An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA04-1318


Filed: 3 May 2005


         v.                        Northampton County
                                Nos. 03 CRS 1149
CHRISTOPHER RASCOE                        03 CRS 50499

    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 5 May 2004 by Judge Thomas D. Haigwood in Northampton County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 25 April 2005.

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

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

    CALABRIA, Judge.

    Christopher Rascoe (“defendant”) appeals from a judgment finding him guilty of felony larceny and a plea of guilty to attaining the status of an habitual felon. We find no error.
    In 2000, Johnnie Lee Bowers, Jr., (“Bowers”) and his wife purchased a burgundy 1999 Mercury Tracer (the “vehicle”) from Bowers' mother-in-law for $14,000. On 22 May 2003, Bowers drove the vehicle to the Woodland Supermarket. Bowers entered the store, shopped for some items and then entered the check-out line. Bowers observed a man wearing dark, dirty clothes and a hood walk by the open door of the supermarket. As Bowers was about to pay for his items, he observed his vehicle backing out of its parking space. Bowers ran out of the store, positioned himself in front of his vehicle and shouted for the driver to stop. When the vehicle approached Bowers, he saw the driver and recognized him as the same man who walked by the supermarket minutes earlier. Bowers moved from his vehicle's path as it sped past him.
    Three days later, Officer Knox of the Bethel Police Department attempted to stop a maroon-colored 1999 Mercury Tracer for speeding. After Officer Knox turned on his blue lights, two men exited the vehicle and ran. Officer Knox apprehended the passenger, but not the driver. Officer Knox secured the vehicle and confirmed that the vehicle had been stolen. The Woodland Chief of Police took Bowers to the Bethel Police Department. While inspecting the vehicle, Bowers found pay stubs made out to defendant. Later, Bowers positively identified defendant in a photograph line-up as the person who stole his vehicle.
    At trial, Bowers identified a photograph of his vehicle. The photograph was admitted as illustrative evidence to depict his vehicle's appearance at the time of the theft. Bowers testified that when he retrieved his vehicle, its condition had not changed since the time of the theft. Bowers further testified that he was still making payments on the vehicle.
    A jury found defendant guilty of felonious larceny and defendant subsequently pled guilty to attaining habitual felon status. The trial court sentenced defendant as a Class C felon to a minimum of 121 and a maximum of 155 months in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Correction. Defendant appeals.    Defendant asserts the trial court erred by denying his motion to dismiss the charge of felony larceny due to insufficiency of the evidence. Specifically, defendant argues the State failed to present substantial evidence of the value of the vehicle at the time of the theft. We disagree.
    To withstand a motion to dismiss, the State must present substantial evidence of each essential element of the offense and of the defendant's identity as the perpetrator. State v. Riddle, 300 N.C. 744, 746, 268 S.E.2d 80, 81 (1980). “Substantial evidence is 'such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'” State v. Patterson, 335 N.C. 437, 449-50, 439 S.E.2d 578, 585 (1994) (citation omitted). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the trial court must consider all of the evidence, whether direct or circumstantial, “in the light most favorable to the State, and the State is entitled to all reasonable inferences which may be drawn from the evidence.” State v. Davis, 130 N.C. App. 675, 678-79, 505 S.E.2d 138, 141 (1998).
    To convict a defendant of felonious larceny, the State must show that the defendant: (1) “took the property of another”; (2) with a value of more than $ 1,000.00, (3) “carried it away”; (4) “without the owner's consent”; and (5) “with the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently.” State v. Reeves, 62 N.C. App. 219, 223, 302 S.E.2d 658, 660 (1983); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-72(a) (2003). This Court has stated:
        The 'market value' of the stolen item is generally used in determining whether the crime [of larceny] is felonious or nonfelonious. “Thus, in the case of commonarticles having a market value, the courts have [. . .] declared the proper criterion to be the price which the subject of the larceny would bring in open market - its 'market value' or its 'reasonable selling price,' at the time and place of the theft, and in the condition in which it was when the thief commenced the acts culminating in the larceny.”

State v. Dees, 14 N.C. App. 110, 112, 187 S.E.2d 433, 435 (1972) (citation omitted).
    In State v. Dickerson, 20 N.C. App. 169, 201 S.E.2d 69 (1973), the defendant was found guilty of felonious larceny of an automobile. The stolen automobile's owner purchased it for $1,800 approximately eleven months prior to the theft, and the balance of the purchase price was still outstanding. Id., 20 N.C. App. at 170, 201 S.E.2d at 70. This Court reasoned, although no evidence was presented concerning the vehicle's market value at the time of the theft, nothing in the evidence suggested the occurrence of such extraordinarily rapid depreciation as to reduce the vehicle's market value to $200 or less in the eleven months between the date of its purchase and the date of its theft; therefore, the evidence, when taken in the light most favorable to the State, was sufficient to support a jury finding that the value of the automobile exceeded the threshold amount of $200 on the date it was stolen. Id., 20 N.C. App. at 170-71, 201 S.E.2d at 70.
    In the instant case, the State presented the following evidence: (1) Bowers purchased the vehicle for $14,000 approximately three years prior to the theft; (2) Bowers was still making payments on the outstanding balance of the purchase price;and (3) at the time of the theft, the vehicle was in working order as illustrated by a photograph of the vehicle and Officer Knox's recovery of the vehicle pursuant to a traffic stop for speeding. Similar to Dickerson, the evidence here does not suggest any extraordinarily rapid depreciation in the vehicle's value, which could have reduced its value below the threshold amount of $1000, between the date of its purchase and the date of its theft. Accordingly, the above evidence, taken in the light most favorable to the State, was sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to conclude that the value of the vehicle was greater than $1,000 at the time of its theft. Therefore, we hold the trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to dismiss the charge of felony larceny.
    No error.
    Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge McCULLOUGH concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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