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in law, the unlawful taking and carrying away of the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of its use or to appropriate it to the use of the perpetrator or of someone else. It is usually distinguished from embezzlementembezzlement,
wrongful use, for one's own selfish ends, of the property of another when that property has been legally entrusted to one. Such an act was not larceny at common law because larceny was committed only when property was acquired by a "felonious taking," i.e.
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 and false pretenses in that the actual taking of the property is accomplished unlawfully and without the victim's consent (see robberyrobbery,
in law, felonious taking of property from a person against his will by threatening or committing force or violence. The injury or threat may be directed against the person robbed, his property, or the person or property of his relative or of anyone in his presence at
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); along with the taking there must be a carrying-off. It is also distinguished from burglaryburglary,
at common law, the breaking and entering of a dwelling house of another at night with the intent to commit a felony, whether the intent is carried out or not. This definition has been generally adopted with some modifications in the criminal law of the various states
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 in that the theft does not necessarily involve unlawful breaking and entering. Statutes in some states of the United States enlarge the scope of larceny to include embezzlement and false pretenses. Grand larceny, usually a felonyfelony
, any grave crime, in contrast to a misdemeanor, that is so declared in statute or was so considered in common law. In early English law a felony was a heinous act that canceled the perpetrator's feudal rights and forfeited his lands and goods to the king, thus depriving
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, is distinguished from petty larceny, usually a misdemeanormisdemeanor,
in law, a minor crime, in contrast to a felony. At common law a misdemeanor was a crime other than treason or a felony. Although it might be a grave offense, it did not affect the feudal bond or take away the offender's property. By the 19th cent.
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, by the value of the property stolen.