Burglary and theft are often difficult crimes for police to pursue. They
often occur when the home or vehicle is unoccupied, leaving no witnesses
and very little evidence. Generally, there is nothing, in particular,
tying the perpetrator to any particular property, so assembling a list
of suspects is difficult or impossible. Often, robberies come in a string,
one after another in a similar area. Local residents usually put a great
deal of pressure on law enforcement officials in these situations.
When a suspect is apprehended in the commission of a robbery, there is
a common assumption that he or she must have also committed a number of
other robberies as well. Immediately, public opinion holds the suspect
guilty of the other crimes in the area, in addition to the one for which
he or she is accused. Sometimes, the suspect is charged with these crimes as well.
Charging one suspect with multiple related crimes is legal. However, authorities
must have compelling evidence connecting the suspect to the related crimes.
Simply apprehending him or her in an area that has experienced multiple
break-ins is not enough.
A Maryland man is currently in a related situation after he was apprehended
while allegedly attempting to steal a television. The incidents occurred
in Delaware, where a number of beachside communities have recently reported
approximately 40 robberies.
Police apprehended the 27-year-old man after a resident reported a suspicious
vehicle in the driveway of a nearby home. Following the man’s arrest,
he was charged with five additional break-ins in the area that occurred
in the last three months. For each break-in, he was charged with
burglary or attempted burglary. Police have not stated what evidence ties the man
to the additional robberies.
Source: Delmarvanow.com, “Maryland man arrested in connection with area break-ins” Leigh Giangreco, Dec. 03, 2013