The Issue of Valuable Personal Property and Larceny
The crime of larceny includes an element of possession of valuable personal property. Possession is defined as the person that should or does have the personal property in hand. Possession rights do not always work concurrent to ownership rights. For example, a person may own a boat which is in possession of the employees of a marina.
The owner of the boat realizes that they cannot afford to pay for the repairs that have already been completed. The owner of the boat removes the personal property from the marina without paying the bills. The marina has possession rights of that personal property until the bill has been paid.
The owner is guilty of larceny because they took possession of property that they did not have the right to possess, even though they were the rightful owner.
Personal property is defined as objects that can be felt and seen. Due to that definition of larceny, some objects do not fall under personal property laws, such as wild animals that take residence on a person’s land.
Personal property laws are meant to protect individuals that have possession rights or ownerships rights to a piece of property that has monetary value. Personal property laws can encompass many types of property. For example, a vehicle, a wallet, a piece of jewelry would all be considered under personal property laws.
Personal property laws allow criminals to be prosecuted for thefts of all types of property that are conceivably the personal property of some individual and that property has some form of monetary value. Realistically, almost all types of property have some monetary value. However, items like garbage are not likely to be sold, unless perhaps it is the garbage of a famous person and people are looking for some sort of keepsake.
In the case of a famous person, garbage may fall under personal property laws because that garbage conceivable has monetary value. For the average person's garbage, that would not be the case because it would not likely have any financial value.
Valuable personal property is any piece of property that can or does have some sort of monetary value. If the value of that item is low, the criminal will likely face petty larceny charges. If the value of the item is above a certain threshold, as prescribed by each state’s personal property laws, then they will likely be charged with grand larceny.
The value of the personal property can affect the seriousness of the charges, but in either case, the perpetrator will be charged with some crime of theft, most likely larceny.
All that is required to break personal property laws is that the perpetrator take property that belongs to another person, regardless of whether or not they knew who the actual owner of that property is.