A Qld man has been on the run for some time now after allegedly committing multiple larceny offences. Larceny is the act of taking property or money belonging to another, no matter what the property or the value of it is. It is recorded by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research that the trends indicate the act of stealing from retail stores has risen by 5.1% however, the stealing of motor vehicles has decreased by 3.0%. These reports provided, focus on statistical trends across a 24-month period. The data was extracted from the Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS) of the NSW Police Force.


It is reported by 7 news that a man with a “spectacular receding mullet and facial tattoos inked in elegant, cursive script” is on the run after allegedly swiping sex toys from a Gold Coast store.

Police have released photos of the alleged robber, saying the distinct-looking man is also responsible for a string of other robberies on the coast since mid-June.

The man is accused of asking a worker at an Oxenford sex shop to inspect some adult toys before promptly running off with almost $500 in merchandise.

The same man is wanted over a string of other crimes, including the theft of two cars, as well as pinching a mobile phone and two sour gecko lollies from a Surfers Paradise convenience store.

His facial and skull tattoos read “Never take my soul” and “Death before dishonour”.


Larceny, stealing and theft all refer to the act of taking something from someone without their consent and with the intention to permanently deprive them of that thing.

The crime is not made out until the offender has taken away the item from the owner.

Some examples of larceny include:

  • Stealing a motor vehicle;
  • Taking money to restore dogs;
  • Stealing, destroying any records of the Court or public office;
  • Stealing goods in the process of manufacture;
  • Embezzlement; and
  • Stealing from a ship in distress or wreck.


The offence of Larceny is set out in section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) (‘the Act’) which states:

“whosoever commits larceny … shall, except in the cases hereinafter otherwise provided for, be liable to imprisonment for five years.”

Case Law/Jurisdiction

An offence of Larceny is what is known as a Table 1 offence under the relevant legislation, which means it is to be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election is made for trial on indictment by the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The nature and elements of the offence of Larceny were considered in Ilich v R (1986) 162 CLR 110 wherein it was held a person who is lawfully in possession of something cannot be guilty of larceny of it.

To learn more about the offence of Larceny, read our dedicated page here.

What Must The Prosecution Prove?

Since Larceny is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The Prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Larceny

To establish Larceny, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you took property;
  • That belonged to someone else;
  • You did so without the owner’s consent;
  • With the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it

Maximum Penalties

Larceny can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years (if heard in the Local Court) or up to 5 years (If heard in the District Court).

Section 154F of the Act – Stealing Motor Vehicle or Vessel

“A person who steals a motor vehicle or vessel is guilty of an offence.”

The maximum penalty for this is 10 years’ imprisonment, significantly higher than an ordinary larceny charge.

Interestingly, Parliament has further specified the following offence to attract the charge of larceny also.

Section 154A of the Act – Taking A Conveyance Without Consent Of Owner

(1) Any person who:

(a) Without having the consent of the owner or person in lawful possession of a conveyance, takes and drives it, or takes it for the purpose of driving it, or secreting it, or obtaining a reward for its restoration or pretended restoration, or for any other fraudulent purpose, or

(b) Knowing that any conveyance has been taken without such consent, drives it or allows himself or herself to be carried in or on it,

Shall be deemed to be guilty of larceny and liable to be indicted for that offence.

(2) For the purposes of this section

“conveyance” means any cart, wagon, cab, carriage, motor car, caravan, trailer, motor lorry, tractor, earth moving equipment, omnibus, motor or other bicycle, tank or other military vehicle, or any ship, or vessel, used or intended for navigation, and

“drive” shall be construed accordingly.

To read up more about the theft of a motor vehicle, follow the link to our dedicated page.

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