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Name: People v. Henry
Case #: B206420
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/23/2009
Summary

Entry into the hood area of a locked vehicle constitutes vehicle burglary. At trial on the charge of vehicle burglary (Pen. Code, sec. 459), the owner of a Toyota Camry testified that she parked and locked her car. She also testified that the hood of her car was closed and that it was normally opened by pulling a release latch inside the passenger compartment. A witness later observed appellant use a tool to pry open the hood of the Toyota. The jury convicted appellant of vehicle burglary. The appellate court rejected appellant’s argument that entry into the hood area does not constitute vehicle burglary, finding that under rules of statutory construction for vehicle burglary, one commits a vehicle burglary when he enters it as appellant did. If the Legislature had intended the burglary statute not to include appellant’s activity, it would have stated that a person committed the crime only if he entered the passenger compartment of a locked vehicle.