Topolewski v. State
Supreme Court of WI - 1906
- Dolan worked at a meat packing plant and owed D some money. D suggested that Dolan help him steal some meat to pay off his debt.
- Dolan informed the plant of this plan. The plant told Dolan to let it go and that they would catch him.
- The plant informed Klotz, the loading platform manager, to put out meat on the platform and that a man would take it away. Klotz was not told about the impending theft.
- Klotz did not help D load the meat but did allow the meat to be taken and helped arrange the wagon.
- D charged with larceny.
- Trial court found D guilty of larceny.
- WI Supreme Court reversed, D not guilty of larceny.
- Does consent to taking of property negate the element of trespassory taking in the crime of larceny?
- Consent to taking of property negates the element of trespassory taking in the crime of larceny.
- There can be no larceny without a trespass.
- If one allows his property to be taken or delivered to person intending to commit larceny, then there is no trespass.
- If a trap is set that goes no further than to afford the criminal an opportunity to carry out the plan, then larceny exists.
- Klotz permitted D to take the meat as he was instructed.
- A mere guilty purpose is not sufficient for conviction since one of the essential elements of the crime is missing.
- There was no real way that the company could have set a trap in this situation.