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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.1 Introduction to Larceny

Revised to April 23, 2010

"Section 53a-119 defines the crime of larceny and sets out a nonexclusive list of ways in which that offense may be committed.  One determinant of the grade of the offense of larceny is the value of the property stolen.  Under our statutory scheme, the grades of that offense range from first degree larceny, which includes thefts of property exceeding $10,000 in value, to sixth degree larceny, which includes thefts of property valued at $250 or less.  See General Statutes §§ 53a-122 through 53a-125b.  In addition, § 53a-121 (a) explains how the value of property is to be ascertained. . . .  Finally, § 53a-121 (b) provides that the value of each of the items alleged to have been stolen may be aggregated for purposes of determining the degree of larceny when the thefts were committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct."  State v. Desimone, 241 Conn. 439, 453 (1997).

The degree of larceny depends in most cases on the type and value of the property stolen.  The means by which the larceny is committed determines the degree for two offenses:  larceny by extortion, which is first degree, and larceny from the person, which is second degree.  If the property stolen consists of public records or scientific or technical material, it is larceny in the third degree, regardless of the value of the property.  The degree for all other larceny offenses depends on the value of the property. Public Acts 2009, No. 09-138, effective October 1, 2009, increased the dollar amounts for the degrees of larceny.  See chart below. 

Type of property

Value of property (prior to 10/1/09)

Value of property (after 10/1/09)

Degree

Motor vehicle

> $10,000

> $20,000

First

 

> $5,000

> $10,000

Second

 

< $5,000

< $10,000

Third

From a public community

> $2,000

> $2,000

First

 

< $2,000

< $2,000

Second

Public records

Any

Any

Third

Scientific / technical

Any

Any

Third

Any other property not specified above

> $10,000

> $20,000

First

 

> $5,000

> $10,000

Second

 

> $1,000

> $2,000

Third

 

> $500

> $1,000

Fourth

 

> $250

> $500

Fifth

 

< $250

< $500

Sixth

Lesser Included Offenses

Larceny in the first degree and stealing a firearm are separate offenses.  State v. Roy, 34 Conn. App. 751, 769-72 (1994), rev'd on other grounds, 233 Conn. 211 (1995).  "The degree of larceny is, for the most part, determined by the value of the property taken or, in some cases, by the way in which it is taken.  It is not generally determined by the kind of property."  Id., 772.  "Thus, the legislature created other statutes that recognize that the type of property involved is, in some instances, germane to the state's penological interest."  Id.

Simple larceny may be a lesser included offense of robbery.  "The element distinguishing robbery from larceny is the use or threatened use of physical force."  State v. Preston, 248 Conn. 472, 478 (1999) (the defendant's use of force was not sufficiently in dispute to entitle him to an instruction on larceny as a lesser included offense); State v. Hansen, 39 Conn. App. 384, 406-407, cert. denied, 235 Conn. 928 (1995) (conviction of both larceny and robbery was a violation of double jeopardy).

"Robbery in the first degree . . . entails simple larceny.  Larceny from the person is a separate and distinct offense from that of simple larceny.  Second degree larceny requires an actual trespass to the person of the victim."  State v. Ortiz, 14 Conn. App. 493, 504, cert. denied, 209 Conn. 804 (1988); see also State v. Littles, 31 Conn. App. 47, 57, cert. denied, 227 Conn. 902 (1993) (larceny from the person and robbery require proof of distinct elements).
 


 

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