With about 15 minutes to go on Thanksgiving night, New Jersey police in Union County answered a drug store alarm. They say they discovered that the Hillside store had been burglarized. Specifically, authorities noted a lock had been tampered with and a window was broken. It was not reported whether there was evidence anyone had actually stepped foot inside the property. Nevertheless, the observations of the police and their subsequent investigation may play an important role in the criminal defense strategy of the two men who were subsequently arrested.

The men were from out of state and authorities say they located them in a cargo van that was actually on the railroad tracks behind the drug store. However, few other details were disclosed. It is not known if police seized any property from the men that came from the store, or if there was any other evidence linking them to the incident. While it is certainly unusual for a van to be on railroad tracks at that hour, it does not necessarily mean that one or both men tried to break into the drug store.

The men were said to be from North Carolina. Apparently, they came to New Jersey to help with the cleanup and repairs after the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Comcast was said to have subcontracted the men to help with necessary repairs in the region.

In any prosecution of alleged crimes, it is important to remember that the burden of proof is squarely on the shoulders of the prosecution. In this instance, police charged the two men with burglary and criminal mischief. As this case heads to a courtroom, the criminal defense will have an opportunity to review the evidence to be offered in support of the charges. As with any other individual accused of a crime in our state, each defendant will have the opportunity to challenge the testimony and evidence as it pertains to each of them individually.

Source: greenwichtime.com, “NC men accused of burglary try at NJ drug store,” Nov. 25, 2012