According to authorities, a Paterson man was allegedly caught burglarizing 6 vehicles in Prospect Park. Prospect Park Police say 51 year-old Wesley Bethea was observed walking in the area of Hopper Street and Brown Avenue around 3:21am on Tuesday. He was allegedly observed pulling door handles of three separate cars attempting to gain entry. When the Police vehicle’s alarm went off, Bethea ran off and attempted to flee the area. When Police caught up with him, he was allegedly in possession of a flashlight and stolen property. The 51 year-old was then arrested and charged with three county of attempted burglary, receiving stolen property and possession of burglary tools. Police also recovered three laptops and an iPad which will be returned to victims. Click here to read more at www.patersontimes.com.
The state of New Jersey takes Burglary charges very seriously, and penalties can be harsh. Burglary is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, which provides:
a. A person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein or thereon he:
1. Enters a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof unless the structure was at the time open to the public or the actor was licensed or privileged to enter;
2. Surreptitiously remains in a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so; or
3. Trespasses in or upon utility company property where public notice prohibiting trespass is given by conspicuous posting, or fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
Burglary is a crime of the third degree, except that it is a crime of the second degree if in the course of committing the offense the actor:
1. Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
2. Is armed with or displays what appear to be explosives or a deadly weapon.
A crime of the second degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Burglary in the second degree is an enumerated crime under the No Early Release Act (NERA), meaning that 85% of the sentence imposed must be served before becoming eligible for parole.
A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
If you or a loved one is charged with Burglary you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately, especially given the potential prison sentence if convicted. Former Morris County Prosecutor, Alissa Hascup is skilled and experienced at defending countless individuals charged with burglary throughout the state of New Jersey. She is committed to ensuring your rights are protected in court and that you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Contact her office for a free consultation about your case. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.