Single Larceny Doctrine Virginia

In Acey v. Commonwealth, 29 Va. App. 240, 247, 511 S.E.2d 429, 432 (1999), the Court explained the application of the "single larceny doctrine" as follows: A series of larcenous acts will be considered a single count of larceny if they "are done pursuant to a single impulse and in execution of a general fraudulent scheme." The Court must consider the following factors when deciding whether the single larceny doctrine applies: (1) the location of the items taken; (2) the lapse of time between the takings; (3) the general and specific intent of the taker; (4) the number of owners of the items taken; (5) whether intervening events occurred between the takings. "The primary factor to be considered is the intent of the thief . . . ." Id. at 247, 511 S.E.2d at 432. Nevertheless, multiple unlawful takings constitute separate larcenies if the thief acted upon a separate intent or impulse for each theft. See Richardson v. Commonwealth, 25 Va. App. 491, 495, 489 S.E.2d 697, 699 (1997) at 700-01. "The overriding principle behind the single larceny doctrine is to prevent the state from aggregating multiple criminal penalties for a single criminal act." Richardson, 25 Va. App. at 496, 489 S.E.2d at 700.