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Safecracking is a separate, punishable offense from burglary

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Criminal Law

The crime of burglary is a multifaceted offense. It’s one part of the offense to break or enter a building without permission, but the other key factor is the offender’s intent to commit any felony or larceny once inside.

A person charged with burglary will face several other related charges depending on the circumstances of their offense. One potential criminal charge they might face is safecracking. What exactly is this criminal charge and what are the penalties for conviction?

Tampering or removing a safe is safecracking

According to state law, a person commits the offense of safecracking if they unlawfully open, enter or attempt to open a safe or vault. The law also doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the methods used to open or attempt to open a safe or vault – whether it’s through explosives, drills, electronic devices, master keys or even electronic listening devices (for combination locks), using any tools to open a vault is an offense.

The act of removing a safe or vault from its premises for the purposes of stealing its contents also constitutes safecracking, per North Carolina law.

Safecracking is a Class I felony.

Penalties for safecracking

If a court convicts a person for safecracking, they face up to two years in prison. This is the same penalty levied on those convicted of possessing a firearm on school grounds or breaking into a motor vehicle.

A person charged with safecracking may also face charges for preparing to commit burglary or other housebreakings for possessing tools such as picklocks or drill bits. This offense is another Class I felony, and a conviction carries the same criminal penalty.

If you face a charge of safecracking, you’re probably also accused of other related offenses. Burglary, larceny or even attempting to break out of the building after being caught – these charges can add up, and convictions mean multiple penalties. You might want to consider consulting with a legal professional to understand your options in court, especially with the multiple charges you face.