A Center Point man was arrested recently after a burglary attempt and police believe he may be tied to dozens of Jefferson County and Birmingham burglaries, The Birmingham News reports.

Theft crimes in Alabama can range from a shoplifting misdemeanor to a felony burglary or robbery. And with the change in the severity of the crime, so do the penalties increase. That’s why hiring an experienced and diligent Birmingham Theft Defense Attorney is the most important first step in a successful defense to burglary charges throughout Alabama.

In this case, authorities allege that a 35-year-old man took part in a crime spree from May to August in which he sent a series of text messages to his girlfriend, who allegedly acted as a lookout for the operation. The man has been charged with burglary, while his girlfriend has acted as a state’s witness and hasn’t been charged.

"They used cell phones to communicate by text message," Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian told The Birmingham News. "It appears that she forgot to delete the text messages and has recorded an electronic history of this, and several other burglaries in the Center Point area over the past few months."

After a recent burglary in the Grayson Valley area, deputies were called and spotted a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle seen leaving the scene with a man and woman. After stopping the vehicle, which allegedly contained a pry bar, the two were taken to headquarters for questioning.

According to the news article, workers at a recycling center confirmed the couple had been in that day and gave investigators a list of items they had sold — mainly copper. The girlfriend has reportedly been pointing out houses the two drove to, though authorities don’t believe she entered any of the houses.

Regardless, the fact that the girlfriend in this case isn’t facing criminal charges — that she hasn’t even been arrested and then decided to cooperate — means her credibility must be questioned by an experienced Birmingham criminal defense attorney. The fact that authorities appear to be treating her as a witness rather than a co-defendant is interesting.

She has a lot to gain by telling police exactly what they want to hear and a lot to lose if she doesn’t deliver a conviction, as it will likely be her words that the state uses in its prosecution of the defendant.

Co-defendants in any criminal case are a sticky situation for prosecutors. On the one hand, their case is weakened without their help, but on the other hand, their credibility is poor, at best. Therefore, an aggressive attorney will exploit this in defense of the client.

In Alabama, burglary in the first-degree is governed by Alabama Code Section 13A-7-5 and is considered a Class A felony — punishable by 10 years to life in prison. There is burglary in the second-degree and third degree, which are defined in Alabama Code Section 13A-7-6 and 13A-7-7. Third-degree burglary is a class C felony in Alabama, punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.

The article only states the man is charged with burglary and it doesn’t state which class felony. Also, while authorities believe he may be involved in other burglaries, he is only charged with one at this time. Potentially facing dozens of burglary charges, this defendant must rely on an attorney for sound legal counsel and aggressive defense.

More Blog Entries:

Woman Dressed as Man Accused of Tuscaloosa Bank Robbery: August 9, 2011

Four Atlanta Men Charged in Auburn Burglary: July 31, 2011

Additional Resources:

Girlfriend’s text message trail ties burglary suspect to dozens of east Jefferson County cases, by Carol Robinson, The Birmingham News