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Articles Posted in theft offenses

Two women from New York have been charged in a case of trying to use counterfeit bills to make purchases at Target stores in Plainville, North Attleboro, Seekonk and Connecticut.

Counterfeiting schemes could be considered larceny in Attleboro — a form of theft. In most cases, suspects use fake bills in order to make purchases. Many times, these cases can be difficult for police to discover unless the cashier checks the bills on the spot. However, counterfeiting can also be a federal crime investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.
Trying to piece together video footage and witness testimony after the fact and link a person to the crime can be a tricky proposition for the police. While the technology behind the government’s printing of dollars has gotten better in recent years, there are still people willing to try to literally print money.

For those who are arrested, an experienced Massachusetts defense attorney must be hired in order to investigate all the facts and look at the evidence police intend to use against the defendant. It may be possible, in some cases, for the evidence filed by police to be suppressed if rights were violated in the process. That happens only depending on the specific circumstances of the case, however.

In this case, The Sun-Chronicle reports, two woman were allegedly conducting a scheme where they would use counterfeit money to buy electronics at stores and then attempt to exchange them at other stores for the cash.

“They were doing some type of flim-flam, buying I-pods and I-pads at Target, using counterfeit money to buy them, and returning them to other Targets to get real money,” said Plainville Police Sgt. Scott Gallerani.

According to the newspaper’s report, several thousand dollars in counterfeit money were confiscated by officers. 24-year-old Iyanah Wright of Hempstead, New York, and 22-year-old Shannon Hoskins of Freeport, New York, have been arrested.

The newspaper reports that Wright was arrested after a foot pursuit in the parking lot of a Target store in Plainville. Hoskins was found by store security and held there. Both women now face charges of possession of counterfeit notes, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. Wright also faces a charge of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

According to police, detectives in Seekonk and North Attleboro are now investigating to see whether the women may be connected to alleged incidents there. Connecticut authorities may be, too. The women reportedly have open cases in New York of a similar situation.

There may also be a man who is involved as a “lookout” in connection with the incident. The women were set for an arraignment in Wrentham District Court.

Proving that the women knew the money to be counterfeited may be a challenge for police. The fact that they may have committed the crime in different areas has no bearing on these individual cases. If they are charged with committing the crime in Connecticut, an Attleboro jury likely won’t know that. They must determine guilt based on the incident that allegedly happened in that area. That may be tough in this case.
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Four men accused of a burglary, who first were suspected of an attempted abduction in Attelboro, are being held in jail on $25,000 bail, The Sun Chronicle reports.

Charges of burglary in Attleboro are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, which is likely why the defendants were held on such a high bail. This case also highlights the damage that can be done by the news media and makes the job more challenging for a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer.
The Sun Chronicle story, in its first paragraph mentions “attempting to abduct” and a 7 News report online repeats the same phrasing. Yet, there are no charges of abduction that these men face.

The damage has already been done in the court of public opinion. When people think of this case, they’re going to think about the fact that police believe these men were attempting to abduct a woman, when there is absolutely no proof. Working to separate fact from fiction — and fighting to keep irrelevant material out of court — will be critical to the defense.

According to the news reports, a woman was jogging near the Attelboro/Rehoboth line, when she saw a van carrying several men drive by slowly. When the van turned around and drove by her again, she panicked, letting go of her dog’s leash and running toward a nearby house. When no one was there, she hid in the woods.

Police have said she had the right to act that way. Maybe she did, but a van driving slowly, perhaps because the driver was lost, doesn’t constitute allegations of an abduction. Other than the woman being spooked by the incident, there is nothing to suggest the people in the van wanted to harm her.

Sadly, this may be what sticks with people who have read the articles or watched the TV news broadcasts. After this happened, police launched a massive hunt for the men, using a reverse 911 message to alert residents.

Ryan McCoy, 23, of Attleboro; James Gould, 27, and Benjamin Gould, 23, of Plainville and Phillip Muggle, 29, of Rehoboth were arraigned recently in Taunton District Court after police arrested them.

The Sun Chronicle reports that police found property from a Smith Street house that linked them to a burglary. They also face a charge of witness intimidation, though it doesn’t appear from the media reports that there is much evidence of that.

Because of all the excitement of a police manhunt and the media coverage, this will be a topic of conversation for a few days. Whether there is any real evidence linking them to a burglary remains to be seen. So far, they are guilty of nothing.

A burglary is fairly common, but an abduction isn’t. An experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer knows that jury selection is perhaps the most important part of a trial. If this case reaches that stage, it will be important to ensure jurors do not rely on media reports or evidence not before the court.

Without a fair jury, a defendant doesn’t have a shot.
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A man on probation for stealing $11,000 in Beanie Babies more than 10 years ago allegedly went on a shopping spree recently, stealing a minivan, breaking into a truck and stealing two televisions before taking a nap and getting caught by police, The MetroWest Daily News reports.

Theft charges in Natick typically get more serious depending on the value of the items taken. Yet, the value must be proven and that’s after the prosecution can even prove the defendant committed the crime.
Hiring an experienced and aggressive Framingham Criminal Defense Attorney to defend against similar allegations is the right first step. An attorney must be consulted in order to ensure justice is done and the rights of the defendant are upheld.

According to the newspaper, 41-year-old Brian William Doubleday already had warrants out for his arrest in Lowell District Court and Framingham District Court, though the newspaper doesn’t say what the warrants are for. The report also states that upon his arrest, the New Hampshire Probation Department issued an arrest warrant because he was serving time on probation from 1999, when he was convicted of stealing the Beanie Babies there.

Natick Police said an officer was on patrol when a minivan parked in a hotel parking lot caught his attention. After running the New Jersey plates through databases, the officer found it was stolen.

Inside, Doubleday was sleeping and after officers woke him up, he got out. Inside the minivan, they found a laptop and other items they believe were stolen from a U-Haul truck in Natick recently, police said. Police also believe video surveillance shows Doubleday stealing two 32-inch televisions from a hotel, but those televisions haven’t been found. The man faces charges of receiving a stolen vehicle, receiving stolen property worth more than $250 and larceny of property worth more than $250.

In this case, a defense lawyer may challenge probable cause.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives every American the right to not be subjected to illegal search and seizure. That means that police officers can’t just knock on a person’s door and force themselves in looking for evidence of a crime. The same goes for when you’re driving in your vehicle. You can’t get stopped for no good reason just because the police want to go on a fishing expedition.

So, it will be interesting to see if police have any real reason for why they walked up to the vehicle Doubleday was in and determined they should question him. They also cited video surveillance as proof that he stole televisions, yet they found no televisions.

Video surveillance, as well as eye witness accounts, can be unreliable. People fudge details or don’t really remember what they saw in the first place. And sometimes, video cameras show fuzzy pictures or only the back of a person’s head. Rarely do the cameras really capture what a person looks like and zooming in makes the image more difficult to see.

It’s important to fight all aspects of a larceny or theft case because the penalties include years in prison as well as thousands of dollars in fines. They are serious and must be aggressively fought. This case also illustrates the consequences of long probation sentences — which can result in additional legal hassles long after a defendant has paid for his crime.
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