Receiving Stolen Property: Definition & Laws

Instructor: Ken Klamar

I have been a certified police officer since 1993 and have a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Administration. I also have obtained my Master's degree in Criminal Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati.

In this lesson, you will understand the crime of receiving stolen property, how the value of property affects the level of crime, and different ways that an offender could be in violation of this section.

Receiving Stolen Property

Jason is starting out in the construction business and is struggling to make ends meet. Jason needs to purchase a new saw for a job that he is working on, but does not have the money to pay full price. Jason has a friend from high school that is known by the local police as a thief, but nevertheless, Jason asks him for a favor.

Jason picks up his friend and drives him to the local hardware store. Jason tells his friend what kind of saw he needs and his friend goes inside. A short while later, Jason's friend exits the store carrying a large box. The box is loaded into Jason's waiting car and they drive away from the store. Jason gives his friend $50 for his time and is the proud new owner of a $500 saw.

The property that Jason's friend obtained at the hardware store was done so through the commission of a theft offense. Jason, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the saw was stolen, is now guilty of the crime of receiving stolen property.

Definition

The Ohio Revised Code for receiving stolen property states ''no person shall receive, retain, or dispose of property of another knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the property has been obtained through the commission of a theft offense.'' In the example at the beginning of the lesson, Jason received property that he knew or had reason to believe to be stolen, meaning that his friend gave him the property and he kept it for himself.

Laws

The Code defines a few other means in which a person could be charged with the crime of receiving stolen property. In addition to receiving property that is stolen, a person could be charged by retaining stolen property. Using the same example at the introduction, if Jason's friend would have showed up at his residence and asked him to keep the saw in his garage for a few days, Jason could still be guilty of receiving stolen property for retaining the saw.

An important element of this crime is that the person knows, or has reasonable cause to believe that the property is stolen. Jason knows his friend is a thief. It is reasonable to assume that Jason would know the saw was stolen when his friend asked him to retain it for a few days. Therefore, Jason could be guilty of receiving stolen property.

Another way in which a person could be guilty of this offense is to dispose of property obtained through the commission of a theft offense. For example, say Jason is driving away from the hardware store when a police officer gets behind him in traffic. Jason panics and turns off into a nearby gas station. Fearing that the police are on to him, Jason throws the saw into the dumpster and heads home. Once again, Jason is guilty of receiving stolen property since he knew or had reason to believe that the saw was stolen, and then disposed of the saw.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support