|Pictured Above: Juan Morales and Aldo Manriquez. Source: Covina Police Department.|
Early Monday morning, a woman heard her car alarm go off and then saw two men driving away in a van. She noticed her car had been burglarized and called the police. The woman gave the police a description of the van and after police stopped the car, they arrested Juan Morales and Aldo Manriquez. In the mens’ van were items from the woman’s car that had been burglarized. Also in the mens’ car were items from several other auto break-ins in the area. The men were arrested in connection with several auto break-ins and are currently in jail pending their hearing.
A person can be convicted of auto burglary if they break into a car to steal the car or items inside of the car. Depending on what was taken and the circumstances surrounding the break in, a person committing auto burglary can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Petty theft is the taking of items worth less than $950. Grand theft is the taking of items worth more than $950. Defenses to auto burglary include lack of intent to take the items or mistaken identity. If you are charged with auto burglary or theft, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.