Recently in Theft Crimes Category

January 2, 2013

Two Boston Men Arrested for Shoplifting in Braintree

Two men from Dorchester - Boston were arrested for Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges last week for allegedly stealing from two stores at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Massachusetts.

Johnny Hippolite, 30, and Gerald Blain, 35, were with arrested and charged with Shoplifting and Receiving Stolen Property Over $250.

According to the Braintree Police, one was allegedly observed stealing two bottles of cologne while the other man served as a lookout. Police also allegedly recovered over $400 of stolen merchandise from Macy's.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Shoplifting is the intentional taking of merchandise offered for sale by a merchant with the intention of depriving the merchant of its possession without paying for its value. A first offense Shoplifting charge only carries a penalty of $100 and a fine of $500 for a second offense. A third conviction for shoplifting carries the potential for imprisonment for up to 2 years in the House of Corrections.

By contract, the Massachusetts Theft Crime of Receiving Stolen Property is the receiving or aiding in the concealment of stolen property knowing it to have been stolen. The crime of Receiving Stolen Property carries a potential penalty of up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections for a first offense; and up to 5 years in state prison for a second or subsequent offense (or of the value of the items stolen exceeds $250).

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November 30, 2011

2 Massachusetts Men Arrested for Robbery for Purse Snatching

thumbnail.aspx.jpegTwo men, one from Boston and the other from Stoughton, were arrested this past Saturday on Massachusetts Theft Crimes and Violent Crimes Charges in an alleged purse snatching incident.

Nathaniel Webster, 32, of Boston, and Tameika Dunbar, 29, of Stoughton, were both charged with Unarmed Robbery, Resisting Arrest and Assault & Battery.

According to the Boston Police Department, Webster and Dunbar allegedly came behind two woman in Mattapan, hit them and stole one of their purses. The pair was reportedly arrested after their car was pulled over nearby by responding police officers.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Unarmed Robbery makes criminal the act of one, who is not armed with a dangerous weapon, by who by force or violence robs or steals the property or money of another person. The potential penalty for Unarmed Robbery in Massachusetts is imprisonment for any term of years up to life.

In my practice, allegations of Armed Robbery and Unarmed Robbery in circumstances involving purse snatching are more and more common. In the past, persons charged with these crimes often had their charges reduced to Larceny from the Person and the cases usually remained in the district courts.

In the past year or so, as purse snatching are more common and apparently increasing in violence, prosecutors are taking a closer look at these cases and appear to be indicting more of them to Superior Court, where the penalties are much stiffer.

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November 24, 2011

Drug Counselor Charged in Cambridge with Court Cost Scam

skinner.jpgA man who worked as a substance abuse counselor was charged in Cambridge District Court this past week on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly attempting to scam clients by promising a reduction in their criminal charges in exchange for a "court fee".

Greg Skinner was arraigned in Cambridge District Court this week on charges of Larceny Over $250 by False Pretenses.

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office alleges that Skinner, in his role as a drug counselor, tried to persuade client he was counseling to pay him a hefty "court fee", and that he, in exchange would arrange so that their criminal charges would be reduced. He would allegedly tell client that he had connections to the court's Probation Department and that the charges would be reduced for a fee of $2,750.

This month, prosecutors allege that he attempted to obtain this ridiculous 'court fee' from a current client. The client, however, along with his parents, reported him to the Massachusetts State Police, who then arranged a sting operation to confirm the allegations. Thereafter, an undercover state trooper, posing as the client's mother, allegedly met with Skinner and provided him with the requested $2,750. Once the money was exchanged, Skinner allegedly stated that he had already taken care of the charges.

In reality, the Probation Department really has no leverage, aside from making a strong recommendation, to have anyone's charges reduced or dismissed. Ultimately, any decision to reduce someone's charges must either come from the District Attorney's Office, or upon motion by the defendant directly to the Judge who will ultimately decide whether or not the charges should and/or can be reduced.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Larceny from the Person Over $250 is a felony which carries a potential penalty of up to 5 years in state prison.

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November 13, 2011

2 Brothers Charged in Stoughton with Robbing 30 Dunkin' Donuts in Massachusetts

The Boston Globe reported that Canton Police arrested 2 brothers, one from Dorchester and the other from Quincy, with Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges in connection with the robberies of at least 30 Dunkin Donuts across Massachusetts.

Canton Police arrested Peter Wallace, of Dorchester, and Wayne Wallace, of Quincy, were arraigned in Stoughton District Court on theft charges including Breaking & Entering in the Nighttime to Commit a Felony; Malicious Destruction of Property and Unlawful Possession of Burglarious Tools.

According to the Canton Police Department, the two brothers were arrested in Canton after officers reportedly responded to an alarm at a Dunkin' Donuts in Canton. The police alleged that responded officers allegedly observed the two brothers taking off their masks and then allegedly attempted to run away.

After chasing them onto I-93 and pulling their car over, Canton Police allege that the two men had evidence in their car, including a crowbar, sledgehammer and screwdriver.

Authorities believe that the Wallace brothers are responsible for at least 30 Dunkin' Donuts robberies, including those in Boston, Wellesley, Quincy and Braintree.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Breaking & Entering in the Nighttime is a felony punishable by up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or up to 20 years in state prison. In order to be convicted of Breaking & Entering in the Nighttime, the government has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  1. The defendant broke into a building;

  2. The defendant entered that building;

  3. With the intent to commit a felony; and

  4. Which took place in the nighttime.
Under Massachusetts law, a "breaking" is defined as any physical force, no matter how slight, to forcible remove an object in order to gain entry. Believe it or not, even opening an unlocked door or going through an open window is considered a "breaking".

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September 27, 2011

Latest Massachusetts Armored Car Robbery Believed to be "Inside Job"

Three men, two of which were employees of the armored car company, were arrested this week on Massachusetts Robbery Charges in connection with Monday's armored car robbery in Methuen: Eliezer Martinez, 26, and Jose Salazar Vasquez, 21, both from Lawrence; and Justin Levesque.

Methuen Police and Boston FBI reported that the men, two of which are employees of the armored car company, that they were working a transaction shortly after 3:00 p.m. when they were approached by a man with a gun and ordered back into the armored car where they were robbed.

The Essex County District Attorney's Office, however, reported that the armored car guards allegedly gave conflicting stories, purportedly not getting straight the description of the alleged robber.

Although police allegedly did recover cash, a gun and duct tape, there is no confirmation as of yet how much of the approximately $380,000 that was allegedly stolen was recovered.

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June 28, 2011

Weymouth Man Charged with Stealing Church Donations

Wilbert Nickerson, 76, of Weymouth, was arrested this past Sunday on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly stealing several hundred dollars in church donations from the St. Jerome Parish in Weymouth.

Nickerson was arraigned Monday morning in Quincy District Court on three counts of Larceny Over $250, a felony.

According to the Weymouth Police Department and the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, Wilbert Nickerson was one of a handful of volunteers who was responsible for counting donations from the collections after church services. Church officials had reportedly suspected Nickerson of stealing from the collections, and this past Sunday, along with the Weymouth Police Department, allegedly used hidden cameras for surveillance while he counted the money.

The Weymouth Police Department had also reportedly included in the donations some money that were previous-recorded, and the hidden cameras allegedly captured Wilbert Nickerson pocketing money into his pocket six times.

According to Weymouth Police, Nickerson is suspected of pocketing church donations on at least 2 prior occasions.

The Massachusetts Theft Crime of Larceny Over $250 is a felony, which is punishable by incarceration to the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years, or up to 5 years in state prison. In order to prove someone guilty of the crime of Larceny, the prosecutor would have to prove:

  1. That the person took and carried away property;

  2. That property was owned by someone other than the defendant;

  3. That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive that person of the property permanently.
Following his arraignment in Quincy District Court, Wilbert Nickerson was released on his own personal recognizance.

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June 15, 2011

Boston Man Arrested in Stolen Car After Police Chase

Misael Fuentes, 23, was arrested by Boston Police Officers Monday morning following a stolen car chase in Roxbury. He was charged with several Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges, as well as Crimes of Violence Charges. Fuentes has been charged with Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Failure to Stop for Police, Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle, Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Property Damage, and Unlawful Possession of Burglarious Tools.

According to the Boston Police Department, officers were conducting surveillance of a stolen car that was, at the time, not occupied. Sometime later, police allegedly observed someone get into that stolen car and drive off. Boston Police initially lost sight of the car, but were then able to locate it, but it was again unattended. A short while later, however, officers observed a person get into that car and drive off. At that time, Boston Police reportedly tried to stop the car, but the Fuentes allegedly sped up and led police on a chase in Roxbury.

During the chase, Boston Police allege that Fuentes "bumped" an officers' car, and also allegedly struck two other cars. The person driving the car was reportedly able to evade police, and when the car was again relocated, it was unoccupied.

A Boston Police canine officers responded to the area and the dog purportedly located Misael Fuentes allegedly hiding underneath a porch on Dean Street in Roxbury.

Certainly one of the issues in Misael Fuentes' defense in this case is going to rise and fall on the ability of the Boston Police Officers to adequately identify him as the suspect that got into that car. In cases where the Defense of Identification is a live issue, such as this, prosecutors would have to prove to a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Misael Fuentes was the person driving that car - particularly where Boston Police lost sight of the car on at least two occasions; may not have gotten a good look at him entering the car and/or driving it; and not seeing him park or exit the car.

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May 21, 2011

Revere Couple Charged in $4M MBTA Fraud Scheme

Andres Townes and Gloria Escobar, both of Revere, were arrested on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges in connection with fraudulent fare-evasion scheme that police allege bilked the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority of $4 million. Both were arraigned in Salem District Court earlier this week on charges including Larceny and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny.

According to police, Andres Townes and Gloria Escobar allegedly conspired in the production and sale of discounted MBTA passes to thousands of people in the greater Boston area and across Massachusetts. The alleged scheme was reportedly initiated from a single ad on Craigslist, and grew to a conglomerate involving a entire network of distributors serving customers making orders of the passes to a post office address.

The scheme was reportedly discovered by an MBTA conductor who noticed that a customer's pass was faded. Further investigation led to authorities to question that rider, who informed the inspector that he had purchased the pass on Craigslist, which then revealed that the MBTA had no record of its serial number.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office in Salem, currently on administrative leave, Andres Townes was employed by Cubic Transportation Systems, the california company that processes approximately $135 million in MBTA passes distributed annually, dating back to as early as 2007. Townes was reportedly responsible for overseeing the sale and service of all MBTA passes that were not purchases at MBTA stations, and therefore allegedly had access to MBTA machines that printed and encoded the 'CharlieTickets' and MBTA monthly passes.

Although the MBTA had implemented a system whereby the MBTA would receive notification of all new passes created, Andres Townes had allegedly discovered a way to bypass or disable those transmissions, which allegedly enabled him to create and distribute thousands of the fake passes. Once used, these fake passes were virtually undetectable by the electronic system and unable to be determined whether they came from legitimate accounts.

Andres Townes is believed to have profited in over $800,000 from the fake MBTA passes, while Escobar was allegedly paid approximately $25,000 per month for her involvement.

Following their arraignments in Salem District Court on these Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges, Andres Townes was held on $250,000 cash bail, while Gloria Escobar was held on $100,000 cash bail.

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April 16, 2011

Lynn Man Indicted by Essex County Grand Jury for Armed Robbery

Matthew David Griggs, 19, has been indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly holding up the Lynnfield Street Market in Lynn. He is scheduled to be charged in Salem Superior Court for Armed Robbery While Masked and Gun Crimes Charges.

According to the Lynn Police Department, Griggs held up the Lynnfield Street Market in Lynn on March 6. Allegedly wearing a mask, he walked into the convenience store with a large hunting knife, ran behind the counter and grabbed $350 before fleeing in a grey car. Although Griggs was allegedly wearing a mask that only partially covered his face, the store clerk told Lynn Police that he recognized the man as a customer.

Several hours later, Matthew David Griggs reportedly turned himself into the Lynn Police Department and admitted that he was the man involved in the robbery of the convenience store.

Meanwhile, Griggs also had other criminal charges pending in Salem Superior Court relating to Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges. He had previously been arrested in November 2009 for allegedly possession a sawed-off shotgun and ammunition. In that case, he has been charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

At the time of his arrest on the Armed Robbery Charges, Griggs had been free on $500 cash bail on the Gun Crimes Charges.

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April 8, 2011

Couple Arrested in Braintree Robbery

DeMetro.jpgA couple was arrested Thursday afternoon on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly convincing an elderly Braintree woman to let them into her home and then robbing her of cash and jewelry.

George DeMetro and Dina Miller, have been charged with Breaking & Entering in the Daytime and Receiving Stolen Property, and were arraigned this morning in Quincy District Court.

According to police, DeMetro and Miller, who are from North Carolina, allegedly claimed they were from a Massachusetts regulatory agency there to check on the electrical wiring on the elderly woman's home. Miller then allegedly convinced the woman to come with him and check a shed in the backyard, while DeMetro gained entry into the home.

The woman's husband, who was home at the time, reportedly yelled out to his wife, who was outside, that a man was upstairs in the bedroom. DeMetro allegedly told the couple he was simply checking the water in the bathroom. He then made his way downstairs at which time DeMetro and Miller left the home.

Police responded to the home and the couple reported the Theft Crimes, as they located DeMetro and Miller at a D'Angelo's in Braintree.

A search of the couple's truck revealed $60,000 in cash, jewelry, silverware and other valuable items had been taken, and Braintree Police believe the couple had allegedly targeted other elderly couples in similar Theft Crimes in Braintree, Massachusetts.

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April 5, 2011

Three Charged with Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud in Dedham

Eugene Anthony Morgan, Dwight Croutear and Louisa Wells were all arrested on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly using persons' stolen identity and credit cards to obtain property from Sears in Dedham.

The three were arraigned in Dedham District Court on Theft Crimes Charges including Receiving Stolen Property and Identity Fraud.

According to the Dedham Police Department, Louisa Wells and Eugene Morgon allegedly opened a credit card account at Sears, which she used to purchased almost $1,000 in electronics and then attempted to purchase almost $1,200 in other items. A store clerk, however, had concerns that the driver's license Louisa Wells used to open the account was fake, and noticed that "this is a facsimile" was written on the back of the license.

Dwight Croutear, meanwhile, was allegedly outside waiting in the car. A search of that car allegedly revealed several other items that were bought with checks and credit cards, as well as a number of gift cards believed to have been purchased with stolen credit cards.

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March 24, 2011

6 Teenagers and 3 Adults Arrested in Theft Scheme at Natick Mall

Natick Poilce arrested 6 teenagers and three adults this week in connection with Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges from several stores in the Natick Mall.

According to mall security and Natick Police, five teenagers, all of Dorchester, were captured on surveillance video allegedly concealing merchandise on Monday. Those arrested were Marissa A. Miranda, 17; Jasmine M. Clark, 19; Ashleigh M. Juarez, 18; and two other juveniles.

The Natick Police Department alleges that, at the time of their arrest, the teenagers were arrested and in possession of over $1,200 in Macy's merchandise, and several hundred dollars worth of items from other stores.

All of the teenagers were charged with Larceny Over $250 and Receiving Stolen Property.

In addition, Natick Police also arrested three adults for also allegedly stealing merchandise from various stores in the Natick Mall. Haller Romain Bellegarde, 37, Keriann LaTonya Powell, 30, and Regina Marie Sears, 23, were all arrested after police discovered almost $4,000 in stolen merchandise in their van Tuesday.

All were charged with Receiving Stolen Property and Conspiracy.

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March 21, 2011

Three Men Arrested for Massachusetts ATM Thefts Totaling $340,000

Francisco Ortiz, of Lowell, Wilson Martinez, of Pepperell, and James McNeil, of Haverhill, were all arrested today on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly stealing almost $340,000 from ATMs across the state.

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office had formed a task force, which including the Massachusetts State Police, to investigate 'smash and grab' thefts of monies from ATMs across the state. In all, over 16 persons were allegedly indicted in connection with planned burglaries and break-ins of banks and business across the state.

According to the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit and the Attorney General's Office, the men would disable alarm systems to access businesses and then break into the ATMs.

The investigation was reportedly initially prompted as far back as 2007, when Massachusetts State Police discovered that other men, including Miguel Carballo, Michael Vasquez and Feliciano Colon had conspired to break into electronics store in New York, and then transport the merchandise in stolen cars to Lawrence where they would allegedly be sold on the black market.

The specific Massachusetts Theft Crimes contained in the indictments have not been disclosed, but it is believes the crimes charged to included Unarmed Robbery; Conspiracy; Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime to Commit a Felony; Possession of Burglarious Tools; Larceny From a Building and Receiving Stolen Property.

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March 10, 2011

Two Boston Men Arrested for Theft Crimes in Stolen Car Chase

Police Car Chase.jpgMichael Johnson, 39, of Jamaica Plain, and Stedmon HIll, 37, also of Jamaica Plain, were both arrested today on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges following a stolen car chase in Roxbury today.

The driver of the car, Michael Johnson, was arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle; Failure to Stop for Police; Reckless Driving; and Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Personal Injury; and Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Property Damage.

The passenger of the car, Stedmon Hill, was charged with Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle.

According to the Boston Police Department, officers initiated pursuit of the car after discovering it had been reported stolen following a check of its 'disfigured license plates.' When police officers activated their lights and sirens, the car allegedly turned onto Dimock Street, striking a pedestrian. The driver, Michael Johnson, allegedly refused to stop and continue down a one-way street and collided with another car.

At some point, Boston Police alleged that both Johnson and Hill got out of the car and allegedly fled. Both were pursued on foot and arrested nearby.

In many types of cases charging the Crime of Receiving Stolen Property, the government will have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that both defendants had knowledge that the car was stolen. Simply leading the police on pursuit and/or fleeing from the car, although in many instances could be considered 'consciousness of guilt,' may not be enough.

In other words, there may be other valid reasons why the individuals did not stop for the police or fled from the car, thereby refuting any evidence of consciousness of guilt. For example, the persons had outstanding arrest warrants or had other contraband on their person.

In any case, the potential penalties involved in a conviction for a Massachusetts Theft Crime could be severe, including potential incarceration and/or a very lengthy term of probation, and those charged with such crimes should Contact a Boston Theft Crimes Lawyer.

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February 12, 2011

Beverly Men Arrested on Armed Robbery Charges

Three Beverly men, Robert C. Kenney, 56, Christopher Littlejohn, 30, and Ramone Arakelow, 34, were arrested yesterday morning on charges of Conspiracy to Commit a Home Invasion and Armed Robbery against a purported Malden drug dealer.

The Massachusetts State Police, Lynn Police Department and the FBI were all reportedly involved in the investigation, who apparently created the identity of a fictitious Malden drug dealer and would-be victim. The men were apparently under investigation for offenses including Massachusetts Gun Crimes; and notably Robert C. Kenney, was allegedly involved in the sale of several illegal guns in areas of Boston and the North Shore.

All three men were arrested in Saugus in Kenney's truck when they pulled into a parking lot on Route 99 to allegedly plan out the Home Invasion and Armed Robbery. In the vehicle, the men allegedly had knives, a ski mask, duct tape and purported false identifications to pose as federal immigration officials.

The Beverly men were scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon in Lynn District Court on Conspiracy Charges, as well as Unlawful Possession of Burglarious Tools.

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