Burglary Charges for Man Who Used Truck as Part of Crime

burglary charges for man and truck

Photo: Brian Reading/Wikimedia Commons

A man was arrested early Sunday morning, Dec. 14, after being caught in the act of burglary. He had used his truck to force entry into the business where he was caught, but apparently it wasn’t his first act of burglary committed that morning by him and his truck.

Too Much “Knight Rider.” Or “Dukes of Hazzard.”

At approximately 2:21 on Sunday morning, police responded to an alarm at Guitar Center. When the officer arrived, he saw Tyler Cook, 31, with his arms full of guitars. Cook had used his White Chevy Tahoe and a chain to pull the doors and a security gate off the building.

When Cook saw the officer, he dropped the guitars and made a run for his Tahoe, which was still running. The officer shouted for Cook to exit the vehicle, but instead Cook reversed the Tahoe and nearly ran over the officer. Another officer who arrived at the scene pursued Cook, eventually spinning the Tahoe out near 1900 W. and 5400 S.

Police booked Cook on charges of burglary, trying to run over an officer, and fleeing police. Later it was discovered that he was allegedly also responsible for using his truck to drive through the doors of a General Army Navy Outdoor Store just before heading to Guitar Center.

Cook is also suspected of the burglary of three other pawn shops in the past week.

Burglary is a Felony, No Matter What.

According to Utah Criminal Code 76-6-202, burglary is considered an “offense against property,” and is defined as entering and remaining unlawfully in a building with intent to commit theft, assault, lewdness, sexual battery, or voyeurism. Burglary is considered a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. However, if the burglary was committed in a dwelling, it is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years and up to $10,000 in fines.

The key phrase in these punishments is obviously “up to.” If you or someone you know has been charged with burglary, don’t leave your fate in the hands of a public defender. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will look out for your best interests.

Criminal Mischief Charges Result from Church Vandalism, Burglary

church vandalism equals criminal mischief

Photo: Center for Social Leadership

A Duchesne County LDS church was vandalized on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Two days later, the parties responsible were arrested and booked on charges of criminal mischief, burglary, and misdemeanor theft.

Thou Shalt Not Tag

The criminal mischief incident in question took place Tuesday night sometime after 10:30 p.m. at the church located at 181 N. 200 W. The damages weren’t discovered until the next morning.

It is unclear how the three vandals got into the church. There was no sign of forced entry into the building. However, several doors inside the church were kicked in, according to a report from KSL News. In addition to the damaged doors, various items–including cash–were stolen from the church, and red spray paint was used to “tag” various locations, including the door to the bishop’s office, the inside of the chapel, and a picture of Jesus Christ.

On Thursday, Tristan Joseph Peterson Hirst was detained and confessed to the crime to a Duchesne County Sheriff’s department sergeant. He also implicated Denver T. Bell and 17-year-old juvenile male in the crime. Hirst and Bell told police where the stolen items were located, and police were able to obtain them.

Both men were charged with criminal mischief, burglary, and misdemeanor theft. It is unclear what charges will be filed against the juvenile offender.

Criminal Mischief Defined

According to Utah Code 76-6-106, criminal mischief–more commonly known as vandalism–is considered an “offense against property.” According to the code, a person commits criminal mischief if he/she does any of the following:

  • damages or destroys (other than via fire/arson) property with the intent to defraud an insurer
  • tampers with the property of another resulting in endangering human life, health or safety
  • causes or threatens a substantial interruption of any critical infrastructure (such as communication, financial, transportation, health care, etc…)
  • intentionally damages, defaces or destroys the property of another
  • recklessly or willfully shoots a missile or other object against a vehicle of transportation.

A church does not qualify as “critical infrastructure,” and obviously Hirst and Bell didn’t fire a missile at anything. Their charge results from the most common form of criminal mischief, “intentionally damages, defaces or destroys the property of another.”

Criminal mischief ranges from a class B misdemeanor up to a second degree felony depending on the offense. When it comes to vandalism, the punishment will depend on the value of property damaged, with a second degree felony for over $5,000 down to a class B misdemeanor for less than $500.

If you or someone you know has been charged with criminal mischief or any other crime, be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will look out for your best interests.