Certain crimes are just made for television. Not necessarily because the storyline has all the trappings of a Hollywood storyline, but because the surveillance video is so clear there is no doubt the suspect will end up on the news. Police jump at the chance to release video like the one last week of two men smashing the front window and breaking into a high-end San Marco jewelry store. And news outlets are always happy to oblige.
The video shown by First Coast News and other Jacksonville stations shows the masked men breaking open cases with what appears to be a hammer, sweeping jewelry into bags and then leaving the business. The alarm to Underwood’s Jewelers was apparently going off the whole time the men were inside, but they got away before the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrived. The suspects were in and out quick, just before 5 a.m. on a popular local jogging route. Police have not announced any suspects in the case and are asking for the public’s help.
If the men are caught, they could have a tough time in trial. Not only is the video clear, it’s been on a constant loop for several days – right before Christmas. It’s a time when there is less news happening to bump it from the rotation and when people are more likely to sympathize with a small business owner victimized by brazen thieves.
Not to mention they’ll likely be known as the “Underwood’s thieves” or “Underwood’s burglars” and a catchy name always helps people remember the crime – not usually to the suspect’s benefit. Whatever they made off with is likely in the thousands of dollars – perhaps into six figures. Several factors will play into how much time the men could face – whether they were armed, how much jewelry was reported stolen, etc. A Jacksonville burglary to a store, also referred to as a “structure” under Florida law, is a third degree felony in Florida punishable by up to five years in prison. If the value of the items stolen is over $300.00, the theft is considered a “grand theft” and is also a felony in Jacksonville.
But there are always places to look from a defense standpoint, starting with identification of the suspects. The act itself is crystal clear on the video, but the faces are not. Often times, even eye witnesses have trouble remembering specific details of a suspect they themselves witnessed committing a crime.
Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Law Firm has represented hundreds of people accused of burglary over the years – many of whom were seen on video. Cases aren’t always the slam dunks they look like on the 11 o’clock news.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County Criminal Lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.