R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Parishioners prevent theft crimes in church

A 47-year-old man's attempted theft crimes in a Houston church were foiled when he was confronted by church members who were alerted by the sound of an alarm. A gaping hole in the ceiling of an office in the church bears testament to the burglary suspect's failed efforts to escape.

Police arrested the man after church members bound him with tape and electrical cord. The man is being held on a felony burglary charge. A second suspect managed to get away before police arrived. It appeared to police investigating the crime that the suspects were after money, musical instruments and an amplifier. The church had been the scene of a burglary two weeks earlier in which thieves got away with a keyboard and guitars.

If convicted of the felony burglary charge, the suspect could face prison time, fines and probation. If the suspect has a prior criminal record, the prison sentence and fines will probably be increased. A felony conviction can have far reaching consequences beyond the penalties imposed by the court. For example, some employers will not hire a person who has a felony criminal record.

A person who has been arrested by the police could benefit from representation by a criminal defense attorney. A defense attorney can help determine when police have not followed proper procedures in making an arrest or seizing evidence for use in the prosecution of the case. A defense challenge to the evidence could include a request for the exclusion of improperly seized physical evidence or statements from the accused. The efforts of a criminal defense attorney could result in dismissal or a reduction of the criminal charges.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Church members catch, hog-tie burglary suspect," Robert Stanton, Jan. 28, 2013

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