Larceny is a crime against property, and is a form of theft. It is the unlawful taking, and carrying away of another’s tangible personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of the same. It is also considered a crime against possession.
The taking element requires that the offender take actual physical control of the property without the consent of the owner. If the offender merely deprives the victim of possession, it is not larceny. The offender must have gained control over the property and that control must be complete. The offender must have taken the property with the intent to steal it. And the intention required is one intended to deprive the possessor of the property “permanently.” The object stolen must have some value and should be personal property. The physical taking may have been only momentarily and may have been accomplished by the criminal themself or an innocent agent. The thief must also move it from its original position. The slightest movement is sufficient. However, the entirety of the property must be moved. Larceny is divided in some states into grand and petit larceny depending upon the value of the property stolen.
Larceny and embezzlement should not be confused. The major difference between the two is the way in which the property changes hands. In larceny, property is carried away; it was never lawfully in the possession of the perpetrator. In embezzlement, the perpetrator has lawful possession or oversight of the property, but then converts it into his/her own property.