ORC or organized retail crime is now a huge buzzword for Chicago police after a string of robberies and burglaries targeting valuable retail merchandise. Police now have a man in custody who is believed to be a “ringleader” of a smash and grab ring that netted over $175,000 in capital. The ringleader is facing nine counts of burglary charges. He is suspected in dozens of more burglaries targeting various retail stores in the Chicago area.
According to police, the suspect was apprehended by his car after private security footage caught the individual and three others dumping cash registers and other merchandise. Police are now targeting the crew employed by the ringleader to carry out the specific burglaries. If precedent has any say, the ringleader will be more than happy to provide any information the police want in exchange for a reduction of his sentence. However, the ringleader must be both willing and able to provide that information. Typically, prosecutors will not want to trade down to get lower-level contributors. The idea is generally to work in the other direction. However, law enforcement has been known to work the opposite way when it benefits them.
Understanding Burglary Charges
Burglary, simply defined, is when you enter someone else’s property or remain there for the purpose of committing a theft or felony. So, the prosecution must prove two elements. Firstly, you were on property that you were not allowed access to (trespassing) and the intent to commit a robbery or another felony. Without intent, there is no burglary, but authorities will likely not struggle to prove intent in this case.
Sentencing for burglary-related crimes depends entirely on the context. In this case, you have a career criminal involved in an organized attempt to rob Chicago retail stores. He committed the offense over and over, and profited from it until he was caught. He was wanted on at least four warrants at the time of his arrest and will likely not qualify for first-time offender status. On the minimum side, you have four years on each count. Nine counts add up to 36 years. On the long end of the sentencing spectrum, you can face 15 years for burglary charges meaning the defendant would never get out of prison for this crime spree.
He could also face additional charges for conspiracy and related crimes.
What Will Happen?
Every time police announce that there is a major problem in Chicago, you can expect several high-profile busts to ensue. In this case, the case against this individual will act as a future deterrent to those involved in ORC schemes. In cases like this, defendants are often overcharged for their crimes because authorities want the victory to be symbolic and strike fear into the hearts of those organizing such rings.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Not everyone will face such a substantial sentence on burglary charges, but this individual’s crimes happened to coincide with a visible police effort to protect retailers from thieves. If you have been charged with burglary in the Chicago area, call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your trial strategy immediately.