Fla. court: You can't burglarize a mulch bed

Published: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — An appellate court has reversed a man's burglary of a dwelling conviction because the bicycle he allegedly tried to take was actually parked on a mulch bed.

A three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal ruled unanimously on Monday.

Florida's definition of dwelling includes attached porches. The bike was on mulch covered by an overhang outside the front door of a townhouse. Prosecutors argued the mulch bed should be considered an attached porch.

The court disagreed. It said the area was "open to the general public" and not part of the victim's house. The decision noted that the townhouse's mailbox was right next to where the bike was parked.

The case is Colbert v. State of Florida, No. 1D11-117.

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