The elements of the offense defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2313 are that the defendants: (1) receive, possess, conceal, store, barter, sell or dispose of; (2) a stolen motor vehicle or aircraft; (3) which has crossed a state or United States boundary after being stolen; and (4) knowing the same to have been stolen. In 1984, the offense of "possession" was added so as to eliminate the need for prosecutors continuing commerce nexus after the stolen vehicle had been taken across a state or international boundary. See H.R.Rep. No. 1456 on H.R. 4178, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 26 (1984). See also 125 Cong.Rec. 12,244 (1979). Section 2313 now continues federal criminal jurisdiction over a stolen vehicle after it has crossed a state or international boundary. Federal jurisdiction remains until the stolen vehicle is recovered. See this Manual at 1302. Since possession is itself now an offense, 18 U.S.C. § 2313 may prove more useful in prosecuting the fences of motor vehicles stolen in a different state.
Updated June 8, 2015