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Banana and Lobster Allegedly Steal UNC Chapel Hill Sculpture

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on April 11, 2013 3:58 PM

First Sesame Street, now food. In the wee hours of the night, four people -- including two dressed as a banana and lobster -- sauntered into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Student Union building and allegedly 'split' after stealing a wooden critter sculpture worth $1,000, The Daily Tar Heel reports.

The lobster and friends might soon find themselves in hot water for larceny, or possibly even burglary.

Larceny

Larceny is what most people think of as traditional theft: it occurs when a person (or a banana) takes someone else's property without the use of force from somewhere other than inside their home.

The exact worth of the wooden sculpture by Clyde Jones could make quite a difference in how prosecutors would charge the edible offenders.

The stolen critter sculpture is valued at about $1,000, a price point marking the difference between a felony and a larceny. In North Carolina, larceny of property worth more than $1,000 is a felony. On the other hand, larceny of property worth less than that amount is charged as a misdemeanor.

Burglary

Burglary has the same elements as larceny but also requires the 'breaking and entering' of a building unlawfully. A burglary can occur when someone enters a building after it closes to the public, with the intent to commit a crime.

Here, the crustacean culprit and friends allegedly entered the Union at about 3:00 in the morning through an unlocked door, The Daily Tar Heel reports.

Though the door was unlocked, if the men were not associated with the Student Union and did not have permission to enter the building at that late hour, their critter heist could be charged as burglary. Their act of opening the unlocked door and waltzing in could constitute breaking and entering.

Fortunately for the lobster and banana bandits, the police believe prosecuting the UNC Chapel Hill sculpture theft is bananas and do not intend to press charges if they safely return the critter.

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