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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.1-5  Larceny from the Person -- § 53a-119 and § 53a-123 (3)

Revised to December 1, 2007

Note:  Larceny from the person is defined as second degree larceny in § 53a-123 (3) regardless of the nature or value of the property stolen.  

The defendant is charged [in count __] with larceny in the second degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person commits larceny when, with intent to <insert as appropriate:>

  • deprive another of property,

  • appropriate property to (himself /herself) or a third person,

(he/she) wrongfully (takes / obtains / withholds) such property from an owner.  

Larceny simply means theft or stealing.  In this case, the defendant is charged with committing larceny by taking the property from the person of another.

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

Element 1 - Theft of property
The first element is that the defendant wrongfully took property from the property owner.

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

Element 2 - Larcenous intent
The second element is that at the time the defendant took such property, (he/she) intended to <insert as appropriate:>

  • permanently deprive the owner of (his/her) property 

  • permanently appropriate the property to (himself / herself) or a third person. 

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

Element 3 - From the person
The third element is that the defendant took the property from the person of another.  This means that the item taken was actually on the body or held by or was in some manner attached to the person of <insert name of person>.  <Describe allegations.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant wrongfully (took / obtained / withheld) property from the property owner, 2) (he/she) did so with the intent to (permanently deprive the owner of (his/her) property / permanently appropriate the property to (himself / herself) or a third person), and 3) (he/she) took the property from <insert name of person>'s person.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of larceny in the second degree, 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.

Commentary

"The stealing of property from the person has been from an early period under the English statutes treated as a much graver and more heinous offense than ordinary or common theft -- partly by reason of the ease with which it could be perpetrated and the difficulty of guarding against it, and partly because of the greater liability of endangering the person or life of the victim."  (Internal quotation marks omitted.)  State v. Arena, 33 Conn. App. 468, 486 (1994), aff'd, 235 Conn. 67 (1995).  See also State v. Wright, 46 Conn. App. 616, 619-20 (1997), aff'd by 246 Conn. 132 (1998) (the statute is not unconstitutional simply because it imposes a higher penalty than robbery in the third degree, which requires force).

Larceny from the person requires an actual trespass to the person of the victim.  State v. Crowe, 174 Conn. 129, 134 (1977).  In State v. Arena, supra, 33 Conn. App. 489, it was held to be a trespass from the person when the defendant demanded at gunpoint that a store clerk retrieve money from the cash register and then snatched it from her hand.  "No physical contact is necessary.  Mere compulsion by implicit threat to hand over the property is sufficient to meet the statutory requirement that the property be taken from the person of another and would, therefore, constitute a trespass of the person."  See also State v. Felder, 95 Conn. App. 248, 259, cert. denied, 279 Conn. 905 (2006) (trespass of the person does not require that the property be taken "against the will" or "forcefully"; wrongful means without legal justification, whether by force or some other means).
 


 

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