Larceny by Stealing from the Person

The crime of larceny by stealing from the person is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 25. In order for someone to be convicted of larceny by stealing from the person, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The individual took and carried away property;
  • The property was owned by someone other than the individual charged with taking it;
  • The individual took the property from the person of the owner or from the owner’s area of control while in the owner’s presence;
  • The individual intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property.

Larceny by stealing from the person is the same crime as larceny by stealing with the added element that the property must be taken from the person of the owner of the property or from the immediate area of control of the owner.

Two common examples of larceny by stealing from the person are pick pocketing and purse snatching where there is no intimidation or strong force used. Unlike most larceny crimes, the value of the property is irrelevant to the punishment. An individual who is convicted of larceny by stealing from the person can be sentenced to up to 5 years in the state prison or up to 2.5 years in jail. If the victim is 65 years of age or older, the punishment is increased for a second offense to a mandatory minimum of 2 years imprisonment. The sentence cannot be reduced until 1 year of the sentence has been served.

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