Hi I am taking a class in basic criminal law and i was asked this question
A community has enacted a law requiring residents to separate their garbage into recyclables and non-recyclables. The recyclable items are placed in plastic containers marked "Property of the City of Ecology." The city collects the contents of the containers and sells it to a recycling facility, boosting the city budget by several hundred thousand dollars per year. Joe, a homeless man, makes the rounds on garbage day and selects metal cans from the recycling bins, which he crushes and sells to a recycling facility. He is arrested and charged with theft of city property. You have been asked to analyze the case on behalf of the Public Defender representing Joe.
What is Joe's best defense to the theft charges?
I was wondering if someone can point me in too the right direction to answer this question.