Larceny by False Pretense

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys, Law Offices In Brockton and Taunton

Guitars in Pawn ShopLarceny by false pretenses is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 30. Unlike the other types of larceny, larceny by false pretense occurs when someone knowingly lies or makes false representations to someone in order to obtain some else’s property. In order to obtain a conviction for larceny by false pretense the prosecution has to show:

  • The defendant knowingly lied or made a false representation;
  • The defendant lied hoping that the person he or she was lying to would believe the lie;
  • The victim the defendant lied to actually believed the lie;
  • The victim gave away his or her property because they believed the lie.

How Police Access Databases To Identify Stolen Property Pawned At Local Pawn Shops

Pawn shop owners are frequent victims of larceny by false pretense. The charge of larceny by false pretense is usually brought when someone successfully pawns property that they don’t own because it is either stolen or borrowed. Usually all the elements listed above are satisfied when someone brings a watch they know is stolen to a pawnshop and presents it as their own. In this situation they are representing that the watch is theirs and the pawn shop, believing them, hands over money in return. It should be noted that it doesn’t matter whether the victim/pawn shop could have uncovered the thief’s lie if he investigated because the pawnbroker in this case has a right to rely on the thief’s statements and representations, unless it is obvious the thief is lying.

Roughly twenty seven police departments in Southeastern Massachusetts have access to local pawn dealers’ inventories.  Pawn brokers log their inventory into a computerized database that local police departments are allowed to access. Local police departments can then search for specific items in the database that have been reported lost or stolen.

When a pawn shop becomes aware of the fact that a stolen item was pawned by the shop they have to turn the item over to the person that reported the item stolen. As a result the pawn shop can not sell that item and can not make their money back. In this situation the pawn shop will seek restitution against the person who wrongfully received the shops money for pawning the item.

Free Consultation With an Experienced Brockton Massachusetts Larceny By False Pretenses Theft Crimes Attorney

If you have been charged with buying or receiving stolen goods, stealing a car, pawning stolen items, or any other larceny theft crime in Massachusetts, the criminal defense lawyers of The Noonan Defense Firm may be able to plead down your case with the district attorney, or have the charges dismissed pending a period of probation. Restitution of the value of the property will also go a long way toward having a larceny conviction erased from your record, or not having it entered there in the first place.

To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced and caring attorney about your case, call our Brockton, MA law offices at (508) 584-6955, or use our email form to contact us.


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