Larceny is a type of theft and one of six different types of property crimes. For authorities to lawfully charge an individual with larceny, there are certain components to the alleged crime that must be present.
If the components of larceny are not present, it does not necessarily mean that there are no grounds on which to charge the individual with a crime. However, it may mean that the individual can face charges other than larceny.
Lack of force or fraud
The Federal Bureau of Investigations defines larceny, which it refers to as larceny-theft, as unlawfully taking someone else’s property without fraud and without force or violence. Taking property under these circumstances fall under other categories. Obtaining property through fraud is a type of white-collar crime, while taking it in a violent or forceful confrontation with another person qualifies as a violent crime, specifically robbery, rather than a property crime.
According to National Paralegal College, larceny involves carrying away property with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of it. Borrowing someone else’s property without permission does not qualify as larceny if the person intended to return it.
Type of property
A person may take unlawful possession of property that attaches to the ground, such as a house. However, this is a separate crime from larceny because larceny only pertains to personal property that it is possible to carry away. However, if a piece of property that was formerly attached to the ground becomes detached from it and a person then carries it off, it can qualify as larceny, but only if the property came into the owner’s possession, i.e., touched the ground, before the other person took it.