Recently, in the middle of the day, a 44-year-old man from Placerville decided to burglarize a Petaluma residence. He didn’t take any jewelry, cash, or other valuables. Evidently, he proceeded right to the frozen tator tots, which he promptly ate. After such a large meal, he felt it necessary to take a short doze on the family couch, where he was discovered shortly thereafter by none other than the homeowner herself. She called the police and fled the home, waking the burglar as she went. He ran but was later arrested for home burglary.
Whether tator tots or valuables are concerned, burglary is considered a serious crime by California law (CA Penal Code 459). According to law, burglary (more commonly known as ‘breaking and entering’) does not require the actual theft of property, but only the attempt to commit such a felony. The crime of burglary may either be considered ‘first-degree’ or ‘second-degree,’ each having its own set of consequences.
First-degree burglary is never considered a misdemeanor; it is treated as a felony without exception. Additionally, first-degree burglary is said to have occurred when a building, apartment, home, or other place of human dwelling has been entered. If the crime occurs at a business or other place where people do not live, then it is considered ‘second-degree’ burglary. Clearly, the tator tot bandit will be subject to charges of ‘first-degree’ burglary, which carries with it a sentence of up to 6 years in prison and a strike under California’s “Three Strikes Law.”