Animal rights activists in Illinois face felony charge

Two self-appointed animal rights activists have been taken into custody by local police after being arrested for possession of what police are calling "burglary tools". The duo, who hail from out of state, were arrested in rural Illinois by local officers and now face a felony charge related to the tools they were found carrying, which police say could be used to break into a locked building. They remain in custody ahead of a trial date.

The two were pulled over for what police termed a routine traffic stop on Sept. 3, and for reasons unknown were requested to submit to a search of their vehicle. When the pair allegedly refused the search, police conducted the search regardless and said they found several items that are often hallmarks of burglary attempts. Bolt cutters, ski masks, camouflage clothing and muriatic acid were all said to have been found in the vehicle.

Police have not commented on what they believe to be the intended target of this alleged burglary, but it is clear that the defendants were arrested under suspicion of intention to commit a crime. Their bail was set considerably higher than the average for a class-4 felony in Illinois, and they are currently awaiting trial in prison. If convicted, they face up to three years in a federal prison.

A felony charge for burglary is a serious offense in Illinois, but the facts of this case may not be enough to convict the defendants. The prosecution will have to prove intent to burglarize a facility of some description, which may be difficult to do considering the defendants were arrested after being pulled over on the road and not near any specific location. In addition, the search itself may be found to have been illegal, depending on the specifics of the arrest record, which defense is encouraged to review thoroughly.

Source:, Two animal rights activists arrested with "burglary tools" in rural Illinois, No author, Sept. 9, 2013

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