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Name: In re M.A.
Case #: D060768
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/13/2012

Despite a person’s initial entry into a house without felonious intent and with permission, his subsequent unpermitted entry into a closet of the house with the now formed intent to commit a felony constitutes first degree burglary. With the permission of the occupant, minor entered a house with no intent to commit a felony. Once inside, he learned that there were guns in a closet and, without permission, entered the closet and stole them. The court made a true finding of first degree burglary. Affirmed. Penal Code section 459 states that “[e]very person who enters any . . . room . . . with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.” Under the plain language of the statute, entry into the closet with the requisite intent constitutes burglary. The basic policy underlying the burglary statute supports this finding. Treating the entry at issue here as an entry for burglary is consistent with the personal security concerns of the burglary statute, because entry, from inside a home, into a room (or closet) raises the level of risk that the burglar will come into contact with the home’s occupants with the resultant threat of violence and harm. (People v. Sparks (2002) 28 Cal.4th 71, 87.)