The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that a diamond ring worth an estimated $9,000 was allegedly taken from a home in The Villages last week.

The owners of the home claim several rings and other jewelry valued at $12,280 were nabbed during the incident.

Reports indicate the alleged burglar entered the home through a sliding glass door located in the bedroom. It was documented that the homeowners were perplexed as to how the suspected robber gained entry through the sliding glass door since a stick apparently blocks the door from opening more than six inches.

The investigation into the case is ongoing.

Florida law defines residential burglary as the act of entering a building with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary of a dwelling is classified as a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison. In addition, residential burglary is a Strike under Florida’s Three Strikes Laws. This means that after three “strikes,” or felony convictions, a person can be sent to jail for life.

Residential burglary includes a home, boat, floating home, attached garage, aircraft, trailer, warehouse or any other inhabited area of a building. For burglary charges, the State does not actually have to prove that a theft was carried out. Rather, it must be shown that a crime was intended upon entry of the home. If a person enters a home intending to steal or commit another felony, then burglary has occurred. Burglary of a dwelling can also occur if someone enters or jumps into an enclosed piece of property, commonly referred to as “curtilage,” without consent from the owner with the intention of carrying out a crime.

There are several defense strategies that can be used as a defense to combat burglary charges. The Villages Theft Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the charges you are facing and prepare a strong defense strategy. We can challenge burglary charges by asking the proper questions – Did a crime actually take place? Can it be demonstrated there was actual intent to commit a crime? Was consent given to enter the home or property? Was all evidence gathered and preserved appropriately?

If you have been accused of committing a theft or burglary crime in The Villages or any surrounding communities, contact The Villages Theft Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 352-369-5334.