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Name: People v. Chavez
Case #: F061645
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/11/2012

Burglary requires evidence of entry into a building, with building defined as having four walls and a roof. By jury trial, appellant was convicted of conspiracy to commit second degree burglary, amongst other offenses. The evidence presented was that appellant, along with coconspirator Phillips, agreed to steal gasoline from a car in a wrecking yard; Phillips entered the fenced yard and stole gasoline from a junked car; appellant was near the fenced area and helped carry the gasoline away. There was no evidence that Phillips entered a building. Penal Code section 459 defines burglary as entry into a variety of specified buildings and “other building,” with the intent to commit larceny or any other felony. California cases dating back to the 1800’s require a building to have four walls and a roof; other states with a statute similar to California’s do not define burglary otherwise; the plain meaning of a building is anything with walls and a roof. As a burglary does not include a wrecking yard, there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction for conspiracy and it was reversed, with the corresponding eight-month consecutive sentence stricken.