CALCRIM No. 1803. Theft: By Employee or Agent (Pen. Code, § 487(b)(3))

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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1803.Theft: By Employee or Agent (Pen. Code, § 487(b)(3))
If you conclude that the defendant committed more than one theft, you
must decide whether the defendant committed multiple petty thefts or a
single grand theft. To prove that the defendant is guilty of a single grand
theft, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant was an (employee/agent) of <insert
name of employer/principal>;
2. The defendant committed theft of property [or services] from
<insert name of employer/principal>;
3. The combined value of the property [or services] that the
defendant obtained during a period of 12 consecutive months was
$950 or more.
If you conclude that the People have failed to prove grand theft, any
multiple thefts you have found proven are petty thefts.
[An agent is a person who represents someone else in dealing with other
people, corporations, or entities.]
New January 2006; Revised February 2012
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on aggregating the value of the property
or services taken by an employee or agent if grand theft is charged on that theory.
• Aggregating Value of Property Taken by Employee or Agent. Pen. Code,
§ 487(b)(3); People v. Packard (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 622, 626-627 [182
Cal.Rptr. 576].
• Agent Defined. Civ. Code, § 2295.
• Employee Defined. Lab. Code, § 2750.
Penal Code section 487(b)(3) allows the prosecutor, under specified conditions, to
cumulate a series of petty thefts into a grand theft, without having to prove a single
intent or scheme. (People v. Packard (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 622, 626 [182 Cal.Rptr.
576].) Therefore, this instruction does not include a single intent or scheme as an
element. (Compare People v. Daniel (1983) 145 Cal.App.3d 168, 175 [193 Cal.Rptr.
277] [theft pursuant to overall plan and single fraudulent intent], and CALCRIM
No. 1802, Theft: As Part of Overall Plan.) Under the appropriate circumstances,
however, a defendant may assert that grand thefts committed against his or her
employer over a period greater than 12 consecutive months should be combined into
a single grand theft in the absence of evidence of separate intents or plans. (See
People v. Packard, supra, 131 Cal.App.3d at pp. 626-627 [thefts over three-year
See the Related Issues section to CALCRIM No. 1802, Theft: As Part of Overall
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Property, §§ 12-13.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143, Crimes
Against Property, § 143.01[1][a] (Matthew Bender).

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