Sally obtains from her deeply religious mother, Hilda, the secret cookie recipe used by their company, to which Sally is an heir. Sally did this because of a loan shark, Sam, whom is blackmailing her over a gambling debt. Initially Sally attempted to steal a key to the cabinet in which the recipe was secured, but Hilda gave the key to Sally when she discovered Sally in the act.
The main issue in this case appears to be a possible criminal liability for larceny on the part of Sally. The elements that must be proven for larceny are:
1. A person who without consent of the possessor or owner of property;
2. Fraudulently/dishonesty, and without claim of right made in good faith;
3. Takes and carries away anything capable of being stolen; and
4. With intention at the time of the taking to permanently deprive the possessor or owner of the property.
Sally crept into Hilda’s bedroom, carrying a set of pliers to cut the chain around Hilda’s neck on which she kept the key. This indicates a lack of Hilda’s consent because Sally took steps to obtain the key without Hilda’s knowledge. However, Hilda awoke to discover Sally attempting to take the key, and upon hearing Sally’s reasons, Hilda gave the recipe to Sally. This would normally negate basic larceny because the property was not taken against the will of the owner because Hilda gave the property to Sally.
Prior to the discovery by Hilda of Sally’s actions, it could be argued that there had been an attempted larceny by Sally. This is because Sally had taken steps towards the offence, constituting an attempt . The facts suggest that had Hilda not awoken, Sally would have completed her intended appropriation of the recipe. However, the action of Hilda giving the recipe to Sally appears to make it difficult to claim attempted larceny when the owner ultimately provided the property to the alleged offender.
The aforementioned method by which Sally attempted to gain...