larceny, theft, fraud, and white collar crime

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  • Larceny, Theft, Fraud, and White Collar CrimeMike SteevesLa Junta Police DepartmentLa Junta, CO 81050

  • ObjectivesGo to page 479, Criminal InvestigationsBe able to answer the questions in Do You Know?Understand the terms under Definitions

  • IntroductionLarceny/Theft is one of the eight Part I Index Crimes Fraud and White Collar crimes are notBut all three have common threads...

  • IntroductionSome states eliminate the distinction between larceny, fraud, and white-collar crimes, combining them into the single crime of theftHow about Colorado?

  • Colorados Theft and FraudColorado theft statutes begin with 18-4-401: Theft, and include a variety of detailed offensesFraud statutes begin with 18-5-101Note that Theft is merely a subsection of Crimes Against Property, while Fraud is a section unto itself

  • Elements of Larceny/TheftFelonious stealing, taking, carrying, leading, or driving awayOf anothers personal goods or propertyValued aboveor belowa certain amountWith the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property or goods

  • Elements of Larceny/TheftNote that the book specifies feloniouslyBut what about misdemeanor theft?See the Colorado statutes defining levels of thievery

  • Elements of Larceny/TheftWhat is personal property or goods?How does Colorado break out value relative to offense?How do you prove the intent to deprive permanently?

  • Classification of Larceny/TheftBook definitions: Grand Larceny and Petty Larceny, the former a felony, the latter a misdemeanorBy now we should understand how Colorado breaks it out

  • Found PropertyKeeping or selling property lost by its owner is a form of theftColorado does not specifically address the issue of found propertyBut look at 18-4-401 (1)

  • Preliminary InvestigationSimilar to investigating burglariesLess physical evidence is usually presentExamples of physical evidence?

  • Types of Larceny/TheftPurse-snatching (what about robbery?)Theft from coin machines (see 18-4-204)ShopliftingBicycle TheftTheft from Motor Vehicles (see 18-4-502)Theft of Motor Vehicle AccessoriesJewelry Theft

  • Pickpockets and Purse-snatchersHard for the victim to identify the thiefObtain info from the victim as to what was stolen and its valueDoes the victim recall being jostled or bumped or otherwise distracted?Serial crimes

  • Employee TheftMost thefts from stores are internal, more so even than shoplifting

  • ShopliftingNormally committed by potential customers during business hours - anything else would probably be burglaryDoes not include thefts from warehouses, factories or theft by employeesMajor business loss; pain in the ass for cops

  • Elements of ShopliftingSimilar to those of theftIn Colorado, the simple act of concealing goods is prima facie evidence of shoplifting - they do not have to leave the store (18-4-406)

  • Investigating ShopliftingThe store staff usually has everything you needYou will need a statement from the clerk or ownerYou will need a photograph of the merchandiseYou will need the value and so on

  • Investigating ShopliftingMajor stores usually have a form which lists everything you need to complete the caseMost of our shoplifters in La Junta are catch and release, munisummonsed offenses

  • Officer SafetyShoplifters can be dangerous and can inflict some serious stabs, slices, and gunshot woundscould even be fatal

  • Shoplifting RingsThese are highly professional and take a lot of goods out of the big storesUse distraction techniques at or near the store exit, so a confederate can get out with the itemsSometimes will return with an item, and ask for a cash refund I lost the receipt.

  • Shoplifting RingsGo much deeper than you might thinkLook for dope connectionsShoplifting crews may be well-dressed and put on the air of upper crust or start screaming racism in the middle of the store

  • Bicycle TheftsID is difficult due to lack of a registration systemLa Junta has a bike registration database, but there is no requirement that bikes be registeredMost of our bike thefts are non-registered bikes

  • Bicycle TheftsA single bike theft is usually investigated by the patrol forceA series of thefts indicates a ring is at work, and requires more investigative resourcesYou can make a bike hot sheet in the same manner as other hotsheets

  • Bicycle TheftsStolen bikes are used for personal transportation by the thievesSold to chop shops or bargain huntersBikes are easy to disguise by repainting and/or removing ID numbers

  • Jewelry TheftMost often taken by professionalsAlso a target of armed robbers and burglarsJewels can be very difficult to identify once removed from settingsMost thefts are from vehicles owned by jewelry salespeopleAlso from citizens who are careless

  • Jewel TheftsProfessionals usually operate interstateLocal FBI office maintains a file on known jewel thieves, MOs and last known locationAlways notify the FBI of significant jewel theftsInvestigation is handled as you would for any other theft

  • Art TheftsFBI created the National Stolen Art File in 1979 to cope with increased art theftsThere are some surprisingly valuable collections and pieces in some surprisingly small townsThe Koshare collection in La Junta is valued at over

  • Art TheftsThe second most important international criminal activityAny guesses on what the first might be?

  • Numismatic TheftsCoins, Stamps, Metals, Paper MoneyCoin and other numismatic thefts usually occur during burglariesOther metals are stolenelectrical and phone wiresthieves burn the insulation off, and selling the copper

  • Proving the ElementsGather evidence to prove ownership, that the property was taken without permission, and that indicates there is no intent to return the propertyObtain evidence that the owner no longer has the property

  • Intent to DepriveSellingConcealingDenying possession or knowledge despite contrary proofConversion to personal usePawning

  • Recovering Stolen PropertyLarger departments will run a pawn detail that checks on property in the shops.Colorado requires identification on all pawn transactions - either photo ID or a thumbprint on the ticket

  • Recovering Stolen PropertyRecord when and where you recovered itWho turned it in or reported itCircumstances surrounding recoveryYou should do a supplemental report documenting all these things

  • Recovering Stolen PropertyStolen property is reported under NIBRS and/or UCRRecovered property is therefore reported under NIBRS and/or UCRYour records management people do that part of the job - your job is to make sure the data you give them is accurate

  • Recovering Stolen PropertyStolen property is also evidenceHandle it in the same way you would any other evidence of the same type

  • Receiving Stolen GoodsThis is called Theft by Receiving in Colorado (18-4-410)Person must have knowledge that goods received, bought, or concealed are stolen

  • Receiving Stolen PropertyThis knowledge part is the difficultyEven though it would seem that a reasonably aware person would also reasonably believe that a $3,000 laptop bought for $500.00 off a street corner is obviously stolenits hard to prove that to beyond a reasonable doubt standards.

  • Sting OperationsPolice legally set up a fencing operationSet up the frontSpread the word that the store will buy anythingDocument transactionsNail the little barfbagsThis is so cool

  • FraudIntentional deception to cause a person to give up property or some lawful rightUses deceit rather than stealth to bag the goods

  • FraudThe elderly are particularly susceptible to fraudDisabled vets in halfway houses, or others who may have significant assistance checks but not be able to fully function in evaluating reality are likely targets

  • FraudExpect fraud, extortion, or intimidation whenever:Unusual or inappropriate bank account activityPower of Attorney given by someone unable to comprehend his financial situation or otherwise give a valid PoA

  • FraudThere is a recent change of a title of a house in favor of a friend when the owner is incapable of understanding the nature of the transactionA recent will has been made by a person who is incapable of making a willPromises of life-long care given in exchange for willingness to deed all property and bank accounts to caregiver

  • Check FraudIn the 16th Judicial District, Check Fraud is handled by the DA investigator. The PD handles check forgeriesMost common check frauds are ISF, checks on closed accounts, and forgeries. We in Colorado see check fraud and check forgery as two different things

  • Check FraudForgeries are covered under 18-5-102includes a host of document types in addition to checksCheck Fraud is specifically covered as a separate issue under18-5-205

  • Check FraudProfessional paper-hangers will pass a number of checks in a short time in several citiesThe FBI maintains a National Fraudulent Check file

  • Check FraudLook for alterationsmanner in which the check was publishedhandwritten or typed?any stamps or seals?Very impressive fake checks - including US Treasury checks - can be generated off the average home computer these days

  • CounterfeitingUS Secret Service has some good information on counterfeitingHigh quality counterfeits can be run off by the bushel basket on some of the high end color copiersThe main concern is getting the stuff to feel like money

  • CounterfeitingMost of the counterfeit bills that we come across are going to be ridiculously obviousThe good stuff tends to get by u


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