State v. Llamas-Villa

In State v. Llamas-Villa, 67 Wn. App. 448, 451, 836 P.2d 239, 241 (1992), the police searched a locker located in a storage room a "couple of feet" from the defendant's apartment, apartment No. 101. Upon entering the storage room, the police saw several lockers, some of which had locks on them. One of the lockers was labeled "101" and was padlocked. The police believed that this storage locker labeled "101" belonged to apartment No. 101. The police then returned to the defendant's apartment to retrieve a ring of keys found on the defendant and began trying the keys in the padlock on the locker. One of the keys opened the padlock, and the police found a .22-caliber Ruger handgun and approximately $ 3,200 in cash. The Washington Court of Appeals in Llamas-Villa found that it was "reasonable for police to believe that the storage room either belonged to the defendant's apartment or contained a locker belonging to his apartment." Id. at 453, 836 P.2d at 242. The court further found that the "storage locker labeled '101' was not a place different or separate from the defendant's apartment, and that the search of the storage locker fell within the scope of the warrant to search the defendant's apartment." Id. The court was careful to point out that the authority of the police to search lockers in the storage room was strictly limited to the locker appurtenant to the defendant's apartment, that is, the locker with "101" on the outside.