Under Vehicle Code § 10852, it is illegal to tamper with a vehicle. The text of 10852 reads, “[n]o prison shall either individually or in association with one on more persons, willfully injure or tamper with any vehicle or the contents thereof or break or remove any part of a vehicle without the consent of the owner.”
In contrast, auto burglary under Penal Code § 459 prohibits the entry into a locked vehicle or its truck with the intent to steal the car (grand theft auto (“GTA”)), steal property in the car (petty theft or grand theft) or to commit any other type of felony in the vehicle.
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