On Wednesday, April 7th, a suspect was arrested in Santa Barbara who was believed to be prowling while in possession of narcotics. Police were called when the owner of a business on Carpinteria Street noticed someone prowling around outside. Upon their arrival, police searched the property and found the suspect hopping over a fence. The police gave chase, during which the suspect dropped his backpack. Upon searching the pack, police found what was believed to be methamphetamine and narcotic paraphernalia.
After forming a perimeter, police were able to arrest the suspect – who surrendered without incident. The suspect was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on several charges, including attempted burglary.
Attempted burglary is covered under two charges: the first being California Penal Code 459 PC, which is California’s burglary law. The second is California Penal Code 21(a) PC, which covers attempted crimes.
Burglary is described as entering any commercial or residential structure or locked vehicle with the intent to commit grand theft, petty theft, or a felony. Interestingly, under this definition, a person doesn’t have to steal something, or even intend to steal something, in order to be charged with burglary. The charge can also be pressed if the individual intends to commit a felony after entering one of the aforementioned places.
An attempted crime, as covered under California Penal Code 21(a) PC, is described as a person who intends to commit a crime and takes a step in furtherance of the commission of that crime. In this case, it was believed that the suspect intended to commit burglary and he took a step in the commission of that crime by lurking about by local businesses.
Burglary can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. The potential penalty includes 16 months to 3 years in jail for felony convictions, or up to 1 year in jail for misdemeanor convictions. In the case of attempted crimes, the defendant generally faces half the penalty of the underlying crime. In this case, he could face 8 to 16 months in jail.