Denville, New Jersey, Burglar steals Parrot, stabs animal (Morris County)
Denville Police, New Jersey, Police (Morris County), are investigating a burglary which occurred in Beacon Hill, in Denville Township, on May 15, 2012. http://www.johntierneylaw.com/Criminal-Defense/ They are attempting to find the burglar who stole an expensive parrot and several pieces of flatware. During the process, the burglar allegedly stabbed the family dog. Apparently, the family dog confronted the burglar, who stabbed the dog in response, causing significant injuries.
Police believe the dog may have bitten the burglar. Further, there is some speculation that the parrot stolen may have bitten the burglar in addition to or in place of the dog. The bird, an African Gray Parrot, was taken from its cage and has a large and powerful beak.
New Jersey statutes specify that a person is guilty of burglary in the third degree if, with purpose to commit an offense therein the person:
1. Enters a research facility or structure, ...or
2. Surreptitiously remains in a research facility, structure, ...knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so.
However, New Jersey elevates the seriousness of burglary to the second degree if, in the course of committing the offense described above, that person:
1. Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; .... or
2. Is armed with or displays what appears to be explosives or a deadly weapon.
The State of New Jersey must prove beyond a reasonable doubt not only possession but also immediate access to that weapon or explosive. It must be emphasized that as long ready accessibility is proven, it does not matter whether the burglar was armed before entry or obtained the item at the scene. New Jersey law makes the person just as culpable, at law, if he obtained the weapon during the course of the burglary.
It may be surmised, speculated, and inferred, given the fact that the Police have divulged only limited information, that if the burglar was bitten, DNA and other identifiable evidence may be found in the vicinity of the dog's initial injury location and/or near the parrot cage. Given the fact that the dog was stabbed, the government may also allege, if the burglar is found and arrested, that he intended other criminal activity, including threatening potential homeowners, as it is likely he possessed a weapon upon entry to the household which he later used against the dog. Whether evidence may be obtained from the scene and whether the alleged burglar has DNA or fingerprint evidence in the criminal justice system with which to compare the evidence obtained from the house, may be open questions in the investigation.