At about 8 am on Thursday, September 19, deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station responded to a report of suspicious activity at a storage facility on Via Princessa.
Upon arriving at the scene, deputies were given a description of two women and the vehicle they were seen leaving in. The deputies were able to quickly track down the vehicle near Sierra Highway and Newhall Avenue, where they conducted a traffic stop. A search of the vehicle turned up several “collectibles” and other items that were allegedly stolen from the storage facility.
The two suspects, one from Simi Valley and the other from Van Nuys, were arrested on burglary charges and taken to the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station to undergo booking and processing.
Burglary is covered under California Penal Code 459 PC and is described as entering any residential or commercial building with the intent of committing a felony once inside. It’s possible to be charged with burglary simply by entering a building with criminal intent, regardless of whether or not the intended theft or felony is completed.
Most of the time, burglary is associated with theft. However, under the definition of the law, one doesn’t have to steal something – or even intend to steal something – to be charged with burglary.
For example, a person who enters someone’s home with the intent of committing sexual assault could be charged with burglary. Additionally, a person who enters a bank with the intent of committing check fraud would also be eligible for burglary charges.
Burglary is divided into two charges depending on the type of building that the defendant entered. First-degree burglary is charged when the building is a residence, and second-degree burglary is charged when the building is a commercial or another type of structure.
The penalties for first-degree burglary include formal probation, two to six years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. First-degree burglary also counts as a “strike” under California’s “Three Strikes Law.”
While first-degree burglary is a felony, second-degree burglary is a “wobbler” that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a felony, the penalties include formal probation, 16 months to 3 years in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.