A bill increasing the penalties for anyone who crosses county lines to commit a felony passed its first House committee Thursday. The bill had the support of Stuart Republican Representative Gayle Harrell. She says her area has seen a rash of burglaries because burglars from Broward County are specifically targeting her area to commit their crimes.
“It makes it much more difficult to catch them. There’s usually no fleeing across county lines. This is specifically with the intent to come into a smaller county where the resources may not be the same. They then transport the goods to another county, and you don’t find all the pawned goods at different pawn shops and it’s more difficult to track all the stolen goods,” said Harrell.
The bill’s sponsor is Jacksonville Republican Representative Charles McBurney. Under his bill, if an offender commits a crime, like kidnapping or burglary in another county outside their county of residence, they could face an additional felony charge. The offender also would not be eligible for release on bail until after their first court appearance.
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