1. #1
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    Florida Penalty for possessing stolen property

    I work as an LEO in a low income area and have been dealing with a surge in bike thefts (not motorcycles) among other things recently. I'm looking to add another tool to my belt and start taking individuals who are ridding these bikes to jail. As we all know you can't take someone to jail for a misdemeanor (not an exception) that does not occur in your presence (i.e. the original bike theft). Unfortunetely, the victims are claiming their bikes are only worth $150 (not that magic felony number). I've tried reading the 812 statues and can't find any penalty for possession of stolen property. According to 812.022 the criteria appears to meet what I'm look for (but no penalty is listed). Maybe I need glasses, but if anyone could help it would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    I earned my scars, you??
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    You charge them with theft if you can prove the property is stolen:

    The 2009 Florida Statutes

    Title XLVI
    CRIMES Chapter 812
    THEFT, ROBBERY, AND RELATED CRIMES

    812.022 Evidence of theft or dealing in stolen property.--

    (1) Proof that a person presented false identification, or identification not current with respect to name, address, place of employment, or other material aspects, in connection with the leasing of personal property, or failed to return leased property within 72 hours of the termination of the leasing agreement, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that such property was obtained or is now used with intent to commit theft.


    CRIMES Chapter 812
    THEFT, ROBBERY, AND RELATED CRIMES
    812.014 Theft.--

    (e) Except as provided in paragraph (d), if the property stolen is valued at $100 or more, but less than $300, the offender commits petit theft of the first degree, punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree, as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    The charge is "Theft, Possession of Stolen Property - 812.014 (1)(e)"

    Hope that helps. Always ask your supervisor though, your court may ask for something more or less.
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    If the property was stolen from a dwelling or the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling you can charge them with felony grand theft if the property is valued at $100 or more.

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    In the State of Florida it's $300 and up to charge some one with grand theft. If the subject admits or some one witnessed that person entering the dwelling and taking the bike. Then you can charge the subject with burglary. If you don't, you have nothing much then just petty theft or nothing at all. You must have victim, no victim no crime. When in doubt call the on call State Attorney.
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    (d) It is grand theft of the third degree and a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property stolen is valued at $100 or more, but less than $300, and is taken from a dwelling as defined in s. 810.011(2) or from the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling pursuant to s. 810.09(1).

  6. #6
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    Isn't that considered "Burglary"?
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    I appreciate everyone's input. The only problem I with "burglary" is a majority of the calls involve someone going into a store and surprise surprise the bike is gone. Anyway it definitely seems like 812.014 (1)(e) is certainly the way to go (especially in the area I work). Thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowWarrior View Post
    Isn't that considered "Burglary"?
    Unlike Burglary, the listed statute applies to any person who steals any property valued at $100 or more from a dwelling. You can't charge an invited guest with burglary i.e. Johnny invites his scum bag friend friend over who subsequently steals $100 from Johnny's mother's purse which was left on the kitchen table. The listed statute also covers the UNenclosed curtilage of the dwelling. You can charge the suspect with Grand Theft in addition to the Burglary if you have PC for Burglary, thereby hitting the suspect with an additional felony. This comes in handy with juvenile suspects when trying to get them scored to qualify for detention.

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    Just trying to help you out in cases where the bike is stolen from the front lawn of a residence. You can also check with your General Council or SAO to inquire about their position about making an arrest for petit theft in your presence if the suspect is in physical possession of the bike at the time of your stop. Some jurisdictions view the theft as continually occurring since the suspect is in possession of the stolen property and is still depriving the owner of its use. This is how we arrest suspects for driving a stolen vehicle when the vehicle was stolen from another jurisdiction. Also make sure you run a criminal history on your suspect, if they have two previous convictions for theft any subsequent theft is automatically a felony. Good luck an happy hunting!

  10. #10
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    If the misdemeanor bicycle theft occurred 5 minutes ago and if you catch someone riding it, you might be able to get away with an arrest. However, if the bicycle was stolen yesterday or last week and if you have no proof that the rider stole it (absent a confession), I would not arrest for it. They usually claim that "I found it in a ditch."

    There's also a state statute that says that we can't arrest for stale misdemeanor crimes. All you can do is an affidavit. I'm too busy to look up the statute.

  11. #11
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    I don't fall for the old 'I found it in a ditch" gag. Regardless, they just confessed to theft since you can not legally appropriate found property for your personal use without reporting the found property to law enforcement and initiating a finder's claim.

    705.102. Reporting lost or abandoned property

    (1) Whenever any person finds any lost or abandoned property, such person shall report the description and location of the property to a law enforcement officer.

    (2) The law enforcement officer taking the report shall ascertain whether the person reporting the property wishes to make a claim to it if the rightful owner cannot be identified or located. If the person does wish to make such claim, he or she shall deposit with the law enforcement agency a reasonable sum sufficient to cover the agency's cost for transportation, storage, and publication of notice. This sum shall be reimbursed to the finder by the rightful owner should he or she identify and reclaim the property.

    (3) It is unlawful for any person who finds any lost or abandoned property to appropriate the same to his or her own use or to refuse to deliver the same when required.

    (4) Any person who unlawfully appropriates such lost or abandoned property to his or her own use or refuses to deliver such property when required commits theft as defined in s. 812.014, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

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