Most people think of larceny as being a common theft where someone intentionally steals another person’s property without physical or lethal force (which otherwise would have been known as robbery) and transports it to another location. Larceny is actually very similar to theft, to the point that in some states the two are virtually identical by definition. Nonetheless, in some states larceny and theft vary slightly from one another.
In most states, larceny is defined as where someone illegally stealing property or money away from someone else without the consent of that person, and intends to keep that stolen property away from the original owner permanently by transporting it to a different location and keeping it there. For larceny to be considered larceny, it is extremely critical that each of these components happens:
The first component to committing a larceny is illegally stealing property from an owner. Therefore, if the person ‘steals’ the property legally, then it automatically does not qualify as larceny. States have varying definitions of larceny, so for example in some states the stealer must take the property away, while other states define larceny has simply taking control of the property without moving it.
For a theft to be considered larceny, the stolen property absolutely has to belong to a different owner. If you lend a piece of property to someone else, and they don’t give it back to you in the specified time that you gave them, then if you go and take it back, you have not committed larceny because the property belonged to you originally.
We talked with The Law Office of Hugh Howerton, and for larceny to be committed, it also has to be committed without the consent of the owner. If the owner approves you removing or taking his or her property, then you have not committed larceny.
Last but not least, for a theft to be considered larceny, a person must have the intention of keeping that piece of property from its original owner permanently. If you take something from someone else but intend to give it back to the original owner, then you have not committed larceny (though you may be charged with something else). You must also intend to take and keep the property by no mistake; if someone believes the property that they are taking is rightfully theirs, then they have not committed larceny. Nonetheless, they could still be charged with something else.