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No ‘Single Larceny’ for Multiple Purchases

A defendant who used a stolen Belk credit card to go to three different locations within a store and make three separate purchases over a period of about 40 minutes can be convicted of three counts of grand larceny under Va. Code § 18.2-95; the Court of Appeals rejects defendant’s claim that the single larceny doctrine meant he could only be convicted of one count of grand larceny.

Defendant and his companion used the Belk credit card to complete three transactions, each separated by 10 to 20 minutes, at three different locations within the Belk department store. Between each transaction, the two carried away their purchased items and walked through the store to a different cash register before making a new transaction. After the initial transaction in the handbag department, video surveillance footage showed defendant testing men’s cologne, which was subsequently purchased in the second transaction.

From this evidence, the trial court could reasonably have concluded that, despite any general scheme on the part of defendant, each theft was a separate and discrete offense and was not part of the same impulse or continuous larcenous act at the same location.

Credible evidence exists to support the trial court’s determination that the single larceny doctrine is not applicable.

Gibson v. Commonwealth (Huff) No. 1674-12-3, March 4, 2014; Danville Cir.Ct. (Moreau) M. Lee Smallwood II, Sr. APD, for appellant; Lauren C. Campbell, AAG, for appellee. VLW 014-7-067(UP), 6 pp.

VLW 014-7-067

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