the value of the stolen jeans was $1,232 and the value of the damaged door was $766. The suspect was taken to the Lompoc police department jail to undergo booking and processing and was then cited and released as per the COVID 19 protocols.
Burglary is covered under California Penal Code 459 PC and is described as entering any commercial or residential property or locked vehicle with the intent to commit grand theft, petty theft, or a felony once inside. It is important to note that, after passage of Prop 47 in 2014, burglary and shoplifting are two separate crimes. Shoplifting, covered under California Penal Code 459.5 PC, occurs when a person enters an open business to steal merchandise worth $950 or less.
Burglary is broken down into two parts – first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary occurs when the building that was entered is a residence, while second-degree burglary covers commercial businesses. First-degree burglary is always a felony in California and carries the potential penalties of a state prison sentence of 2, 4, or 6 years.
Second-degree burglary is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. When charged as a misdemeanor, the potential penalty includes up to 1 year in county jail. When charged as a felony, the potential penalties include 16 months, 2, or 3 years in jail.