stolen property

Receipt of stolen property

Receipt of stolen property is a type of crime in the legal code of the United States. It is a federal crime under to knowingly receive, conceal, or dispose of stolen property with a value at least $5,000 that is part of interstate commerce (i.e., been transported across state lines).

A person can be found guilty of that offense only if all of the following facts are proved:

  • The person received or concealed or stored or disposed of items of stolen property.
  • The items were moving as, or constituted a part of, interstate commerce.
  • The items had a value in excess of $5,000.
  • The person acted knowingly and willfully.

The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person either received, concealed, stored, sold or disposed of the stolen property.

To be guilty of the offense, a person must know that the property had been stolen, but he need not know that it was moving as, or constituted a part of, interstate commerce. The term "interstate commerce" merely refers to the movement of property from one U.S. state into another; and it is sufficient if the property has recently moved interstate as a result of a transaction or a series of related transactions that have not been fully completed or consummated at the time of the person's acts as alleged.

All US states also have laws regarding receipt of stolen property; however, there usually is no minimum dollar amount in many jurisdictions, and, of course, the requirement in Federal law regarding interstate commerce does not apply. Also, in many states (Ohio, for example), the burden to prove criminal intent is not as stringent or is nonexistent. This means that one can be charged with the crime - usually a minor degree of felony - even if the person did not know the item in question was stolen.

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