Police detained a 33-year-old resident of Balch Springs on the morning of July 8 in relation to her alleged participation in a theft ring. Authorities sought the woman after receiving reports of stolen property in her home; she was stopped in an allegedly stolen vehicle. Police claim to have received the woman’s permission to search her home in the course of detaining her.
A search of the woman’s home allegedly led to the discovery of numerous pieces of stolen property. Authorities also claim that the woman is linked to several other caches of stolen property. A search of a Dallas home reportedly turned up 14 pieces of stolen property including classic automobiles and other vehicles while a search of a Duncanville storage unit reportedly yielded 28 firearms. Police are also searching for the woman’s boyfriend, who was reportedly last seen fleeing authorities in Dallas after abandoning an allegedly stolen vehicle.
The severity of theft charges in Texas varies based on the value of goods or services stolen. Conviction on a felony theft charge may lead to penalties including a prison term potentially decades in length and a fine of up to $10,000. With this in mind, persons accused of theft may wish to hire defense attorneys.
A criminal defense attorney in a case similar to this one might contest the legality of any searches performed by law enforcement that led to the discovery of allegedly stolen property as well as the validity of any warrants to perform the same. If a judge ruled that stolen property was discovered through illegal means, the property might be ruled inadmissible at trial. Source: Texas Penal Code, “Title 7. Offenses Against Property; Chapter 31. Theft.” Source: Texas Penal Code, “Title 3. Punishments; Chapter 12. Punishments.”
Source: My FOX Dallas Fort Worth, “Balch Springs woman arrested in theft ring“, Mark Norris, July 08, 2014