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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.1-15  Larceny by Receiving Stolen Property -- 53a-119 (8) and 53a-122 through 53a-125b

Revised to April 23, 2010

Note:  The degree of the larceny is determined by the value of the property stolen.  See 53a-122 (first degree); 53a-123 (second degree); 53a-124 (third degree); 53a-125 (fourth degree); 53a-125a (fifth degree); 53a-125b (sixth degree).  The dollar amounts for the degrees of larceny were increased as of October 1, 2009.  See the table in Introduction to Larceny for the values in effect prior to that date.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with larceny by receiving stolen property in the (first / second / third / fourth / fifth / sixth) degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of larceny by receiving stolen property if (he/she) (receives / retains / disposes of) stolen property knowing that it has probably been stolen or believing that it has probably been stolen.1

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Stolen property
The first element is that the defendant (received / retained / disposed of) stolen property.  "Stolen property" is property that has been wrongfully taken away from the person who owns or possesses it with the intent of depriving that person of it.  It does not matter who stole the property or through how many hands it passed.  All you need to determine is that it was stolen property.  <Insert appropriate definition(s):>

  • To "receive" means to acquire possession, control or title, or to lend on the security of the property.  Physical possession is not essential.  It is sufficient if the defendant has control over the property, such as keeping it in (his/her) house or car.  It is also sufficient if the defendant has received the property as security on a loan, as in the case of a pawnbroker who lends money in such a situation.

  • To "retain" means to keep or hold property.  If a person initially received stolen property innocently, (he/she) would be guilty if (he/she) learned later that the property had been stolen and continued to retain it.

  • To "dispose of" means to transfer or relinquish possession or control over the property or to effect a virtually permanent or final change in its nature so as to make restoration to the owner impracticable.  A sale or pledge of the goods would be a disposition; so would a use of the goods that consumed the greater portion of their economic value.

[<If appropriate:>  A person who accepts or receives the use or benefit of a public utility commodity that customarily passes through a meter, knowing such commodity (has been diverted from the meter / has not been correctly registered by the meter / has not been registered at all by a meter), is guilty of larceny by receiving stolen property.]

Element 2 - Knowledge
The second element is that the defendant knew or believed that the property had probably been stolen.  (He/She) need not have known with certainty that it was stolen property.  If (he/she) knew or believed that more probably than not it had been stolen, that would be sufficient.2

It would not be enough for you to conclude that the defendant exercised poor judgment when (he/she) acquired the property or that (he/she) was careless and should have suspected that the property was stolen.  There must have been an actual belief in the defendant's mind that the property was, or probably was, stolen. 

This belief need not have been present at the time the defendant first acquired the goods.  If (he/she) subsequently discovered they had been stolen, (his/her) continued retention of them or (his/her) ultimate disposition of them while having such knowledge would constitute the crime.

Element 3 - Value
The third element is that the property had a value that <insert as appropriate:>

First degree:  exceeded $20,000.
Second degree:  exceeded $10,000.
Third degree:  exceeded $2,000.
Fourth degree:  exceeded $1,000.
Fifth degree:  exceeded $500.
Sixth degree:  did not exceed $500.

<See Larceny, Instruction 9.1-1, for a full explanation of this element.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant (received / retained / disposed of) stolen property, 2) (he/she) knew or believed that the property had probably been stolen, and 3) the value of the stolen property was <insert value according to degree charged>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of larceny by receiving stolen property, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 The statute concludes with "unless the property is received, retained, disposed of with purpose to restore it to the owner."  This portion of the statute should not be included unless the defense has introduced evidence that he or she received the property with the purpose of restoring it to its owner.  It is then the state's burden to disprove it.  "Whether the defendant received, retained or disposed of the property with the purpose of restoring it to the owner is peculiarly within his personal knowledge.  We conclude that [this part] of the statute is not an essential element of [larceny by receiving stolen property.]"  State v. Foster, 45 Conn. App. 369, 378, cert. denied, 243 Conn. 904 (1997).

2 See generally State v. Nunes, 58 Conn. App. 296, 300-302, cert. denied, 254 Conn. 944 (2000).

Commentary

See generally State v. Desimone, 241 Conn. 439, 452- 58 (1997) (on aggregation); State v. Foster, supra, 45 Conn. App. 375-77 (on knowledge).

This subsection of the larceny statute differs from the others in that specific intent is not an element.  State v. Perez, 181 Conn. 299, 315 (1980); State v. Foster, 45 Conn. App. 369, 378, cert. denied, 243 Conn. 904 (1997).  Because intent to deprive the owner is not an element, it does not matter whether the person from whom the defendant received the property was its owner.  It is the facts surrounding the defendant's receipt of the property from which the jury infers guilty knowledge.  See State v. Gabriel, 192 Conn. 405, 409-17 (1984) (discussing guilty knowledge).

Larceny by receiving stolen property of a motor vehicle and using a motor vehicle without the owner's permission, 53a-119b, are separate offenses.  State v. Foster, supra, 45 Conn. App. 383-87.

"[P]ossession of recently stolen property raises a permissible inference of criminal connection with the property, and if no explanation is forthcoming, the inference of criminal connection may be as a principal in the theft, or as a receiver under the receiving statute, depending upon the other facts and circumstances which may be proven."  (Internal quotation marks omitted.)  State v. Rivera, 39 Conn. App. 96, 104, cert. denied, 235 Conn. 921 (1995).
 


 

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