Thursday, March 3, 2016

Today's topic, Larceny from Person (aka Pickpocket)


Accurate, yet politically incorrect advice from the New Orleans Police

What is pickpocketing, legally? Is it really so bad? 

The answer to this is, yes, it really is that bad. Probably because Nevada draws in so many tourists, our legal system takes a very dim view of said tourists falling victim to thieves, so much so that they've made pickpocketing (legally known as "Larceny from (a) Person) a felony, without regard to the value of the item taken. 

As is the theme of this blog, I'd like to explain to you what that means in the real world. For example, let's say you are sitting at a bar and you pay for your drink with a $10 and you get $1.86 back in change. (Those Vegas prices!) You don't immediately pick up your change because you have important drinking to get to and then you get distracted by your Tinder app. The next time you look up at the bar, your change has pulled a Criss Angel and vanished! (I just googled him... do you realize that he's 48 years old! I thought he was like 37... anyway...)

Now, is this irritating? Yes. Is it illegal? Sure. But someone just stole $1.86 off a bar top, we're not talking about a serious crime here. Misdemeanor theft or petit larceny at best IF you can even find the perpetrator. 


Let's say that you had immediately put your change in your back pocket before your Tinder notification buzzed you into distraction and then this happens!
Seen here: the elusive butt-ninja uses a portion of her cunning.

If someone, anyone, (regardless of butt-ninja status): Steals, takes, or carries away without permission, from the person of another, any property, with the intent to deprive the owner permanently thereof then they've just committed a felony. Even if it was only that one, single, bourbon-dampened, crumpled dollar bill (that's probably been places that would haunt your dreams).

Another example:

A lady walks into a restroom and sets her old $25 purse on the floor of the stall, the purse has a couple inexpensive items of makeup and a $50 camera inside, suddenly a hand reaches under and grabs the purse. This would be misdemeanor Petit Larceny (it's a misdemeanor because the value of the purse combined with the items inside is less than $650)


If someone snatches a the exact same purse from this woman's shoulder - Felony

Basically if someone* steals anything off your body, from your hand, or from your pocket, even if it's a pack of gum, they've committed a Felony. 

*Now obviously this doesn't apply if you're being detained by the police or casino security and they empty your pockets without your permission, let's not be silly! Notice that part of the legal-ese that says that the person taking the property must be taking it with the intent to deprive you of it permanently. If you're intoxicated and unruly and security scoops you up and puts you in "casino jail", they're going to empty your pockets. Please don't try to hire a lawyer and claim that all the casino security guards 'robbed' you because they took stuff out of your pockets**

**sadly we have to add this part because it's really happened. 

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