In the Metrowest Daily News I read an interesting story by Norman Miller regarding Randy Hooker of Framingham. According to the article Mr. Hooker brought an Apple Macbook laptop to P.C. Exchange in Framingham, and asked them to repair it for him because it wasn't working. When the store employees attempted to power on the computer it prompted them for a password. Allegedly, The employee asked Mr. Hooker for the password, and he claimed he didn't have it with him. Mr. Hooker then stated he wold come back with the password and left.
The employee became suspicious that the computer may be stolen. The employee was able to get into the computer without being provided the password and identified a name of the likely owner of the computer. He contacted that likely owner who then came into the store and identified the laptop as one that had been stolen from his Framingham home in an October break in.
The police were contacted, and when Mr. Hooker returned to the store later in the evening, he was arrested by the police. The police indicate that Mr. Hooker spoke with them after being arrested, and claimed two people he knew asked him to bring the computer into the store. Police also indicated Mr. Hooper stated he brought the computer in because he knew the two men were getting marijuana, and he wanted to smoke with them.
Mr. Hooker was charged with receiving stolen property over $250 which is a felony under Massachusetts law. The case can be indicted and tried in the Superior Court where the maximum penalty is up to 5 years in state prison. If prosecutors do not indict Mr. Hooker his case will remain in the Framingham District Court where the maximum penalty he can face is 2 1/2 years in the house of corrections.
In order to prove Mr. Hooker is guilty of receiving stolen property prosecutors must be able to prove that Mr. Hooker knew the laptop was stolen when he took possession of it. Although the full details of Mr. Hooker's interview with police are not given in the news report, it does not appear he admitted the laptop was stolen. In many instances if there is no admission that the property in question was known to be stolen it can be difficult for prosecutors to prove all the necessary elements of this crime. Prosecutors must show that Mr. Hooker actually knew, or at least believed the property was stolen. Unlike many other situations prosecutors face, it is not enough to show that a reasonable person should have known it was stolen, or that Mr. Hooker recklessly disregarded the risk the property was stolen, instead they must prove his actual knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt. For more details on the legal analysis involved in determining someone's actual knowledge read Commonwealth v. Boris.
If you have been charged with receiving stolen property, or any crime related to theft or larceny contact me today for a free consultation. As a receiving stolen property Framingham defense lawyer I have extensive experience in handling receiving stolen property cases and all theft crimes. At a free consultation you will receive a thorough evaluation of your case, as well as a quote to handle your matter that is a guarantee. You will never pay more than the quote you receive in your initial consultation. Call today (508) 762-4540 or contact me using the form on this webiste.