Suppose someone "A" has a storage unit, and was told by the manager to remove their belongings by a certain date.

"A" was then notified that the manager was leaving early and not allowed to come back. If "A" comes back later and there is a lock on the unit, cuts the lock and removes what belongings he could, is this 2nd degree burglary, trespassing and /or vandalism?

  • Thais is asking what acts are prohibited by what laws. In no way is it specific legal advice as defined on this site. Jan 21, 2023 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Has anyone been charged for stealing their own stuff?

Yes, if it can be shown that someone else had lawful joint-possession at the time. But it's not clear, to me, from the question whether the storage unit manager falls in to this category - assuming she does, the relevant case law is R v Turner (No 2) [1971] 1 WLR 901:

The defendant took his car in to a service station for repairs. When he went to pick it up he saw that the car was left outside with the key in. He took the car without paying for the repairs. He was liable for theft of his own car since the car was regarded as belonging to the service station as they were in possession and control of it. Source

Partial answer as there's burglary to consider, which I will return to later when I have more time.

  • Theft of service would be a proper charge if repairs weren't paid for. The car still "belongs" to him by title, no ownership is actually transferred, just temporary custody. (unless the service contract has fine print to the effect of "during the period of service the vehicle becomes legally the property of Bob's Auto Repair...") Jan 21, 2023 at 17:07

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