Unexplained Possession of Goods Recently Stolen May Lead to Verdict of Guilty of Larceny

The history of section 812.022(2), Florida Statutes (2002), was discussed by the Fourth District in Jackson v. State, 736 So. 2d 77 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999): Section 812.022(2) was enacted by the 1977 legislature as part of the overall revision of the criminal statutes relating to theft and stolen property. See Ch. 77-432, Laws of Fla. However, the inference was not new to Florida law. An identical inference had been part of Florida common law since the nineteenth century. In McDonald v. State, 56 Fla. 74, 47 So. 485, 486 (1908), the supreme court stated the general rule that a "verdict of guilty of larceny may be found from the unexplained possession of goods recently stolen." Id. at 81-82.