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Legal Statutes: Connecticut

UPDATED January 10, 2017

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Part IX. Larceny, Robbery and Related Offenses

back to top§ 53a-119. Larceny defined

A person commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner. Larceny includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Embezzlement. A person commits embezzlement when he wrongfully appropriates to himself or to another property of another in his care or custody.

(2) Obtaining property by false pretenses. A person obtains property by false pretenses when, by any false token, pretense or device, he obtains from another any property, with intent to defraud him or any other person.

(3) Obtaining property by false promise. A person obtains property by false promise when, pursuant to a scheme to defraud, he obtains property of another by means of a representation, express or implied, that he or a third person will in the future engage in particular conduct, and when he does not intend to engage in such conduct or does not believe that the third person intends to engage in such conduct. In any prosecution for larceny based upon a false promise, the defendant's intention or belief that the promise would not be performed may not be established by or inferred from the fact alone that such promise was not performed.

(4) Acquiring property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake. A person who comes into control of property of another that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the nature or amount of the property or the identity of the recipient is guilty of larceny if, with purpose to deprive the owner thereof, he fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to a person entitled to it.

(5) Extortion. A person obtains property by extortion when he compels or induces another person to deliver such property to himself or a third person by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will: (A) Cause physical injury to some person in the future; or (B) cause damage to property; or (C) engage in other conduct constituting a crime; or (D) accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him; or (E) expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; or (F) cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action injurious to some person's business; except that such a threat shall not be deemed extortion when the property is demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or (G) testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense; or (H) use or abuse his position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to his official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely; or (I) inflict any other harm which would not benefit the actor.

(6) Defrauding of public community. A person is guilty of defrauding a public community who (A) authorizes, certifies, attests or files a claim for benefits or reimbursement from a local, state or federal agency which he knows is false; or (B) knowingly accepts the benefits from a claim he knows is false; or (C) as an officer or agent of any public community, with intent to prejudice it, appropriates its property to the use of any person or draws any order upon its treasury or presents or aids in procuring to be allowed any fraudulent claim against such community. For purposes of this subdivision such order or claim shall be deemed to be property.

(7) Theft of services. A person is guilty of theft of services when: (A) With intent to avoid payment for restaurant services rendered, or for services rendered to him as a transient guest at a hotel, motel, inn, tourist cabin, rooming house or comparable establishment, he avoids such payment by unjustifiable failure or refusal to pay, by stealth, or by any misrepresentation of fact which he knows to be false; or (B) (i) except as provided in section 3 of public act 14-199 of the 2014 February Regular Session, with intent to obtain railroad, subway, bus, air, taxi or any other public transportation service without payment of the lawful charge therefor or to avoid payment of the lawful charge for such transportation service which has been rendered to him, he obtains such service or avoids payment therefor by force, intimidation, stealth, deception or mechanical tampering, or by unjustifiable failure or refusal to pay, or (ii) with intent to obtain the use of equipment, including a motor vehicle, without payment of the lawful charge therefor, or to avoid payment of the lawful charge for such use which has been permitted him, he obtains such use or avoids such payment therefor by means of any false or fraudulent representation, fraudulent concealment, false pretense or personation, trick, artifice or device, including, but not limited to, a false representation as to his name, residence, employment, or driver's license; or (C) obtaining or having control over labor in the employ of another person, or of business, commercial or industrial equipment or facilities of another person, knowing that he is not entitled to the use thereof, and with intent to derive a commercial or other substantial benefit for himself or a third person, he uses or diverts to the use of himself or a third person such labor, equipment or facilities.

(8) Receiving stolen property. A person is guilty of larceny by receiving stolen property if he receives, retains, or disposes of stolen property knowing that it has probably been stolen or believing that it has probably been stolen, unless the property is received, retained or disposed of with purpose to restore it to the owner. A person who accepts or receives the use or benefit of a public utility commodity which customarily passes through a meter, knowing such commodity (A) has been diverted therefrom, (B) has not been correctly registered or (C) has not been registered at all by a meter, is guilty of larceny by receiving stolen property.

(9) Shoplifting. A person is guilty of shoplifting who intentionally takes possession of any goods, wares or merchandise offered or exposed for sale by any store or other mercantile establishment with the intention of converting the same to his own use, without paying the purchase price thereof. A person intentionally concealing unpurchased goods or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of such store, shall be prima facie presumed to have so concealed such article with the intention of converting the same to his own use without paying the purchase price thereof.

(10) Conversion of a motor vehicle. A person is guilty of conversion of a motor vehicle who, after renting or leasing a motor vehicle under an agreement in writing which provides for the return of such vehicle to a particular place at a particular time, fails to return the vehicle to such place within the time specified, and who thereafter fails to return such vehicle to the agreed place or to any other place of business of the lessor within one hundred twenty hours after the lessor shall have sent a written demand to him for the return of the vehicle by registered mail addressed to him at his address as shown in the written agreement or, in the absence of such address, to his last-known address as recorded in the records of the motor vehicle department of the state in which he is licensed to operate a motor vehicle. It shall be a complete defense to any civil action arising out of or involving the arrest or detention of any person to whom such demand was sent by registered mail that he failed to return the vehicle to any place of business of the lessor within one hundred twenty hours after the mailing of such demand.

(11) Obtaining property through fraudulent use of an automated teller machine. A person obtains property through fraudulent use of an automated teller machine when such person obtains property by knowingly using in a fraudulent manner an automated teller machine with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or a third person. In any prosecution for larceny based upon fraudulent use of an automated teller machine, the crime shall be deemed to have been committed in the town in which the machine was located. In any prosecution for larceny based upon more than one instance of fraudulent use of an automated teller machine, (A) all such instances in any six-month period may be combined and charged as one offense, with the value of all property obtained thereby being accumulated, and (B) the crime shall be deemed to have been committed in any of the towns in which a machine which was fraudulently used was located. For the purposes of this subsection, “automated teller machine” means an unmanned device at which banking transactions including, without limitation, deposits, withdrawals, advances, payments and transfers may be conducted, and includes, without limitation, a satellite device and point of sale terminal as defined in section 36a-2.

(12) Library theft. A person is guilty of library theft when (A) he conceals on his person or among his belongings a book or other archival library materials, belonging to, or deposited in, a library facility with the intention of removing the same from the library facility without authority or without authority removes a book or other archival library materials from such library facility or (B) he mutilates a book or other archival library materials belonging to, or deposited in, a library facility, so as to render it unusable or reduce its value. The term “book or other archival library materials” includes any book, plate, picture, photograph, engraving, painting, drawing, map, manuscript, document, letter, public record, microform, sound recording, audiovisual material in any format, magnetic or other tape, electronic data-processing record, artifact or other documentary, written or printed material regardless of physical form or characteristics, or any part thereof, belonging to, on loan to, or otherwise in the custody of a library facility. The term “library facility” includes any public library, any library of an educational institution, organization or society, any museum, any repository of public records and any archives.

(13) Conversion of leased property. (A) A person is guilty of conversion of leased personal property who, with the intent of converting the same to his own use or that of a third person, after renting or leasing such property under an agreement in writing which provides for the return of such property to a particular place at a particular time, sells, conveys, conceals or aids in concealing such property or any part thereof, and who thereafter fails to return such property to the agreed place or to any other place of business of the lessor within one hundred ninety-two hours after the lessor shall have sent a written demand to him for the return of the property by registered or certified mail addressed to him at his address as shown in the written agreement, unless a more recent address is known to the lessor. Acknowledgment of the receipt of such written demand by the lessee shall not be necessary to establish that one hundred ninety-two hours have passed since such written demand was sent. (B) Any person, being in possession of personal property other than wearing apparel, received upon a written lease, who, with intent to defraud, sells, conveys, conceals or aids in concealing such property, or any part thereof, shall be prima facie presumed to have done so with the intention of converting such property to his own use. (C) A person who uses a false or fictitious name or address in obtaining such leased personal property shall be prima facie presumed to have obtained such leased personal property with the intent of converting the same to his own use or that of a third person. (D) “Leased personal property”, as used in this subdivision, means any personal property received pursuant to a written contract, by which one owning such property, the lessor, grants to another, the lessee, the right to possess, use and enjoy such personal property for a specified period of time for a specified sum, but does not include personal property that is rented or leased pursuant to chapter 743i. [FN1]

(14) Failure to pay prevailing rate of wages. A person is guilty of failing to pay the prevailing rate of wages when he (A) files a certified payroll, in accordance with section 31-53 which he knows is false, in violation of section 53a-157a, and (B) fails to pay to an employee or to an employee welfare fund the amount attested to in the certified payroll with the intent to convert such amount to his own use or to the use of a third party.

(15) Theft of utility service. A person is guilty of theft of utility service when he intentionally obtains electric, gas, water, telecommunications, wireless radio communications or community antenna television service that is available only for compensation: (A) By deception or threat or by false token, slug or other means including, but not limited to, electronic or mechanical device or unauthorized use of a confidential identification or authorization code or through fraudulent statements, to avoid payment for the service by himself or another person; or (B) by tampering or making connection with or disconnecting the meter, pipe, cable, conduit, conductor, attachment or other equipment or by manufacturing, modifying, altering, programming, reprogramming or possessing any device, software or equipment or part or component thereof or by disguising the identity or identification numbers of any device or equipment utilized by a supplier of electric, gas, water, telecommunications, wireless radio communications or community antenna television service, without the consent of such supplier, in order to avoid payment for the service by himself or another person; or (C) with intent to avoid payment by himself or another person for a prospective or already rendered service the charge or compensation for which is measured by a meter or other mechanical measuring device provided by the supplier of the service, by tampering with such meter or device or by attempting in any manner to prevent such meter or device from performing its measuring function, without the consent of the supplier of the service. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person to whom the service is billed has the intent to obtain the service and to avoid making payment for the service if, without the consent of the supplier of the service: (i) Any meter, pipe, cable, conduit, conductor, attachment or other equipment has been tampered with or connected or disconnected, (ii) any device, software or equipment or part or component thereof has been modified, altered, programmed, reprogrammed or possessed, (iii) the identity or identification numbers of any device or equipment utilized by the supplier of the service have been disguised, or (iv) a meter or other mechanical measuring device provided by the supplier of the service has been tampered with or prevented from performing its measuring function. The presumption does not apply if the person to whose service the condition applies has received such service for less than thirty-one days or until the service supplier has made at least one meter or service reading and provided a billing statement to the person as to whose service the condition applies. The presumption does not apply with respect to wireless radio communications.

(16) Air bag fraud. A person is guilty of air bag fraud when such person, with intent to defraud another person, obtains property from such other person or a third person by knowingly selling, installing or reinstalling any object, including any counterfeit air bag or nonfunctional air bag, as such terms are defined in section 14-106d, in lieu of an air bag that was designed in accordance with federal safety requirements as provided in 49 CFR 571.208, as amended, and which is proper for the make, model and year of the vehicle, as part of the vehicle inflatable restraint system.

(17) Theft of motor fuel. A person is guilty of theft of motor fuel when such person (A) delivers or causes to be delivered motor fuel, as defined in section 14-327a, into the fuel tank of a vehicle or into a portable container, or into both, on the premises of a retail dealer, as defined in section 14-318, and (B) with the intent to appropriate such motor fuel to himself or a third person, leaves such premises without paying the purchase price for such motor fuel.

(18) Failure to repay surplus Citizens' Election Fund grant funds. A person is guilty of failure to repay surplus Citizens' Election Fund grant funds when such person fails to return to the Citizens' Election Fund any surplus funds from a grant made pursuant to sections 9-700 to 9-716, inclusive, not later than ninety days after the primary or election for which the grant is made.
(1969, P.A. 828, § 121, eff. Oct. 1, 1971; 1971, P.A. 871, § 24; 1972, P.A. 188, §§ 1, 2; 1973, P.A. 73-639, § 21; 1975, P.A. 75-225; 1976, P.A. 76-109; 1979, P.A. 79-268; 1981, P.A. 81-224; 1981, P.A. 81-263, § 1; 1983, P.A. 83-417, § 1; 1984, P.A. 84-248, § 1; 1984, P.A. 84-301, § 1; 1984, P.A. 84-546, § 161, eff. June 14, 1984; 1985, P.A. 85-339, § 1; 1991, P.A. 91-162, § 17, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; 1992, P.A. 92-260, § 49; 1993, P.A. 93-392, § 5; 1995, P.A. 95-246, § 1; 2001, P.A. 01-36; 2003, P.A. 03-201, § 1; 2003, P.A. 03-278, § 105, eff. July 9, 2003; 2005, Oct. 25 Sp.Sess., P.A. 05-5, § 50, eff. Dec. 31, 2006; 2006, P.A. 06-118, § 2; 2013, P.A. 13-282, § 2; 2014, P.A. 14-199, § 4.)