An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA03-170


Filed: 18 November 2003


    v.                            Wake County
                                No. 01 CRS 82942

    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 21 March 2002 by Judge Stafford G. Bullock in Wake County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 6 October 2003.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Anne Goco Kirby, for the State.

    Ligon and Hinton, by Lemuel W. Hinton, for defendant- appellant.

    GEER, Judge.

    Defendant Quincey Earl Holden was convicted of felonious possession of a stolen bicycle. He contends on appeal that his motion to dismiss should have been granted because the State failed to offer evidence that he knew the bicycle was stolen. Upon reviewing the record, we find sufficient direct and circumstantial evidence to justify denial of defendant's motion to dismiss.
    Defendant was originally charged with breaking and entering, felonious larceny, and felonious possession of stolen goods. The State, however, elected to proceed only as to felonious possession of stolen property.
    The State's evidence tended to show that on 4 September 2001,Officer Paul Dorsey of the Raleigh Police Department was working off duty at the Harris Teeter supermarket in Cameron Village shopping center. In response to a citizen's expression of concern, Officer Dorsey approached defendant who was standing in the parking lot next to a Honda station wagon. The Honda had a two-bicycle rack system on top of it with one specialized ten or twelve speed bike above the driver's side.
    Officer Dorsey noticed that defendant, who stood approximately six feet two inches tall, was holding a bicycle with a frame for someone approximately five feet in stature. He also recognized the bicycle as a Pinarello, a high-priced Italian-made racing bike. When Officer Dorsey asked defendant if he raced bikes, defendant responded, "No." Defendant informed Officer Dorsey that he had bought the bike from a friend at a very low price. Defendant told Officer Dorsey that the Honda was not his car, but he was waiting for the person who owned it to come out of the store, so he could talk to him. Officer Dorsey verified with the owner of the Honda that nothing had been taken from his vehicle and then let defendant go with the racing bike.
    On the next day, 5 September 2001, Diane Ignar received a phone call from the owner of the bicycle shop where she had bought a racing bike. She had been storing her bicycle at her fiancé's house at 1810 Fairview Road, less than five miles from the Harris Teeter in Cameron Village. As a result of that call, Ignar called her fiancé and asked him to check his house to see if there had been a break-in. Ignar's fiancé discovered that her racing bikewas missing along with his racing wheels. He reported the break-in to the police. Ignar's bicycle was a blue Pinarello Zuelta bicycle, serial number L4927, and had a fair market value at the time of the theft of between $2,000.00 and $2,500.00.
    On the same day, Ignar e-mailed area bicycle shops asking for their help in locating her racing bike. Ignar reported to Detective Barbara Ann Cojocar of the Raleigh Police Department that she had learned that "somebody identified as Mr. Holden had attempted to sell the bicycle in Car[r]boro."
    Meantime, Officer Michael Joseph Metz of the Carrboro Police Department received information from his lieutenant about a suspicious person at a bicycle shop. At the shop, defendant spoke with Officer Metz and his lieutenant about the bicycle in his possession. Officer Metz noted that the bicycle in defendant's possession was a blue Pinarello with the serial number L4927.
    Detective Cojocar confirmed with the Carrboro Police Department that the bicycle defendant had attempted to sell matched Ignar's description of her racing bike. Once Ignar provided the Carrboro Police Department with the serial number of her bike, the Carrboro Police seized it outside a grocery store a quarter of a mile from the bicycle shop. Ignar went to the Carrboro Police Department and identified her bike.
    Officer Dorsey arrested defendant at a soup kitchen in downtown Raleigh on 19 September 2001. After Detective Cojocar read defendant his Miranda rights, defendant admitted that "he was in possession of the bike and that it was a stolen bike." Heexplained that "he was unemployed at the time and was not able to purchase any food or belongings so he needed to steal to make a living to live and survive." Defendant stated that he bought the bike for $15.00 from a man he met several days before.
    At trial, defendant offered no evidence. A jury found defendant guilty of felonious possession of stolen goods. The trial court sentenced defendant to 12 to 15 months imprisonment.
    On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to dismiss based on the insufficiency of the evidence. In considering a motion to dismiss, the trial court must determine "whether there is substantial evidence (1) of each essential element of the offense charged and (2) that defendant is the perpetrator of the offense." State v. Lynch, 327 N.C. 210, 215, 393 S.E.2d 811, 814 (1990). "Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." State v. Brown, 310 N.C. 563, 566, 313 S.E.2d 585, 587 (1984). "Any contradictions or discrepancies arising from the evidence are properly left for the jury to resolve and do not warrant dismissal." State v. King, 343 N.C. 29, 36, 468 S.E.2d 232, 237 (1996).
    In reviewing a trial court's denial of a motion to dismiss, the appellate court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the State. State v. Taylor, 337 N.C. 597, 604, 447 S.E.2d 360, 365 (1994). This Court gives the State the benefit of every reasonable inference to be drawn from the evidence and resolves any contradictions in the evidence in favor of the State. Id.     The essential elements of the crime of possession of stolen goods are: "(1) possession of personal property; (2) having a value in excess of [$ 1,000.00]; (3) which has been stolen; (4) the possessor knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe the property was stolen; and (5) the possessor acting with a dishonest purpose." State v. Martin, 97 N.C. App. 19, 25, 387 S.E.2d 211, 214 (1990); see also N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-71.1 and 14-72 (2001). Defendant challenges only the sufficiency of the evidence to show that he knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that the bike in his possession had been stolen.
    To prove the knowledge element of the crime, the State must present sufficient evidence to prove either defendant had actual knowledge that the property was stolen or that a reasonable man would have known, under the circumstances, that the property was stolen. State v. Parker, 316 N.C. 295, 304, 341 S.E.2d 555, 560 (1986). Here, the State presented both types of evidence.
    Evidence of actual knowledge was offered through the testimony of Detective Cojocar that defendant confessed that he knew the bicycle was stolen. In addition, the State offered evidence that defendant paid only $15.00 to purchase the Italian-made racing bike which was worth more than $2,000.00 and then tried to re-sell it days later in Carrboro. In Parker, our Supreme Court stated that a defendant's knowledge that property was stolen can be implied "where a defendant-buyer buys property at a fraction of its actual cost." Id. at 304, 341 S.E.2d at 560. Given defendant's admission and the State's circumstantial evidence, we conclude that the Statepresented substantial evidence tending to show that defendant knew or had reasonable grounds to believe the bicycle was stolen.

    No error.
    Judges McGEE and HUDSON concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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