Arabie v. State
In Arabie v. State, 699 P.2d 890 (Alaska App. 1985), the Alaska court reversed a conviction for burglary on facts which are similar to the case before us. The defendant was apprehended inside a walk-in cooler at the back of a 24-hour store with a case of beer in his hands.
The Alaska Court of Appeals held that Arabie's entry into the rear room and beer cooler may have constituted criminal trespass, but it did not constitute unlawful entry of a building. 699 P.2d at 893.
Since it was undisputed that the store building was open for business, the court considered the entry to be lawful. The court concluded that the walk-in cooler failed to qualify as a "separate unit" for purposes of determining that the defendant had made an unlawful entry into a "building" for burglary purposes. 699 P.2d at 893.