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Name: People v. Allen
Case #: B136331
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/30/2001
Subsequent History: Review denied 5/2/01

Appellant was improperly convicted of auto burglary where he gained access to the vehicle’s trunk by opening an unlocked passenger door and lifting a trunk latch to open it. Auto burglary can only be committed by entering a locked vehicle without the owner’s consent. Appellant did not use any tools or force to enter the vehicle, but gained access through unlocked doors. The second “entry,” into the trunk was gained by pulling a latch inside the open vehicle. Legally, this action was no different than entering the unlocked vehicle. If appellant had entered the locked trunk of the vehicle by using a screwdriver, an auto burglary may have occurred. Here, there was no invasion into a “locked vehicle,” and hence no auto burglary. The court therefore erred when it denied appellant’s motion for acquittal as to that charge.