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Break and Bake: Teen Burglars Break In to Make Pot Brownies

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on August 05, 2014 11:02 AM

A pair of Pennsylvania teens has been arrested for allegedly burglarizing a suburban Philadelphia home to bake pot brownies.

Police in Perkiomen Township say that the two 17-year-old boys were found with drug paraphernalia and more than two pounds of marijuana. The two are currently facing charges in Montgomery County Juvenile Court, reports The Huffington Post.

How could the teens be accused of burglary if they didn't take anything?

Burglary: No Theft Required

The crime of burglary is most commonly associated with unlawfully entering a house or business in order to commit theft, the taking of another person's property. The word "burglar" probably brings to mind masked bandits creeping in windows (or guys in striped shirts stealing hamburgers).

However, burglary encompasses unlawful entry into almost any kind of structure for the purpose of committing any number of crimes once inside (generally thefts or felonies). The crime need not even be successfully completed; the intent to commit a crime alone may be sufficient for charges of burglary.

Would brownie baking be enough for burglary?

Brownie Bust

Even as marijuana is decriminalized or low-prioritized in an increasing number of states, manufacturing, possessing, or selling pot brownies can still be a serious crime with serious criminal penalties.

A Texas teen accused of being a prolific pot brownie baker made headlines earlier this year for potentially facing up to 99 years in prison for his brownie operation (though he will most like be sentenced to far less, if found guilty). Citing their potential appeal to kids, a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in 2010 sought to double the potential criminal penalties for sale of pot brownies to minors.

In short, marijuana brownies are still made out of marijuana, and, in Pennsylvania, marijuana possession and processing is still a crime. Add in a dash of unlawful entry and you've successfully baked up a burglary.

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