In the general sense of the term as an offense, larceny is the taking a property from or refusing to release it to its rightful owner intending to keep it as their own. Legally speaking, larceny is defined as the wrongful taking someone else's personal property with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the property or keep it. It does not matter whether or not the accused wanted to keep for him or herself or give it to some other third party.
At common law, there used to be a “asportation” requirement, meaning that in order to complete a larcenous crime, the accused had to physically carry it away some distance. In Connecticut, there is no requirement of asportation; even picking up or touching the property is enough to constitute a larceny.
The following are many different variations of larceny, all of which are considered to be distinct and separate offenses. The following is a brief look at the many different types of larceny.
- Embezzlement – This is the act of taking ownership of a property under his custody but owned by someone else;
- Obtaining ownership through false pretense – This involves getting the ownership of a property by deceiving the owner through incorrect means, tools, and methods.
- Obtaining ownership through false promise – This is all about taking ownership of a property in exchange with the expressed or implied presentation that a future specified conduct will be taken. In this specific example, it is hard -- if not impossible -- to determine the belief or intention of the accused to not act out whatever is promised in exchanged for the property.
- Acquiring property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake – Larceny is committed if the person, who has taken ownership of the property that has been lost, mislaid or erroneously delivered, does not go through all possible ways of returning the said property to its rightful owner.
- Extortion – This involves owning the property by pressuring its rightful owner to give up the property by causing fear of getting physically injured, having property damage, be involved in a crime-related situation, being in a position of having to accuse someone of an illegal act or be the recipient of a criminal charge, a secret being exposed or publicized, resulting in any forms of collective group actions that can injury a business, having to testify and disclose information, the person abusing his position or simply cause any harm on anybody.
- Defrauding of public community – An individual defrauds the public community when he or she gives authorization for claiming benefit or reimbursement from any federal, local, or state agencies even with the prior knowledge that such claim is false. This is also true for someone who takes the benefits despite knowing the false nature of the claim as well as an authorized individual in the public community who allows the use of the community's property or even assist in any fraudulent claim against said property.
- Theft of services – This is the act of utilizing the services rendered in the hospitality and transportation sectors with an intention not to pay for them or acquiring the said services by act of force. This also encompasses employing another person, facility and equipment for commercial purpose and without due compensation for their usage.
- Receiving stolen property – Larceny is committed by an individual who receives, keeps without intention of returning or disposes a property that is known to be stolen. Using the benefit of any public utility that is known to pass through a proper meter but did not actually do so is also an act of larceny.
- Shoplifting – An act is considered shoplifting if one takes and intends to own an item from a commercial business without paying for it. Shoplifting is not always considered to be a “petty larceny,” but, as with all larcenies, the seriousness of the crime depends on value of the goods stolen.
- Conversion of a motor vehicle – Anyone who rents a motor vehicle and does not return it as per agreed place and date is considered guilty of conversion of a motor vehicle. Keep this in mind the next time, you decide to extend your vacation a little longer without notifying the rental place.
- Obtaining property through fraudulent use of an ATM – This act is in reference to the use of deceitful use of a banking machine, a satellite device or a point of sale terminal with the purpose of owning the property of another person. In case of multiple instances of the crime being committed, all instances can be added up in a single offense.
- Library theft – An individual who hides any materials owned by a library and considers it to be his/ her own as well as an individual who destroys library property, makes it useless, or devalues library property are all acts that could you arrested for larceny. If your kid is notorious for drawing goatees on portraits in books, maybe it's time to have that talk with them.
- Conversion of leased property – Failure to return a rented property at the time and place agreed on is considered guilty of this crime if he/she proceeds to hide or sell or help in the act of doing so. Anyone who provides false information when renting a property can also be accused of this form of larceny.
- Failure to pay prevailing rate of wages – Filing a false certified payroll and not paying an employee the amount specified in a certified payroll for the purpose of using said amount for other purposes are both examples of failure to pay prevailing rate of wages and are both larcenies.
- Theft of utility service – The act of obtaining any paid utility service without actually paying for it is considered theft of utility service. This includes using deception, threat, and unauthorized use of information to tamper the connection for the purpose of avoiding payments in using the service. The services include, but are not limited to, communications, electricity, gas, telecommunications, and water. There is a presumption that the individual to whom the service is billed who has had the service for more than 31 days or more if any (i) instrumentality has been tampered with or connected or disconnected, (ii) any device, software or equipment has been modified or tampered with, (iii) the equipment ID has been disguised, or (iv) any meter has been tampered with.
- Air bag fraud – The sale and installation of an object such as an airbag in exchange for the airbag that is duly designed as per the safety requirements of the federal law and for the vehicle's specifications.
- Theft of motor fuel – An individual who siphons fuel or otherwise transfers fuel to any container in a retail establishment without paying it is considered guilty of theft of motor fuel, i.e. larceny.
- Failure to repay surplus Citizens' Election Fund grant funds – The person who has received surplus funds as per a grant and does not return the same to the Citizens' Election Fun before 90 days from the election or primary for which the said grant is allocated will be considered guilty of this form of larceny.