Neither 83-year-old wife (name withheld in order to protect privacy) a retired librarian, and her 91-year-old husband, a retired electrical engineer, haven’t quite figured out the reason for what happened to them this past weekend. On Friday evening, she discovered a confused-looking man sitting on one of her front porch lawn chairs. They had a short discussion and the man left. Sunday night, however, the man returned, broke into their home, and stole everything of value while he kept a gun trained on the frightened elderly couple. The intruder even made off with wedding bands, her engagement ring, and a watch (from his past employer) that was special to him. The couple was understandably distraught and believed themselves in great danger from this clearly disturbed man. Local law enforcement officials are still looking for the suspect, a Latino man in his mid to late 30’s.
Although the suspect has yet to be identified in this case, when he is caught, he will be subject to California’s unforgiving home invasion (residential burglary) laws. When a person commits burglary through invasion of another person’s residence (or hotel, or anywhere people live), it is nearly always considered first degree burglary (CA Penal Code 459). Additionally, when a crime such as this occurs, it is always prosecuted as a felony. Penalties include up to 6 years in a state prison and a strike under California’s “Three Strikes” law.