Residential burglaries are on the rise in parts of the East Bay. In Dublin, police believe the increase in area burglaries is the work of out-of-town thieves and gang members. Dublin's reported home burglaries in the month of March increased 400% over last year. Police are now looking to other area law enforcement agencies, including Alameda Sheriff's deputies, to help put a stop to the increased breaking and entering.
Last month alone, East Dublin reported 9 burglaries in area neighborhoods. Residents have held a community meeting to talk about the problem, leading some people to organize neighborhood patrols. Four people were arrested in the end of March, but the burglary trend has continued into April. According to Police Chief Dennis Houghtelling, “we are hoping these people we caught leads to more arrests.”
In most of the reported burglaries, the thieves broke through sliding-glass doors at night. One of the victims, Michael Cline, was out of town when the burglary occurred. Surveillance footage showed suspects entering and leaving his property, spending more than 8 hours in his home. According to Cline, they were trying to break into his safe, using tools from his own garage. Although fingerprint evidence was collected, Cline said Dublin police have not followed up on the burglary.
In another apparent burglary attempt on March 31, a resident called police to report a loud knocking on the door around midnight. Officers showed up and chased a suspect to a waiting car. Inside the car were 3 juveniles and one 18-year-old from Richmond. The individuals were arrested and were found to be in possession of a stolen gun from Antioch, and had a glass-breaking tool.
Israel Johnson was the only adult among the suspected burglars. According to police, he admitted to detectives that “the group had come to Dublin with the specific intention of committing a residential burglary in the city.” Because the other three were juveniles, they were issued a citation and released.
County prosecutors in Alameda and Contra Costa take burglary charges very seriously. Burglary involves a person who enters any house, room, apartment, store, or other building, with the intent to commit theft or any other felony. Burglary of an inhabited building is a first degree offense, and carries greater penalties. Under California Penal Code 459, a burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the specifics of the crime. Felony burglary penalties can include up to six years in prison, or more depending on the defendant's criminal record.
If a loved one is arrested on suspicion of burglary, contact a criminal defense lawyer who has dedicated their legal career to defending people facing criminal charges in the East Bay. With over 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a conviction can affect your future, and how to fight to keep a conviction off your record. If you are facing criminal charges, contact the local East Bay criminal defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.