Larceny by Stealing in a Building

The crime of larceny by stealing in a building is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 20. In order for someone to be convicted of larceny by stealing in a building, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The individual took and carried away property;
  • At the time that the property was taken, it was being kept safe by being in a building, ship, vessel or railroad car;
  • The property belonged to someone other than the individual taking it;
  • The individual took the property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it.

Larceny by stealing in a building is the same crime as larceny by stealing but with the added element that the stolen property was being kept safe by virtue of the fact that it was in a building, ship, vessel or railroad car. The important distinction here is that the property was being protected and kept safe because it was in a building as opposed to being under the watchful eye or personal care of someone in a building.

Unlike most larceny crimes, larceny by stealing in a building is a felony regardless of the value of the stolen property. An individual who is convicted of committing larceny by stealing in a building can be sentenced to up to 5 years in the state prison or up to 2 years imprisonment in jail or by a fine of up to $500.

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