Many people have been accused of stealing something at one point or another. Whether it’s a shirt from a sibling or millions of dollars worth of gold, there is always someone behind it. While not every theft attracts national media attention, many thefts occur daily all over America.

Lately, a New Jersey school has been reporting to police that more than $2,600 worth of laptops and cell phones was stolen from their school. After their investigation, Police charged two suspects that they believe are responsible for the theft. Reportedly, police received 20 tips over five days from individuals who viewed security footage. Interestingly, police say that there was no sign of forced entry in to the school; it is unknown at this point how the items were stolen.

Police are charging a 21-year-old woman with complicity to commit burglary and theft. Another 22-year-old male is also believed to have been involved with the burglary and theft.

There are many factors that contribute to the severity of punishment of those convicted of theft crimes. Depending whether the offender was armed or how much they stole can make a dramatic difference in sentencing. For example, to be considered theft of the third degree, one must be accused of stealing $500 to $75,000 worth of property; a conviction for third degree theft can result in a maximum prison sentence of 60 months, whereas fourth degree theft, which covers thefts between $200 and $500, only have a maximum prison sentence of 18 months.

Theft can have some serious consequences for all offenders. Jail time is not always inevitable, however. Many times there are programs and alternative for offenders that are aimed at preventing those individuals from stealing again. Because any New Jersey resident accused of theft may have other options than jail time. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney may provide some answers that work for his or her situation.

Source: NJ.com, “Two people charged in Princeton Day School thefts,” Alex Zdan, April 3, 2013