480 US 321(1987)
-Police responded to the incident and went first to the apartment of the origin of the bullet.
-The defendant, Hicks, was not in the apartment at the time, but officers found and seized three firearms and a stocking-cap mask, which were in plain sight.
-One of the officers then noticed two sets of stereo equipment that look displaced in the otherwise shabby apartment.
-After moving two turntables from on top of the equipment, the officer recorded their serial numbers and found them to be property stolen in a recent armed robbery.
-Mr. Hicks was found and charged with various crimes.
Issue: Was their probable cause to search the stereo equipment based on its appearance alone?
Holding: The stereo equipment seized in the search was suppressed.
Rationale: The Supreme Court first ruled that the warrantless entry by the officers, under the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement, was valid. The court then ruled that the recording of the equipment’s serial numbers did not constitute a search or seizure. However, when the officer moved the turntable it was held to be a separate search, apart from the search for the defendant and his firearms. It was the court’s ruling that the officer did not have probable cause, only reasonable suspicion to search the stereo equipment. The evidence seized after the discovery of the turntables was subsequently deemed inadmissible.