Larceny from the Person

Larceny from the person is the act of taking the property from the person by merely lifting it from the person or pocket.”  State v. Stanton, 68 S.W.2d 811, 813 (Mo. 1934).

Robbery is a larceny from the person or presence of another by means of violence or threat of violence.” Commonwealth v. English, 446 Pa. 161, 164 (1971).


United States v. Payne, 163 F.3d 371, 372-373 (6th Cir. 1998): 

“The Michigan larceny-from-the-person statute states in its entirety: ‘Any person who shall commit the offense of larceny by stealing from the person of another shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 10 years.’  Michigan courts have held that ‘[t]he elements of larceny are: (1) an actual or constructive taking of goods or property, (2) a carrying away or asportation, (3) the carrying away must be with felonious intent, (4) the subject matter must be the goods or personal property of another, (5) and the taking must be without the consent of and against the will of the owner.’  For the larceny to be ‘from the person,’ it is sufficient that property is taken that was in the possession and immediate presence of the victim. See . . . People v. Chamblis, 236 N.W.2d 473481 (Mich. 1975) (holding that if defendants developed the intent to deprive the victim of his money only after they beat him unconscious, theft would constitute larceny from the person, but not robbery). Michigan case law since the opinion in Gould makes clear that the property must be in the possession or immediate presence of the victim. See, e.g., People v. Wallace, 434 N.W.2d 422426 (Mich.Ct.App. 1988) (quoting Criminal Jury Instruction 23:2:01 which says “the property must have been taken from the person of the complainant,” and defines “`[f]rom the person’ [to] mean that the property must have been taken from the body of the complainant or from within his [or her] immediate area of control or immediate presence”); People v. Smith, 243 N.W.2d 681683 (Mich.Ct.App. 1976) (holding that taking money from a victim offering the money out of fear of violence can be larceny from the person because there is no consent and the money was “removed from the actual possession or custody of the person or his immediate presence, Viz., the area within his control”); People v. Johnson, 181 N.W.2d 425428 (Mich.Ct.App. 1970) (finding no larceny from the person if the victim is in another room). See also People v. Eberhardt, 518 N.W.2d 511513 (Mich.Ct.App. 1994) (recognizing that larceny from the person is in the robbery crime-group category for purposes of sentencing in Michigan). ‘It is the element of force that distinguishes [unarmed robbery] from that of larceny from the person.’ People v. LeFlore, 293 N.W.2d 628630 (Mich.Ct.App. 1980). Therefore, in light of the well-established Michigan precedent, we conclude that the offense of larceny from the person in Michigan does not have as an element force, attempted use of force, or threatened use of physical force.”

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