State v. Pambianchi

Decision Date24 February 1953
Citation95 A.2d 695,139 Conn. 543
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
PartiesSTATE v. PAMBIANCHI. Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut

J. Harold Merrick, Ridgefield, with whom was Charles M. Lyman, New Haven, for appellant (defendant).

Lorin W. Willis, State's Atty., Bridgeport, with whom, on the brief, was Otto J. Saur, Asst. State's Atty., Bridgeport, for appellee (State).

Before BROWN, C. J., and JENNINGS, BALDWIN, INGLIS and O'SULLIVAN, JJ.

BALDWIN, Associate Justice.

The defendant was convicted in a trial to the jury of the crime of receiving stolen goods, and he has appealed.

Of the several errors assigned, we shall consider first the denial by the trial court of the defendant's motion to set aside the verdict. The jury could reasonably have found these facts: The defendant conducted a used-car business in Ridgefield. A few days prior to April 7, 1950, Oscar Gregorius, a representative of Arthur Geller, a used-car dealer on Long Island, called on the defendant and inquired concerning used cars for sale. He gave the defendant the name and address of his employer, Geller. Later, the defendant called Geller and inquired whether he knew of the deal made between the defendant and Gregorious. The defendant did not give his name but told Geller that he had a 1949 Cadillac convertible for sale for $2100. That price was very low. At that time, the defendant did not have such an automobile. He called Geller the following day and repeated his offer. He asked again if Geller knew of the deal between him and Gregorius and stated, 'You know there is a possibility these are hot cars,' meaning that they had been stolen. He said he was selling the car for a friend and did not want to give his name. Geller showed a willingness to purchase the car, but the defendant said he would call later in the week. A day or two later, Gregorius, at Geller's request, called the defendant concerning the purchase of the Cadillac. The defendant instructed Gregorius to bring Geller to Ridgefield and arranged to meet them there.

On the early morning of April 7, 1950, a 1949 Cadillac convertible was stolen from the owner, Kovner, in New York. It was delivered to the defendant by a stranger at a prearranged meeting in the nighttime on a street in downtown New York. The defendant took the car on consignment, agreed to pay $1600 for it, and brought it to Ridgefield. He did not examine the motor number or registration of the automobile. As a matter of fact, the motor number had been mutilated, and a fictitious license had been obtained on the very day that the car was delivered to the defendant.

On the afternoon of April 8, Gregorius and Geller, accompanied by a man named Muller, who was in fact a New York police detective but who was disguised to represent Geller's service manager, met the defendant in Ridgefield. The defendant insisted that Geller and Gregorius ride in his car, while the car owned by Gregorius and driven by Muller followed them. They proceeded for several miles over a winding backwoods road to an old farmhouse. A 1949 Cadillac convertible stood in the yard. Geller expressed approval of the car and asked for the ownership papers. The defendant produced a registration issued by the state of New York on April 7, 1950, to Thomas Gaspero of 438 East 68th Street, New York City. Geller suggested a road test for the car, which the defendant refused to agree to unless Geller would put his own dealer plates on the car. The plates were changed but the defendant still insisted that they drive down a dead-end road. Geller asked that the purchase be delayed so that he could check the title, but the defendant demanded a $1000 deposit, claiming he had another prospective purchaser. The defendant suggested that Geller give the money to Gregorius, whom the defendant would take to a place five minutes away to deliver it to the actual seller of the car. There was no such person. Geller refused to deliver the money and told the defendant that he would rather let the deal end. When the defendant was called upon by the police, he immediately asked them if the car was 'hot.' He told the police two inconsistent stories about how the car came into his possession.

The question upon the motion to set aside the verdict is whether the evidence was sufficient to establish the essential elements of the crime charged. These are: '(1) The property must have been stolen. (2) It must have been received by the accused with the knowledge that it was stolen. (3) It must have been concealed within the meaning of the law. (4) It must have been received and concealed by the accused with a felonious intent.' State v. Alderman, 83 Conn. 597, 600, 78 A. 331, 332; State v. Newman, 127 Conn. 398, 400, 17 A.2d 774. The defendant concedes that the automobile was stolen. His knowledge that it was stolen at the time he received it may be inferred, if the circumstances were such that a reasonable man of honest intentions should have come to that conclusion. State v. Weiner, 84 Conn. 411, 417, 80 A. 198. Receiving and concealing stolen goods with felonious intent means simply that the accused takes them into his possession without claim of right and handles them stealthily, with the intent of keeping them from their true owner and of converting them to a use other than that of the owner without his consent. State v. Enanno, 96 Conn. 420, 422, 114 A. 386. The evidence was sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the court properly denied the motion to set aside the verdict.

The defendant assigns error in the failure of the court to dismiss the charge against him on its own motion. He argues that, because the automobile was stolen in New York and he...

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28 cases
  • State v. Moynahan
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • April 5, 1973
    ...a reasonable man, should, from the same facts, have inferred at the time he received them that the goods were stolen. State v. Pambianchi, 139 Conn. 543, 546, 95 A.2d 695; State v. Weiner, 84 Conn. 411, 416, 417, 80 A. 198. This rule also applied to the second claim of the state as charged ......
  • Garcia v. State, 88-205
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • July 13, 1989
    ...converts it to his own use involving affirmative prescribed conduct not related to initial theft. See likewise State v. Pambianchi, 139 Conn. 543, 95 A.2d 695 (1953). The word "conceals" ordinarily implies design or purpose. Norton v. State, 119 Neb. 588, 230 N.W. 438 (1930). The conduct be......
  • State v. Watson
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1973
    ...taken by all the defendants. It is evident that both the state and the court relied upon the rule in such cases as State v. Pambianchi, 139 Conn. 543, 547-548, 95 A.2d 695. In that case, a witness testified that he had given a written statement to the police. After requiring counsel to stat......
  • State v. Williams
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • October 11, 1977
    ...that the defendant knew that the Cougar was stolen. See State v. Schoenbneelt, 171 Conn. 119, 126, 368 A.2d 117; State v. Pambianchi, 139 Conn. 543, 546, 95 A.2d 695. The court also properly and adequately charged the jury as to their function in determining the credibility of witnesses and......
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