Officers in the northwest suburban community of Wood Dale had been investigating a series of residential break-ins, and took two suspects into custody.
Most recently, law enforcement officials were able to arrest a third suspect—25-year-old Adam Blair—but only with the help of a SWAT team. Police officials assured reporters from the Chicago Sun Times that they made “numerous attempts to contact the burglary suspect to bring about his peaceful surrender. The suspect refused all contact and the DuPage Felony Investigative Assistance Team sent a SWAT unit to assist in the situation.”
Chicago Police Offices Turn to SWAT Teams to Crack Down on Burglaries
SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams are designed to deal with dangerous criminals and hostage situations. SWAT teams receive intensive, military-style training, and often use grenades that can blind and deafen bystanders.
Was it necessary to employ a SWAT team to take a single 25-year-old man from his suburban home? Chicago law enforcement officials maintain that they had reason to believe the suspect may have had a gun, but critics might argue that police officers were too quick to turn to overly aggressive tactics.
Whatever the case, the wiliness of local law enforcement officials to employ SWAT teams to take down Blair demonstrates how serious they are about cracking down on burglaries in Chicagoland. If you are a resident of Chicago or a surrounding suburb, you should familiarize yourself with Illinois burglary laws in order to be able to protect your rights and avoid being caught up in overzealous officers’ eagerness to make arrests.
Burglary may be defined as the illegal entry or unauthorized occupancy of a structure with the intent to commit theft or any kind of felony. Although in the past burglary laws only applied to residences, today burglary laws now extend to any kind of structure, including a cars, boats, aircrafts, mobile homes, businesses, barns, and stables.
In Illinois, burglary is typically charged as a class 2 felony, and is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of $25,000. The penalties are even harsher if the burglary occurred in a school, church, or other place of worship. But the most serious type of burglary is residential burglary, where a suspect breaks into a victim’s dwelling. The penalties for a residential burglary conviction include a mandatory prison sentence of as many as 15 years.
If you are facing burglary charges in Chicago, you need a strong defense. There are several effective defenses against burglary charge, from demonstrating that the accused did not intend to commit a felony to claiming entrapment.
An experienced burglary defense attorney can help. Your attorney can make sure you understand the unique charges facing you, and help you establish the most powerful strategy for defense. A good lawyer can analyze all aspects of your case before using their skill and knowledge to have your charges reduced or dropped. By avoiding conviction, you may be spared hefty fines, a lengthy prison sentence, and a lifelong criminal record. Don’t give in to bullying police officers and unfair charges—contact a criminal attorney today.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, Murder, and drug crimes.