Topolewski v. State

In Topolewski v. State (1906) 130 Wis. 244, 109 N.W. 1037, Dolan, a former employee of a meat packing plant, was approached by a defendant seeking Dolan's assistance in stealing meat from the plant. Dolan reported this meeting to Layer, a plant official, who told Dolan to continue his discussions with defendant and report back. Dolan and defendant agreed upon a scheme in which Dolan would arrange for four barrels of meat to be placed on the plant's loading platform and defendant would drive up and place the barrels in his wagon. Dolan reported this plan to Layer who directed the barrels of meat be placed on the platform the next morning and told the platform boss a man would be coming for them and to let them go. Defendant arrived as scheduled, loaded the barrels of meat into his wagon and drove off "with the intent to deprive the owner permanently thereof." (Topolewski v. State, 109 N.W. at page 1037.) Defendant was convicted of larceny. The Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed and ordered a new trial. The court reasoned "there can be no larceny without a trespass so if one procures his property to be taken by another intending to commit larceny, or delivers his property to such other, the latter purposing to commit such crime, the element of trespass is wanting and the crime not fully consummated however plain may be the guilty purpose of the one possessing himself of such property." (Topolewski v. State, 109 N.W. at page 1041.)