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Law Needs Teeth to Prevent Burglaries, State Senator Says

Republican State Sen. Kevin O'Toole has introduced legislation that would upgrade penalties for committing a residential burglary, potentially landing perpetrators in jail for a decade.

Current New Jersey law doesn't do enough prevent burglaries, according to State Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-40). But his proposed legislation will change all that, he contends.

Introduced in the state assembly on Monday, the bill would upgrade charges for burglars entering occupied businesses/residences from a third-degree charge to a second-degree charge.

A second-degree crime is punishable by a 5-10 year prison term and/or a fine of up to $150,000.

That's significantly harsher than current penalties for burglars – a potential fine of $15,000 and/or 3-5 years in jail. O'Toole's bill would not allow for early release, he said.

“It makes no sense that the burglary of an unoccupied vehicle is as criminal as the burglary of an occupied home or business,” O'Toole said in a statement. “The burglary of occupied properties must be deterred by the greatest possible penalties, due to grave physical, emotional and psychological damage endured by victims.”

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John Santaella December 20, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Oh, please. Give me a break. Burglary is illegal. We need laws to make if more illegal? This is the main problem of a full-time legislative system as we have in NJ. Too much time on the hands of lawmakers. Get a real job.
Geno Malone December 24, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I agree with everything you posted John! I will say however that raising the penalty for breaking into my house and endangering my family from 3 years (seems low anyway to me) to 5 years is fine by me and I would vote yes on that.

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