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A person transfers an instrument of transportation to himself when he commences to operate the instrument for its intended purpose. At that point it comes under his sole dominion and control and, assuming requisite intent, amounts to the completed taking as envisioned under the broadened statutory concepts. To require that the vehicle be moved by the operator is to slavishly adhere to the auxiliary common-law element of asportation which is simply not necessary to the finding of the primary elements of dominion and control where an activated automobile is concerned.
The police found Laureano Alamo, Jr. in a car. The car was running, the wheels were slightly turned, and there was evidence that the window was forced opened. Defendant was convicted of grand larceny in the third degree and criminal possession of burglary tools and a hypodermic instrument. Alamo appealed his convictions.
Was it an error for the Judge to charge the jury that they might find a completed larceny even though they found Alamo to have started the car, but not to have moved it?
The court found that the trial judge did not err in instructing the jury that they could find Alamo guilty of larceny without moving the car. The court held that completed larceny was satisfied in regards to an automobile when the car became in the total possession and control of the operator regardless of whether there was any movement. In this case, Alamo had total possession and control of the car. Further, the court held that asportation was not an essential element in all cases under N.Y. Penal Law § 155.00. Therefore, the court affirmed Alamo’s convictions.