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State v. Komok

Supreme Court of Washington
783 P.2d 1061 (1989)


Joseph Komok (defendant), age 16, and his 14-year-old sister went to Lamonts, a department store to look at clothing. They had no money with them. While in the men’s department, Komok handed a baseball cap to his sister who then went to the girls’ clothing area. There, she picked up leggings and then returned to Komok who was still in the men’s department. A nearby security manager observed the pair “looking around as if to see if there was someone watching them.” Shortly thereafter, Komok’s sister concealed the cap, leggings, and a t-shirt under her sweatshirt while Komok watched. Komok’s sister then proceeded to leave the store without paying for the merchandise, but was stopped just beyond the store’s exit by the security manager. Komok had remained in the men’s department. The security manager took both Komok and his sister to the security office and called the police. At a juvenile court fact finding hearing, Komok and his sister both testified that she had taken the merchandise on her own, even though Komok told her not to do so. Komok was convicted for aiding and abetting his sister’s shoplifting. There, the trial judge noted that Komok “intended to deprive Lamonts of the property.” Komok appealed and the court of appeals affirmed the conviction

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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