Motor Vehicle and Aircraft TheftDefinition of
The term "stolen" should not be construed in the technical sense of
common law larceny. Stolen covers all theft offenses regardless of whether
was in the nature of larceny, embezzlement, or false pretenses. See
United States v. Turley, 352 U.S. 407 (1957). See also
United States, 462 U.S. 356 (1983). What is required is a felonious
or conversion of another's property right in the vehicle regardless of how
perpetrator may originally have come into possession of the vehicle.
property interests obviously include the concepts of "title" and
a financial company's "secured interest" in the vehicle has been deemed a
sufficient property interest in the vehicle when the owner disposed of the
vehicle contrary to the loan agreement. See United States v.
Bunch, 399 F. Supp. 1156 (D.Md.), aff'd, 542 F.2d 629 (4th Cir.
However, the statute does not cover situations where a person, engaging in a
fraud upon the insurance company in concert with the vehicle's owner,
of a vehicle and the owner reports the vehicle as stolen since the insurance
company had no property interest in the vehicle at the time of its disposal.
See United States v. Bennett, 665 F.2d 16 (2d Cir. 1981).
Moreover, the vehicle must retain its stolen character during the
under 18 U.S.C. § 2312 or the receipt, possession, concealment,
bartering, selling or disposal under 18 U.S.C. § 2313. It has been
total recovery by law enforcement or the owner's agent, in contrast with
being placed under observation by law enforcement, will terminate the stolen
character. See United States v. Muzii, 676 F.2d 919 (2d Cir.
1982); United States v. Dove, 629 F.2d 325 (4th Cir. 1980). However,
the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Pub. Law 103-322,
enacted a provision, now codified at 18 U.S.C § 21, which provides that
purposes of title 18, whenever it is an element of an offense that property
stolen and defendant knew of its stolen character, such element can be
established as a result of an "official representation" of its stolen
[cited in Criminal Resource Manual 1305; Criminal Resource Manual 1377; USAM 9-61.100]