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Smith v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 11, 2019

Crystal G. Smith, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Hendricks Superior Court The Honorable Stephenie LeMay-Luken, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 32D05-1708-F6-778

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Zachary J. Stock Indianapolis, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Henry A. Flores Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          TAVITAS, JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] Crystal Gayle Smith appeals her conviction, following a jury trial, for theft, a Level 6 felony. We affirm.

         Issue

         [¶2] Smith raises one issue on appeal, which we restate as whether sufficient evidence exists to support her conviction.

         Facts

         [¶3] Champion Chevrolet ("Champion") is an auto dealership in Avon, Indiana. Champion's premises are monitored by video surveillance. When Champion's customers buy new tires, Champion disposes of the customers' old tires. As a matter of "company policy," Champion does not give away or resell the old tires because:

people typically replace their tires when their old tires are unsafe and shouldn't be used anymore, so, . . . [Champion] can't give them away to people. Otherwise, [Champion would] be liable if . . . [people] took that unsafe tire and had a blowout on the highway or whatever. [The used tires are] just not safe for people to be driving on.

Tr. Vol. II p. 59; see id. at 64-65 (". . .[I]t's company policy that we don't give people permission to take those tires . . . it would put [Champion] at tremendous liability if someone were to take that tire and put it on their vehicle or sell it to someone who would then put it on a vehicle[.]").

         [¶4] Champion routinely stores used tires in a fenced "dumpster area and . . . scrap area" that is "typically locked." Id. at 58. The enclosure bears a warning sign "that says . . . . [y]ou're being watched[.]" Id. The used tires remain within the enclosure until they are retrieved by a contractor that Champion pays to retrieve, dispose of, and/or recycle them. Champion undertakes this disposal procedure as a prophylactic measure to prevent legal exposure. Champion does not sell the used tires or collect a recycling reimbursement for the used tires.

         [¶5] On August 1, 2017, the enclosure was inadvertently left unlocked. At approximately 9:50 p.m., Smith and an accomplice entered Champion's premises, entered the enclosure, removed several used tires, loaded them into a vehicle, and drove away. A Champion employee, who was monitoring ...


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