One hit wonder and 90’s musician Vanilla Ice was arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft in Palm Beach County this week. According to news reports, Ice was renovating a nearby home as a part of his DIY television show “The Vanilla Ice Project” where he and his crew renovate and flip homes. According to the police, Ice is accused of burglarizing an unoccupied dwelling and stealing a pool heater in addition to several pieces of furniture sometime between December 2014 and February 2015. Several of the allegedly stolen items were later found in his home. The Lantana Police Department released a statement saying that “during the investigation, it was determined Robert Matthew Van Winkle (your buddy Vanilla Ice) played a role in the burglary and theft. Mr. Van Winkle is currently renovating the residence adjacent to the property in which the items were stolen. A search warrant was obtained and executed in unincorporated Palm Beach County in which several of the stolen items were recovered at a residence under the care and control of Robert Van Winkle.” There you have it. Every mid 30’s, slightly overweight white kid from middle America should just fall to their knees and pray now for a swift and favorable resolution to our childhood idol’s case. As if it weren’t enough that Ice only enhanced our lives with one damn song, now he’s accused of doing very basic crap like flipping homes. Now this. Here is what I have to say to you Ice so please stop, collaborate and listen…
Ice, I will represent you FOR FREE. Granted I’m a Tampa criminal attorney rather than a Palm Beach criminal lawyer but let’s not quibble. If you’re accused of jacking a pool heater and skunky furniture from a house in foreclosure, to hell with calling Saul, get Jason. Beggers can’t be choosers here Ice. The allegations against you aren’t good. If the burglary of an unoccupied dwelling sticks you’re looking at possibly hanging in and putting on rap shows in the Department of Corrections for up to 15 long, terribly boring years. To make matters worse, if you try to renovate your jail cell you might be charged with escape under Florida Statute 944.40 and have additional time added on to your prison term, again up to 15 long years. That’s brutal for simply wanting to knock out a wall isn’t it? And what about the grand theft charge? How much was that stuff worth? Less than $20,000? If so you’re in better shape that if it’s $20,000 or more. Less than $20,000 could get you up to 5 years in the pokey, while $20,000 to $99,999.99 could get you up to 15 years. If it’s $100,000 or more then I’m officially erasing all of my childhood memories of slam dunking my Nerf basketball and honing my baller skills as a 10 year old while you rocked the mike like a vandal on my cassette player. Is this how you want to be remembered!?!?
Lucky for you the Bulls never followed up on the tryout they invited me to and the Cubs couldn’t afford my salary demands. Consequently, I’m here to represent you on your criminal charges. You might be ok after all. I don’t have very much information on these allegations but did you ever actually enter the foreclosed house? Even if you did, did you have the intent to commit a crime when you went in? Please tell me no on this Ice. If you tell me no you may have a defense to this mess. If you didn’t go in, and didn’t tell anyone else to, you didn’t burglarize anyone and you didn’t conspire to do so either. Even if you went in to sight see but didn’t take anything or had no intent to commit a criminal act when you were checking the house out you’ve only committed a trespass. That’s not much. If anything it enhances your Iciness. We need that iciness, Ice. I need that iciness! What about the stolen stuff? Tell me you didn’t take this crap. Arguably even if it was found in the house you and your people are renovating FOR YOUR TV SHOW you have an argument that you are pretty far removed from the items and so they can’t necessarily connect you to them. If you aren’t in the house much or if you didn’t know they were stolen, you could be ok on this across the board. Do they have any proof that you actually took the items or knew they were red hot? What should I make of this three-month gap of when you could have possibly entered the home? Sounds to me like they don’t have surveillance or an eyewitness. Do they have fingerprints? Perhaps a matching footprint on the floor or a piece of your very pimp and flowing hair was found. I never could get my hair to do that by the way. Confession- still trying, 25 years later. Don’t judge me.
What is it that they have to put you in the house at all and further, taking items from the house without permission? You’ve told us through the news that it’s a misunderstanding. You might be right, though time will tell. Thanks for taking the time to listen Ice. Being a burglary attorney in Tampa isn’t as cool as my brief stint with the Bulls or being a rap star but it pays the bills. I’m here if you need me, from 9AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday. Give me a call on my cell at 813-444-7435 or at 727-771-3847.