WA grants automatic standing to a car thief but finds inventory of the car reasonable

“We are asked to answer two questions under article I, section 7 of our state constitution: first, whether defendants have standing to challenge the scope of a warrantless inventory search of a vehicle when that vehicle is stolen and, second, whether a proper inventory search extends to opening an innocuous, unlocked container of unknown ownership found in a stolen vehicle associated with defendants who were apprehended while burglarizing a home. We hold that the defendants have automatic standing to challenge the search and that the search of the innocuous container was lawful under these circumstances. We reverse the Court of Appeals and uphold the denial of the motion to suppress.” State v. Peck, 2019 Wash. LEXIS 589 (Sept. 26, 2019).

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