Shoplifting Incident Quickly Escalates in Robbery Hopewell
What started out as a low level shoplifting incident in Hopewell Township quickly turned into a nightmare for two residents from New York. Based on the reports that have been released at this point in time, one of the Defendant’s, a twenty-six year old male, is alleged to have attempted to shoplift a case of beer from Super Buy-Rite when he was confronted by one of the store managers. According to the manager, when confronted, the Defendant punched the manager and fled the store. Once he exited the store, he got into what the police are calling the “getaway” vehicle, which was being operated by another individual.
The Defendants fled the are and were able to make their way back to New York. However, the police were quickly able to identify and track down the Defendants. Authorities from New York took the Defendants into custody and once in custody the Defendants waived their right to an extradition hearing and were transported to the Mercer County Jail.
The Defendant that actually stuck the store manager has been charged with robbery in the second degree and the driver will most likely be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree. A second degree felony is punishable by up to ten years in a state prison and a fine up to $150,000. Furthermore, since this offense is subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), it requires that the Defendant serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can become eligible for parole.
Shoplifting vs. Robbery
The above scenario is one that defense attorneys see all to often in New Jersey. This fact pattern quickly turns a simple mistake into an absolute nightmare. An individual will be charged with robbery in New Jersey if it is alleged that they used some form of force in order to commit a theft offense. So, in the case above, since the Defendant punched the manager during the commission of the shoplifting offense, the charges were upgraded to robbery. To put this into perspective, the Defendant went from facing a maximum of six months in the local county jail on a disorderly persons offense shoplifting charge to facing a minimum of five years in a state prison subject to the No Early Release Act with one punch on a felony robbery charge.
Hopewell NJ Shoplifting Lawyers
As you can see from above, what starts out as a low level offense can quickly escalate into an absolute nightmare. If you or a loved one has been issued a complaint for shoplifting, theft of services, theft by deception, robbery, burglary or any other offense for that matter in Hopewell, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. If you would like to speak to one of our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys about your options then please contact our Hamilton office at 609-789-0779 or leave us an email.
For more information on this incident, please checkout the Trentonian article labeled by clicking here.