83 Eng.Rep. 142 (1678)

A seminial English case on larceny.

Defendant went to a shop and asked the shopkeeper to see two cravats.  The shopkeepr hands the cravats to Defendant.  Defendant asks for price and the shopkeeper responds with 7 shillings.  Defendant counters with 3 shillings, but before the shopkeepr could respond, Defendnat leaves his 3 shillings on the counter and runs out with the cravats.

The court found Defendant guilty of larceny even though he had physical “possession” of the cravats.  The court reasoned that even though he may have physical possession of the cravats, the shopkeeper continued to maintain constructive possession since no contract had been formed at the time Defendant ran out of the shop.

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