Evidence of Exclusive Access to Stolen Property In Texas
In Marbles v. State, 874 S.W.2d 225 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1994, no pet.) the police stopped a car owned by the defendant but driven by another man. Id. at 227.
The defendant was riding as a passenger and was arrested on outstanding warrants. Id.
The police impounded the car and inventoried its contents. Id.
During the search, the police discovered a stolen camcorder in the trunk. Id.
The Houston court of appeals found the evidence legally sufficient. Id. at 228.
In doing so, however, it distinguished the case from cases such as Rodriguez, 549 S.W.2d at 749, and Jordan v. State, 658 S.W.2d 675, 676 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1983, no pet.), where the evidence was found insufficient because others had access to the area where the stolen property was found. Marbles, 874 S.W.2d at 228.
The Houston court noted the defendant specifically directed the police to release the impounded car only to him, not to the driver. Id.
Therefore, the defendant was shown to have asserted sole, personal possession over the car and its contents.