Stealing - Identify the elements of stealing MCCH Ch. 9.3



Identify what value determines when stealing becomes a felony.  MCCH Ch. 9.3, Penalty - Either a Class C Felony or Class A Misdemeanor, depending on whether additional factors are present.  One factor is that the property is taken from the person of another.  This makes sense because there is some invasion of the person here.  A purse snatch where the suspect gets the purse away cleanly would be an example.



Identify how to determine the dollar value used in stealing offenses.  MCCH Ch. 9.2



Other than the value of something, identify what other elements will make stealing a felony offense. MCCH Ch. 9.3 Penalty


1.  Question 1 worksheet - What did D steal in this question?

Services can be stolen.  Same as bolting at restaurant or hotel.

2.  Question 1a worksheet - How can A take his own property?  Can't.  This case would not be prosecuted.

3. Question 1B worksheet - H is husband; w is wife.  Can you tell from these facts if a theft has occurred?  Answer:  No theft if this property was truly joint property.  However, see State v. Winkelmann, where Janet bought 1978 Green Pontiac while married to 1st husband.  He died.  Kept car in her name, even when married and to 2nd husband, Richard.  They separate and file for divorce.  The car had always been used extensively by her.  He steals the keys, takes the car. Wrecks it into a brick wall Convicted of stealing in this limited situation.

a.  Practically, need further investigation, seek advice as to whether this is stealing.  Complicated situation.


4. Note that the value of property stolen will usually be its market value.  If that cannot be determined, use replacement cost.  For instruments such as checks, use the face amount of the checks.


OBJECTIVE #6 - Identify what is meant by the provision “physically taken from the person of the victim.”   MCCH Ch. 9.3


B.  Specific Examples of Intent and Defenses.

1.  With the purpose to deprive.  Question C.  D intends to deprive.  However, can he use the claim of right defense?   Belief that a right to appropriate or owner would have consented.  Intends to pay only if B complains.  Guilty is my opinion.


2.  Lost Property Defense.


a.  Worksheet Question 1D - Can S use lost property defense?  No.  Only if he doesn't know the identity of the owner and he does not have the means of inquiry to identity the owner.  C's name in brief case.


3.  Property of Another.


a.  Worksheet Question 1E - Even though not taken out of possession this was an appropriation.


b. Worksheet Question 1F - Clerk only entrusted with money - temporarily - knowingly - Stealing.



Identify why “claim of right” applies to stealing offenses. MCCH Ch. 9.6

Claim of right is a defense.  This applies when the person has an honest belief that he has a right to appropriate the property or when the suspect honestly believes that the owner would have consented if they had been present.  An example would be the person who goes out to the parking lot and puts their key in a car door, it opens and they drive away.  After they have driven some blocks, they realize that they are not in their own car.  Though it is rare, there are identical cars which have the same key code.  This would be an honest belief and a defense to a stealing charge.



Receiving Stolen Property.

Identify the elements of:

Receiving Stolen Property - MCCH Ch. 9.7


A.  Note - Penalties more severe on merchant.

B.  Note - Must show that receiver (also covers those who retain or dispose of) of stolen property knew or believed property was stolen.  See note in text.

1.   Question 2 - Class C Felony for dealer/Not one for S.

2.   Can't be both the principal in a larceny and at the same time a receiver of stolen property.  Probably can get them for receiving stolen property when they turn around and sell it to the next person since statute says "disposes of."


Forgery. (Not required by POST)

A.  Note - Pretty much the common sense definition are in the elements - best note.

1.  Question 3 - Altering a writing is forgery as well as erasing, destroying.



Passing Bad Checks. MCCH Ch. 9.11

Read elements.  Purpose to defraud is the mental state necessary to be guilty.  A ten-day letter is intended to put a person on notice. Once they receive a ten-day letter and take no action, it is much easier to prove their intent.

Question 4 - 1 check O/$150 or fact amount of any checks pursuant to 1 course of conduct another 10 days can be added to reach $150 or more - D Felony.  In this question, Class A Misdemeanor.  But can also be a felony if there is no account or check drawn on a bogus bank.


B.  Stopping Payment fraudulently. (Not required by POST)

1. Question 5 - Note elements.  Must have a purpose to defraud.  Note certified mail notice of stopped check may establish purpose to defraud, but it doesn't in this example.



Identify what is meant by “purpose to defraud” and the significance of the 10-day letter.  MCCH Ch. 9.11

Purpose of 10-day letter helps establish purpose to defraud.  Many counties use this provision for all bad checks.



Fraudulent Use of Credit Device - MCCH Ch. 9.13

1.  Use it, knowing, stolen, revoked or for other reason knowing its use is unauthorized.


Failed to Return Leased Property

1.  Question 7 - Note must have time specified for return in written agreement.  Once again 10-day letter establishes intent.  May still have enough without letter but helps to prove it if you have it.  Make sure there is written agreement.


Revised 4/01