Receiving Stolen Property in Massachusetts

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The offense of Receiving Stolen Property punishes the conduct of knowingly receiving, buying or aiding in the concealment of a stolen good or property, knowing it to have been stolen.

Under Massachusetts criminal law, the crime of Receiving Stolen Property may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 266, Section 60.  

Legal Elements of Receiving Stolen Property

In order to be found guilty of Receiving Stolen Property under Massachusetts criminal law, there must be strong evidence of the following legal elements:

  1. that the property in question was stolen;
  2. the defendant knew that the property was stolen; and
  3. the defendant knowingly had the stolen property in his or her possession, or bought the stolen property, or aided in concealing the stolen property.

For the purposes of this offense, when the defendant is being charged with receipt of the stolen property rather than purchasing or concealing the stolen property, the defendant must have “received” the property by knowingly taking custody or control of it in some way.

Furthermore, the defendant may be convicted of this offense if even at the time he or she received the stolen property, did not know that it was stolen, but subsequently learned that the property was stolen and still decided to keep it and deprive the owner of it.

Potential Punishment if Convicted of Receiving Stolen Property in Massachusetts

The potential consequences for Receiving Stolen Property, if convicted, in the Commonwealth may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 266, Section 60.  A defendant convicted of a Receiving Stolen Property, if the property value does not exceed $1200, for a first offense faces a term in a house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years. 

If the property value exceeds $1200, the defendant faced a term in a house of correction of not more than 2 ½ years or in state prison for not more than 5 years. 

Examples of Receiving Stolen Property

Receiving Stolen Property may be committed in several ways, but the main element of this crime is that the person receiving the property knows or has reason to believe that the property was stolen.  The offense may also be committed when a person receives property without knowing it is stolen, but later discovers it is stolen and does not intend to return it.  

Some examples of Receiving Stolen Property are as follows:

  • Your friend gives you as a gift a diamond necklace that he stole from his employer;
  • Someone asks you to store or put away an item or money for them that they previously stole and you do so;
  • A person sells you a premium brand wristwatch from the back of a van in an ally for a very cheap price that a reasonable person would have suspected the watch was stolen;
  • You buy a TV from your friend who told you he stole it from the electronic store where he used to work;
  • You ask your girlfriend for $200 to buy a radio and when she gives the money to you, she tells you she stole it from her mother’s purse.

If you have been charged with receiving stolen property and need an experienced attorney call (508) 213-9113 to schedule a free consultation with the Massachusetts Attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III.