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1006. Larceny

The term "to steal" has no established meaning in the common law. See Crabb v. Zerbst, 99 F.2d 562, 565 (5th Cir. 1938). Instead, this term refers to the crime of larceny and was developed in modern pleading to broaden larceny beyond its strict common law definition. See United States v. Maloney, 607 F.2d 222, (9th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 918 (1980); United States v. Archambault, 441 F.2d 281, 282-83 (10th Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 843 (1971).

Larceny requires proof of the following four specific elements in addition to the general elements:

  1. wrongful taking and carrying away of property;
  2. absence of consent from the organization or state or local government agency; and
  3. intent to deprive the organization or state or local government agency of its property.

See United States v. Barlow, 480 F.2d 1245, 1251 (D.C. Cir. 1972). Larceny, like embezzlement, is a specific-intent crime.

[cited in JM 9-46.100]

Updated January 21, 2020