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Alleged Burglars Pocket-Dial 911, Discuss Details of Heist

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on July 17, 2013 3:19 PM

Don't you just hate it when you're mid-burglary and you pocket-dial a high school acquaintance, your most heinous ex, or even 911?

An alleged pocket-dialing burglar from McAlester, Oklahoma, knows exactly how you might feel. He and his cohort were overheard chatting about the details of their heist via a misbehaving phone that pocket-dialed 911, reports the McAlester News-Capital.

Just how will this phone gaffe affect the suspects' chances to beat their burglary charges?

Botched Burglary

A local undersheriff told the News-Capital the 911 call was accidentally made "by an individual who was breaking into a residence," one who discussed with his partner in crime "what they were taking from the house" -- namely, jewelry.

Sheriff's deputies tracked down and arrested one member of the pocket-dialing burglary duo, who happens to be the son of the town's fire chief. The 23-year-old man was charged with second degree burglary, a crime punishable in Oklahoma by two to seven years in state prison.

Pocket-Sized Intent

In order for even the pocket-dialing pair to be found guilty of burglary, a criminal jury would need to find that they broke and entered a building or enclosed structure and had the intent to commit a felony or theft.

Evidence of breaking and entering is usually not difficult to prove, especially if the building or structure was locked before the burglars entered. But specific intent to commit a theft crime or felony is often more difficult -- unless, of course, you have a 911 call that records you and your fellow pocket-calling companion speaking directly about the crime.

Authentication Questions

But what about authenticating the 911 call? Police could possibly obtain a voice exemplar from the captured suspect and use it in conjunction with witness testimony to identify the pocket-callers as the fire chief's son and his co-burglar.

For the yet uncaptured suspect, he may want to lock his phone... and then unlock it to call an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

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