Earlier this week, the Mandarin Wong Restaurant in Newhall was burglarized. The alleged crime was discovered Tuesday morning when the manager of the restaurant arrived at work and found that their glass was broken.
The incident was caught on video surveillance and shows the suspect breaking through the glass door to gain entrance. Once inside, the suspect picked up and smashed the cash register and tip jar in order to access the cash they contained.
The suspect caught on camera was wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt with a hood that obscured their face, and gloves. No arrests have yet been made, though the incident is currently being investigated by Santa Clarita Sheriff Station detectives.
Burglary is covered under California Penal Code 459 PC and is described as entering an residential or commercial building with the intent of committing a felony once inside. Most of the time, the felony that’s committed is theft-related, however, it’s possible to be charged with burglary in other situations as well.
For example, entering a bank with the intention of committing check fraud once inside can net the suspect a burglary charge. Additionally, entering someone’s home with the intention of raping or otherwise assaulting them could also result in burglary charges.
In California, burglary is divided into two classes: first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary is typically charged when the structure that was entered is a residence, while second-degree burglary is charged when the building is any other type of structure (in this case, a commercial structure).
First-degree burglary is always a felony in California, and the penalties include felony probation, 2 to 6 years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, a first-degree burglary conviction counts as a “strike” under California’s ‘Three Strikes Law.”
Second-degree burglary is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a felony, the potential penalties include 16 months to 3 years in county jail, felony probation, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Misdemeanor penalties include summary probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.