TACDL
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tennessee Bar Association
National College of DUI Defense
iapp
DUI Defense Lawyers Association

Nashville Man Raids Local Masonic Lodge

On July 26, 2021, a burglary was reported at the Grand Masonic Lodge located on Broadway and Seventh Avenue North. The suspect allegedly stole $20,640 worth of belongings from the lodge, including: a commemorative knife, firearms, ammunition, rare musical instruments apparel and a cell phone. Based on video surveillance the police were able to identify Christopher Holmes as a suspect. He was arrested on Monday August 30th on 10 charges including theft and burglary.

              What is the difference between theft and burglary? It may seem like the same charge, but in fact they are different, and you can be charged and convicted of both.

Theft of property is the act of knowingly obtaining or exercising control over property, with the intent to deprive the owner of their property, without the owner’s consent.

Whereas burglary is defined as committing any of the following acts without the effective consent of the property owner:

  1. Enters a building other than a habitation, or any portion of the building, not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault;
  2.  Remains concealed, with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault, in a building;
  3.  Enters a building and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or assault; or
  4.  Enters any freight or passenger car, automobile, truck, trailer, boat, airplane, or other motor vehicle with intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault or commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or assault.

Burglary encompasses more acts than theft. For example, it is not a requirement that the defendant actually take anything to commit a burglary, it is sufficient to enter a building and attempt to commit a theft, burglary, or assault.

The penalties for each crime vary significantly. A theft can be a misdemeanor if the items stolen are valued under $1,000. However, theft will be charged as varying degrees of a felony for items valued over $1,000. For example, theft of property or service valued over $60,000 is a Class B felony. Burglary, however, does not become a more severe charge due to the amount taken. Instead, the lowest charge is a Class E felony for violating section 4 and a Class D Felony for sections 1, 2, and 3 referenced above.