may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:
Filed May 6, 1997
Jackson County District Court
File No. JX9650026
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent)
Mark T. Steffan, Jackson County Attorney, Jackson County Courthouse, P.O. Box 374, Jackson, MN 56143 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Willis, Judge.
Appellant R.Y. challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the district court's adjudication of delinquency for possessing theft tools. We reverse.
given the facts in the record and the legitimate inferences that can be drawn from those facts, a jury could reasonably conclude that the defendant was guilty of the offense charged.
State v. Merrill, 274 N.W.2d 99, 111 (Minn. 1978). The reviewing court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the state and assume the finder of fact believed the state's witnesses and disbelieved any contrary evidence. In re Welfare of J.G.B., 473 N.W.2d 342, 345 (Minn. App. 1991). Circumstantial evidence is entitled to the same weight as other evidence as long as the circumstances proved are consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty and inconsistent with any other rational hypothesis. State v. Race, 383 N.W.2d 656, 661 (Minn. 1986).
A person commits the offense of possession of burglary or theft tools if he possesses "any device, explosive, or other instrumentality with intent to use or permit the use of the same to commit burglary or theft." Minn. Stat. § 609.59 (1996). Evidence linking the defendant to any past or future burglary is not necessary for violation of section 609.59. State v. Valstad, 282 Minn. 301, 309, 165 N.W.2d 19, 24 (1969).
Intent to use burglary tools may be drawn from the character of the objects and from the circumstances surrounding their possession. * * * The intent necessary is a general intent to use the tools in the commission of a burglary and not an intent to commit a particular burglary.
State v. Conaway, 319 N.W.2d 35, 41 (Minn. 1982).
The evidence cited by the district court to support its adjudication of R.Y. as delinquent based on the possession of theft tools focuses on the possession of the barrel-shaped keys and their possible use: (1) R.Y. appeared anxious when the administrator searched his bag, (2) R.Y.'s explanation that the key ring belonged to another boy and that he found the barrel-shaped keys was not credible and did not explain why he kept the keys in his bag, (3) the only purpose for the barrel-shaped keys is to gain access to locked property, and (4) an officer testified that people often have broken into soft drink machines using barrel-shaped keys. This evidence "is as compatible with innocence as guilt" and does not constitute the "strong circumstantial evidence manifesting criminal intent" that is necessary to support a finding of guilt under section 609.59. See Conaway, 319 N.W.2d at 42. We hold that the district court erred in adjudicating R.Y. as delinquent for possessing theft tools.