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Burglary Penalties Should Increase, Senator Says

New law sponsored by Senator Kevin O'Toole would upgrade the crime of breaking into a home.

Burglars may want to think twice about breaking into a home if new legislation is approved.

State Senator Kevin O’Toole (District 40) introduced legislation this week that would increase the penalties against burglars who enter homes when families are home.

The legislation would upgrade the burglary of a residence to a second-degree crime and of an occupied residence to a second-degree crime without the possibility of early release.

More than a dozen Wayne homes were burglarized this summer. Residents were home when some of the homes were broken into.

The punishment for a second-degree crime by five to 10 years imprisonment, a $150,000 fine, or both.

Currently, all burglary offenses are third-degree crimes, unless a burglar is armed with an explosive or deadly weapon or had inflicted, or threatened to inflict, bodily injury on victims.

A third-degree crime is punishable by imprisonment for three to five years, a maximum $15,000 fine, or both.

“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. “It is imperative that criminal penalties match the severity of crimes. This common-sense legislation with deter burglaries and save residents harm and grief.”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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