People v. Dupree

98 Mich. 26, 56 N.W. 1046 (1893)

 

RULE:

If an entry is effected by raising a trap-door which is kept down merely by its own weight, or by raising a window kept in its place only by pulley weight, instead of its own, or by descending an open chimney, it is admitted to be enough to support the charge of breaking; and there is no substantial distinction between such cases and one where an entry is effected through a hanging window over a shop door, and which is only designed for light above, and for ventilation, and is down, and kept down by its own weight, and so firmly as to be opened only by the use of some force, and so situated as to make a ladder, or something of that kind, necessary to reach it for the purpose of passing through it.

FACTS:

The complaining witness operated a shoe store from his home. One morning, he discovered shoes missing from his store and also noticed that the window in the store was open. Defendant, who had been alone in the store two days earlier, was convicted of burglary. The prosecution asserted that defendant, while he was alone in the store, raised the window just enough to prevent the bolt from locking automatically. This permitted his late-night entry two days later. On defendant’s appeal, the court affirmed the judgment.

 

ISSUE:

Did defendant’s alleged act of raising a window in the complainant’s store just enough to prevent the bolt from locking and then raising the same window on the following night to enter the store establish the crime of burglary?

 

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The offense of burglary encompassed defendant's actions to prevent the window from locking before the night of his intrusion. If there had been no bolt, and defendant had raised the window and entered in the night-time, under all the authorities, he would have been guilty of burglary. There was no reason to say that his removal of the bolt, or his raising the window a fraction of an inch, in the day-time, changed the character of his offense.

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