I placed my ~$600 phone down to go through security, and a school offical picked it up and declared that it would be returned 2 days later. I immediately requested my phone back to no avail.

I did some research and concluded that it is not legally considered stealing because the person intended to return it eventually. However, I do not know what the actual crime is or what legal options I have.

The entire student body entered through the same door but only a bag full (1/5) of phones were stolen. I find it quite irritating because there is a significant amount of personal information on such a device along with the fact that someone boldly walked away with my property.

I got my phone back, but I'm curious about what the technical term for the crime is and any legal options I have.

Thanks in advance


1 Answer 1


a school offical picked it up and declared that it would be returned 2 days later.

Temporary or not, this can larceny. There's a huge body of case law dealing with that sort of situation. I can't readily imagine why would a school official take a phone for two days so let me quote:

for larceny, one must intend to deprive the owner of the possession of his property either permanently or for an unreasonable length of time, or intend to use it in such a way that the owner will probably be thus deprived of his property."

From http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-supreme-court/1196383.html quoting LaFave and Scott, Substantive Criminal Law (1986) Crimes Relating to Property, § 8.5, p. 357.

  • So what are my options? Jun 9, 2016 at 12:22

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