Articles Posted in Theft Crimes in Jacksonville

A pair of brothers have been arrested on out of county warrants for defrauding customers.  According to an article on, the two men owned a roofing company that has received complaints from customers for some time.  Currently, they are facing criminal fraud charges in Volusia County, but more charges may come.  The men are accused of taking money for roof repairs, mostly from hurricane damage, and not returning to complete the jobs.  Other counties involved are St. Johns, Flagler, Duval, Clay and Nassau.  I would expect the men to be arrested on warrants from several, if not all of the other counties where alleged victims live.  In the three counties of St. Johns, Volusia and Flagler, the estimated loss to potential victims is over $455,000.00.

The crime the brothers have been arrested for is Organized Scheme to Defraud in Florida.  A “scheme to defraud” is defined as a systematic and ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud a person or persons or intent to get property from a person or persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises of a future act.  If the value of the property, or money in this case, is $50,000.00 or more, the crime is considered a first degree felony in Florida.  For each of these charges, the men are looking at a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The men will probably not get decades in prison because one of the factors the State Attorney’s Office considers is their ability to provide restitution to the alleged victims.  Restitution is re-payment of money taken.  It is obvious from the report that the restitution amount will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It is not clear whether or not these brothers have the ability to pay back all of it, but they may be able to pay some.  Often times in Fraud cases in Jacksonville, any jail or prison term is followed by years of probation.  The main condition of fraud probations in Duval County of the payment of restitution to make the victims whole.

A Neptune Beach police officer has been arrested on the charge of grand theft in Jacksonville.  According to a report on, the officer was stealing money while searching citizen’s cars that he pulled over for traffic infractions.  Police began suspecting the thefts after several people complained about missing money.  An undercover investigation was conducted and the officer allegedly stole just over eight hundred dollars.  During a subsequent interview, the officer allegedly admitted to the thefts.  After being arrested, the officer went in front of a judge and a one thousand dollar Jacksonville bond was issued for his release.  The case is ongoing.

The crime of theft in Florida occurs when a person knowingly obtains or uses, or tries to obtain or use, the property of another person with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the other person of the property or benefit from the property.  There are different levels of the crime of theft in Duval County, depending on the value of the property stolen.  If the value of the property us under three hundred dollars, the crime is a misdemeanor, punishable by a year or under in jail.  If the value of the property stolen is three hundred dollars or over, the theft becomes a felony, punishable by prison time.

If any kind of theft case, restitution is always considered by the State Attorney’s Office.  Restitution is the payment of lost value of something that was taken from a victim.  When any person is arrested for a theft, the prosecutor assigned to the case makes contact with the alleged victim to find out how much money it will take to make that person whole.  Once that amount is determined, paying that amount is always part of a negotiated disposition in the criminal case.  Placing a defendant on probation to pay the money is a way to enforce the payment.  Prosecutors can also file a restitution order with the court, which is a document that enforces the payment of restitution civilly.  In this case with the police officer, restitution to the victims will surely be part of the case.

Last week, an inspector at the Jacksonville Electric Authority was arrested for charges of employee theft and being a public servant that falsified official documents. According to an article in the Florida Times Union, the employee is accused of lying on his time sheet, billing for hours he did not work.  Police say the man spent many hours doing personal things and billing the public utility for that time.

The man was released on his own recognizance by the judge in first appearance court.  In Jacksonville and all over Florida, when you are arrested, you will be brought in front of a judge within twenty-four hours to address your release.  The judge will decide whether or not you are a danger to the community and whether or not you pose a flight risk.  The judge will consider how long you have lived in the county, your criminal history, if any, your family living in the county, your employment, etc.  Most of the time, judges will set a bond, which is an amount of money you will have to pay to be released.  If a bond is set, you can pay the whole amount directly to the jail and will be the whole amount back at the conclusion of your case.  If you cannot afford to post the full amount of Jacksonville bond, you can use a bondsman.  They will take ten percent of the bond amount and post the rest with the jail for you.  In this case, the judge released the JEA employee on his own recognizance, which means he did not have to pay any money to get out of jail.  However, the judge also required that the employee report to Jacksonville Pretrial Services.  This is a jail release program where you have to report upon being released from jail and you will be randomly drug tested while your case is pending.  The employee has to report to Pretrial Services until he completes the MilePost class, which is an anti-theft class.  Once that is completed, the man just has to report to his court dates as directed.

Employee theft in Florida, when the value stolen is $300 or more and less than $5000, is considered a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.  In this case, police say the man appropriated ill-received payment (about $4500 worth) to himself for work he did not do for the utility company.  The other Duval County criminal charge is called “official misconduct”  It is against the law in Florida for a public worker, with corrupt intent to obtain a benefit to falsify any official record or official document.  In this case, the man is accused of falsifying his time sheets.

A  mechanic working for the City of Jacksonville was recently arrested on one charge of grand theft in Duval County.  According to an article in The Florida Times Union, the now ex-employee stole paint and various automotive parts from the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, where he worked.  A friend of the accused reportedly told the Authority he believed the man was stealing the parts and paint after the two had a disagreement.  The “friend” gave an auto part he received from the accused and after looking at the serial number, it was confirmed to belong to JTA.

All thefts in Florida, no matter the value stolen, are proven the same way.  To be convicted of any theft, the State Attorney’s Office has to prove that a person knowingly obtained or used, or attempts to obtain or use, property belonging to another person, either temporarily or permanently.  That means, for example, if you pick up a pen in a store and conceal it, but decide to abandon the theft and put the pen back, you can still be arrested for stealing the pen because you “temporarily” deprived the store of their pen.

There are different severity levels of thefts, the most serious being stealing cash or property valued at $100,000 or more.  This is considered a first degree felony in Florida punishable by up to thirty years in prison.  If the property taken has a value of between $20,000 and $100,000, it is one level down to a second degree felony.  The maximum punishment on this level is fifteen years in prison.  If the value is over $300 and less than $20,000, it is a third degree felony with an exposure to up to five years in prison.  The most common theft charges are considered misdemeanors, with value under $300.

A manager at JTA, or Jacksonville Transportation Authority, is facing a felony charge of grand theft.  According to a report in the Florida Times Union, the man stole over $300,000.00 from the Authority.  Part of the manager’s duties included being involved in real estate transactions, according to the article.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is alleging that the man diverted funds that belonged to the authority to his personal bank account.  The alleged illegally obtained funds total $394,624.65.  The manager was arrested for grand theft of an amount over $100,000, which makes the charge a first degree felony punishable by up to thirty years in prison.

Grand theft charges in Jacksonville vary depending on the amount of money or the value of the property stolen.  In this case, because the amount is over $100,000, it is considered a first degree felony, which is the most serious level.  If the value of property or money stolen is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, the theft is a second degree felony.  If the amount is $300 or over but less than $20,000, it is a third degree felony.  Any amount under $300 is a misdemeanor, which is handled in county court.

The manager’s bond is set at $300,003.  That bond is subject to what is called a “Nebia” hearing.  When a crime involves a lot of money, such as theft of the money or being accused of being a drug dealer, courts can require this hearing to find out where bond funds would be coming from.  The government does not want an accused suspect to use illegally obtained money to bond out of jail. Even if the case is eventually dropped, the suspect may still have to show where exactly the money is coming from.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reports that the thefts of motorcycles increased substantially this year compared to last.  According to an report in The Florida Times Union, there are already as many of these thefts this year than in all of 2015.  The article reports that the weather warming up contributes to the spike.  Many of the motorcycles are sold off for their parts either at a shop or online.  The state of Florida ranks second for motorcycle thefts in the United States.

If someone steals a motorcycle and sells off the parts, a couple of crimes can be charged in Jacksonville.  The obvious one is Grand Theft.  Theft is knowingly taking someone’s property intending to temporarily or permanently deprive them of their property.  It becomes “grand” and a third degree felony if the value of the item is over $300.00 or if the item is a motor vehicle.  If convicted of a third degree felony in Florida, you are facing up to five years in prison.  If the value of the item is below $300.00 and $100.00 or over, the crime can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor.  If below $100.00, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

The other crime that can be charged is substantially more serious and in most cases, easier to prove.  Dealing in stolen property in Duval County is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.  Any person who buys, sells or even tries to buy or sell items he or she knew or should have known was stolen can be charged.  In the motorcycle thefts, if the parts are put for sale on ebay, each part being sold can be a separate criminal charge.  When something is stolen either in a burglary or from a theft, police will scour pawn shops for recent sales and will peruse websites such as craigslist and ebay trying to find the items.

A Jacksonville police officer is facing several criminal charges stemming from separate alleged incidents.  According to a report in the Florida Times Union, the officer of fourteen years is charged with grand theft, petit theft and official misconduct in Duval County.  Those charges are pending after allegations that the officer was paid for time he did not work in off-duty jobs.  Official misconduct and grand theft are both third degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison each and the petit theft is a first degree misdemeanor.  The State Attorney’s Office has not made a decision about filing those charges.  There is another allegation of sexual battery in Jacksonville that the prosecutor on the case has made a decision on.  The officer was accused of paying prostitutes to have sex with him while on duty.  One woman told police she was forced to have sex with the police officer, which is considered a sexual battery in Florida.  The State Attorney’s Office has decided not to file this charge because there is no reasonable probability of conviction.

When someone is arrested for any crime, the prosecutor’s office in that county has to make a decision on whether or not to file the charge.  In order for the police to make an arrest in Jacksonville, they must have “probable cause”.  This means, more likely than not, the accused committed a crime.  Once the case lands on a prosecutor’s desk, that prosecutor must decide whether or not they can prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard than an arrest.  When someone is arrested for a felony in Duval County, which all sex charges are, the prosecutor’s office has a period of time to make a decision about what to do.  They can file the felony case as charged, drop the case if there is not enough evidence, or file the case as a misdemeanor.  Assistant state attorneys have a lot of discretion when deciding what to do and that is why it is so important to hire an experienced criminal attorney.  The Jacksonville criminal attorney can gather evidence and meet with the prosecutor to present your side prior to any charges being filed.

A sexual battery in Florida is defined as oral, anal or vaginal penetration, or union with, the sexual organ of another person or an object without the victim’s consent.  Consent is defined as knowing and voluntary, not coerced.  There are also different levels of sexual battery in Jacksonville.  If the accused sexually battered a victim without violence or physical force, the crime is considered a second degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and a lifetime of being labeled a sex offender.  If the accused used violence or if the victim was physically incapacitated at the time, the sex crime is elevated to a first degree felony.  “Physically incapacitated” can mean asleep or even drunk, which is obviously subject to interpretation.  Often times, rape cases come down to a he said, she said.

St. Johns County police have released surveillance video and are looking for two men accused of stealing flat-screen televisions from a local store  Police said two men entered the Walmart about 1 a.m. and then loaded up a shopping cart with four flat-screen televisions, according to a report on News4Jax. When one of the men was stopped by an employee and asked to provide a receipt, he handed the worker the receipt and kept walking, the television station reported. After the worker realized the receipt was for food and not for the four televisions, she went to the parking lot and saw the men driving off with the televisions in the back of a pick-up truck, the television station reported.

Police issued descriptions of the men and the truck in this St. Johns County Theft Case. If the suspects are eventually caught, they will almost certainly be facing felony charges. In St. Johns County Theft Cases, the severity of the charges – and the potential prison time on the table – is based primarily on the value of the property the person is accused of taking. The key threshold in St. Johns County Theft Cases is $300. If the property is question is valued at less than $300, the charge is a misdemeanor. In St. Johns County Misdemeanor Cases, there is no possibility of state prison – only a maximum of a year in county jail. But, once the value crosses $300, the crime can be charged as a felony. Grand Theft is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

One issue that could be of interest if charges are filed is just how many charges are filed. In all likelihood, each of the televisions is worth more than $300. But the act itself was one theft that happened to net four televisions – as opposed to four separate incidents with one television each. That sounds like splitting hairs, but four charges with a maximum of five years on each charge is significantly different from just one charge.

A man accused of stealing items from a Clay County store is now looking at even more serious charges after allegedly beating a man who tried to stop him from shoplifting.  Police and witnesses said the man was running out of the store with items he didn’t pay for when another man tried to tackle him, according to a report on News4Jax. The man who tried to stop him was injured and several other shoppers jumped on the accused shoplifter and held him there until police could arrive, the television station reported. Once police arrived, the man was arrested and charged with grand theft, retail theft, felony battery and resisting arrest.

Felony battery is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison. Battery is not always a felony, it depends on the injuries suffered by the person who was struck. Battery becomes a felony if someone hits or strikes a person against their will, and, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. In this Jacksonville Battery Case, witnesses said they could see part of the victim’s bone coming from his leg, so that’s likely why the crime is charged as a felony. There could be an element of self-defense in this Jacksonville Felony Case, though prosecutors will likely argue the defendant put himself in the situation where he could be tackled by running out of a store with things he did not pay for. And while police will never encourage people to take the law into their own hands as the man who was injured did, it is also highly unlikely that he would be charged with a crime. But, by fighting with a man who tried to stop him, the defendant added a felony to his list of charges.

The defendant is looking at another felony in this case for grand theft. In Jacksonville Theft Crimes, the severity of the charge – and thus the corresponding punishment – is based on the value of the property in question. The key number in Jacksonville Theft Cases is $300. If the value alleged to be stolen is less than $300, the case is a misdemeanor and the maximum punishment is one year in the county jail. However, once the $300 threshold is crossed, the case becomes a felony and the maximum punishment increases to five years in state prison.   Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney represents people arrested on all types of charges, from misdemeanors on up to life felonies.

A suspected bank robber was shot in the face by a former police officer who chased him in his car.  The defendant was seen running from a St. Johns County bank and the former officer, who was in the drive-thru lane, started chasing him in his car, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. When the former officer caught up with the suspect, the two struggled in a parking lot, the newspaper reported. A witness said the bank robbery suspect reached for a gun and that’s when the former officer pulled his own gun and shot the suspected robber in the face, the newspaper reported. The suspected robber kept running to where he had parked his car and eventually surrendered to a St. Johns County police officer who had his gun drawn.

Police said they found a large amount of money in the suspect’s possession, along with a gun and a note demanding money that police are inferring was used during the robbery, the newspaper reported. Charges had not yet been filed, but the man is likely facing armed robbery charges, first-degree felonies that are punishable by up to life in prison. He would also likely face other charges, such as fleeing and eluding a police officer, but the armed robbery charge is by far the most serious.  And what about the former police officer who shot the man in the face? He is unlikely to face any charges.

According to Florida law, if a person is in fear for his or her life, the person can respond with deadly force. In this St. Johns County Gun Crimes Case, the two appeared to be engaged in what amounted to a wrestling match when the robbery suspect is said to have reached for a gun. At that point, the other man made a decision his life was in danger and he pulled out his weapon and fired. It could be argued that the former officer should not have even attempted to capture the bank robbery suspect and that he put himself in that situation by following the suspect and trying to apprehend a man who had just robbed a bank. While police don’t recommend that anyone do such a thing, it’s unlikely they would recommend the person be charged with a crime that would likely come with a potential punishment of decades behind bars. Depending on the robbery suspect’s injuries, the former officer’s actions could open him up to a potential civil lawsuit down the road, but criminal charges are not likely in this St. Johns County Robbery Case.

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