Theft or Burglary?

Theft or Burglary?

On a Saturday morning, an officer responds to a burglary call. When he arrives, he finds beer cans and bottles strewn all over the living room. The victim denies having a party the night before and says he and his roommate are bad housekeepers. The victim claims that he keeps the back door closed, but unlocked, because he and his roommate often forget their keys. He reports some jewelry and cash was stolen the night before, while he was at the movies. The officer suspects the victim had a party and one of the guests took the items. The officer also knows that the victim’s roommate has a history of thefts and may have taken the property. Answer the following questions:

a. Should the officer take the victim’s word at face value, or should he question the victim’s report?

b. If the officer believes the victim is lying, should he still make a report of the crime as stated by the victim? Why or why not?

c. What other information should the officer gather from the victim, roommates, and from investigatory activities?


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