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A Better Partnership
December 14, 2011

COA Opinion: Cutting the padlock on a trailer is damage to the trailer, warranting enhanced sentence under MCL ' 750.356

In People v. Kloosterman, No. 301283, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's sentencing of defendant under MCL ' 750.356a(3), which imposes an enhanced sentence where damage is done to any part of a motor vehicle or trailer in the commission of a larceny under MCL ' 750.356a(2)(a) or (b). Defendant argued that the padlock securing the trailer was not 'any part' of the trailer and thus, the trial court erred in imposing an enhanced sentence in defendant's case. The Court of Appeals disagreed, using the dictionary definitions to define 'any part of . . . [a] trailer' to cover every and all portions of the trailer in whatever degree or whatever separate or distinct piece of the trailer that is broken, torn, cut, or otherwise damaged. Cutting the padlock constituted damage to a distinct piece of the trailer that was specifically designed to be compatible with the trailer's latches and to secure the tools transported inside the trailer. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion for directed verdict because there was sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant damaged a part of the trailer in the commission of a larceny.

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