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Is it Legal to Have Control Over Property Someone Else Stole?

It is not legal to have control over property someone else stole if you knew at the time it had been stolen.  According to Colorado Revised Statutes 18-4-404 (link it) Obtaining Control Over any Stolen Thing of Value, is if you know that you have received stolen property, you can be tried, convicted, and punished even if the person you received the property is not convicted of stealing the property.  This is also considered “theft by receiving.”
Theft by receiving basically involves receiving property knowing it had been stolen.  For example, if a person receives valuable property or merchandise for free or at an extreme discount, that person could be charged with theft by receiving.  A common scenario could be a stranger in a parking lot selling valuable electronics out of a car trunk for a fraction of the normal price.  However, this does not necessarily mean the person buying the property is guilty.  The main defense in this situation is that the buyer or receiver of the property did not know the property was stolen.  If the person selling the property states that it is stolen or that “it fell off a truck,” the buyer likely has knowledge that the property is stolen.
Anyone charged with theft by receiving in Colorado should consult with a defense attorney that is knowledgeable of Colorado State law (see Colorado Revised Statute 18-4-410).
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC