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'Possible Burglar' Captured After 2-Day Stay in Restaurant Vent

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. | Last updated on

There's a reason Santa uses chimneys instead of grease vents. But some people have to learn the hard way. And this suspect might learn that when he does hard time.

Too Bad This Suspect Couldn't Lay a Finger Aside of His Nose

A man in San Lorenzo, California was freed two days after shimmying his way down the cooking vent of a closed Chinese restaurant and getting stuck. Evidently the combination of a wide outside opening, narrowing chute, and cooking grease was enough to get the suspect lodged in such a way that he couldn't find any traction to climb his way out. A good Samaritan heard his cries for help, and called first responders, who freed him after thirty minutes of manipulations and cutting the vent. The suspect was taken to the hospital and treated for dehydration and further observation. Police have charged him with trespassing and vandalism. Once the police figure out just why he entered the chimney in the first place, they may also charge him with attempted burglary.

Does This Crime Happen All the Time?

This may seem strange, but evidently, it's not that uncommon in California. In December of last year, Jesse Berube of Rocklin, California was arrested for attempting to burglarize a business in nearby Citrus Heights, California, after he got stuck in a tight chimney. Evidently these Criminal Santa's need to take a few lessons from the real deal.

Suspect Faces Jail Time

Burglary is a state crime. In California, burglary is defined as entering a property without permission, and intending to commit a crime after entering the premises. There are two types of burglary in California: first-degree and second-degree. First-degree burglary is any burglary of an inhabited dwelling. Given that in these two situations, the burglary was of a business, it is presumed to not be a dwelling. Therefore, this would be considered second-degree burglary. Second degree burglary is a wobbler, meaning it can either be a misdemeanor, resulting in jail time less than a year, or a felony, with jail time extending anywhere between one and three years.

Though this crime may seem reminiscent of "Home Alone", burglary is a serious offense. If you or someone you love is facing a burglary charge, contact a local criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to reduce felony charges to a misdemeanor, or maybe even get the charge dismissed entirely.

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