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Name: People v. Stylz
Case #: B263072
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 08/16/2016

Defendant’s forcible entry into a public storage unit with the intent to steal property of another when the storage facility was open to the public was not shoplifting (Pen. Code, § 459.5) regardless of the value of the property taken. Stylz pleaded no contest to second degree burglary based on his forcible entry into a locked storage unit within a larger storage facility with intent to commit larceny. In March 2015, he petitioned to reduce his felony to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47 (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subds. (a) & (f)). The trial court denied the petition, finding Stylz’s offense did not constitute misdemeanor “shoplifting” (Pen. Code, § 459.5). Stylz appealed. Held: Affirmed. In November 2014, Proposition 47 reclassified certain drug and theft felonies as misdemeanors unless the offenses were committed by ineligible defendants. It created a mechanism whereby defendants could petition for reduction of a qualified offense (Pen. Code, § 1170.18). Proposition 47 also added section 459.5, the offense of “shoplifting,” which is defined as entering a commercial establishment with the intent to commit larceny when that business is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property taken does not exceed $950. In People v. Garcia (2016) 62 Cal.4th 1116, the court held that a defendant may be convicted of burglary by entering a room within a larger structure with the requisite intent if that room provides a separate and objectively reasonable expectation of protection from intrusion relative to the greater building. Here, the locked storage unit Stylz entered was rented to Foley, a person separate from the commercial entity that owned the storage facility. Stylz did not show that the locked storage unit is a commercial establishment, that Foley rented it to engage in commerce, or that it was open to the public during regular business hours.

The full opinion is on the court’s website here: