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§ 943.34, Receiving Stolen Property: Venue

State v. Kenneth W. Lippold, 2008 WI App 130, PFR filed 8/18/08
For Lippold: Thomas J. Nitschke

Issue/Holding: On a charge of receiving stolen property, venue may rest in the county where the underlying theft occurred (and, provable by circumstantial rather than direct evidence):

¶16   Extrapolating from the holding in Swinson, we conclude that because the crime of receiving stolen property requires more than two acts, and one of the acts is that the property must be stolen and that act occurred in Milwaukee County, venue was properly established. Lippold argues that the element of the crime of receiving stolen property—that the State needs to prove the property was stolen—is not an “act” in the classical sense; rather, the word “stolen” simply describes the type of property needed to fulfill the requirements of the crime. Again, we look to Swinson for assistance. In Swinson, several of the elements are not “acts” as Lippold would have us define them. Instead, they appear to be states of mind. Consequently, we are satisfied that Lippold reads Swinson too narrowly.

The court stresses that the evidence of Lippold’s guilt of the theft itself “was extremely strong,” ¶¶27-28, but the holding doesn’t seem to rest on that perception.


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