FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Barbara
L. Dimmig, II, Public Defender, and Anthony C. Musto, Special
Assistant Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Brandon R.
Christian, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
appeals from an order placing him on probation but
withholding adjudication for the delinquent acts of grand
theft and criminal mischief. We affirm without comment as to
the determination that he committed the delinquent act of
criminal mischief. However, because the State failed to
present sufficient evidence that the value of the stolen
property met the $300 statutory threshold for grand theft,
see § 812.014(2)(c)(1), Fla. Stat. (2016), we
reverse the finding that D.D. committed that delinquent act
and remand this case to the delinquency court with
instructions to enter an order finding that D.D. committed
second-degree petit theft, see § 812.014(3)(a),
and hold a new disposition hearing.
evidence at the adjudicatory hearing established that while
D.D. was at school, he stole another student's cell phone
and threw it from a second-story balcony. The State called
the victim to testify about the value of the phone. The
victim testified that the phone was his "father's
old phone" and that he thought it was an iPhone 6.
Beyond that, he did not know anything important about the
phone-such as the size of the display, the quantity of
memory, the quality of the camera, or anything else bearing
on the phone's value or his knowledge of it. Although he
originally stated that the phone was in perfect condition
when it was stolen, he later testified that the only way he
was able to recognize the shattered phone after it was
recovered was by the absence of a small piece that had broken
off before the theft. The victim nonetheless testified,
without objection from D.D., that the phone was worth $340
because he and his mother "checked online how much a
used phone with . . . no damage . . . would be worth."
The State offered no further evidence of the value of the
phone. The trial court subsequently denied D.D.'s motion
for judgment of dismissal, which had been based in part on an
argument that the State had failed to offer legally
sufficient evidence of the value of the phone, and found him
motion for judgment of dismissal in a delinquency case is
subject to the same standard of review as a motion for
judgment of acquittal in criminal cases. C.E.L. v.
State, 995 So.2d 558, 560 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). We review
a motion for judgment of acquittal de novo. Id.
"If, upon reviewing the evidence in a light most
favorable to the State, a rational fact-finder could find the
elements of the crimes proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then
the evidence is sufficient to sustain the adjudication of
delinquency." I.M. v. State, 917 So.2d 927, 929
(Fla. 1st DCA 2005).
establish third-degree grand theft, the State must prove that
the value of the stolen property was at least $300 at the
time of the theft. § 812.014(2)(c)(1); Pickett v.
State, 839 So.2d 860, 861 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003). Although
value can be proven with the owner's direct testimony of
fair market value of the property, a witness's mere
ownership of property unaccompanied by sufficient personal
knowledge of its value is insufficient. Mitchell v.
State, 917 So.2d 1056, 1057 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006).
"Value may be established by direct testimony of fair
market value or through evidence of the original market cost
of the property, the manner in which the items were used, the
condition and quality of the items, and the percentage of
depreciation of the items since their purchase."
Pickett, 839 So.2d at 861-62.
case, the victim plainly lacked sufficient personal knowledge
to establish the stolen phone's value beyond a reasonable
doubt. The victim was only barely able to identify the phone,
and he had no knowledge at all of any characteristics that
would be relevant to its value. Although there was testimony
admitted about the internet research the victim and his
mother did, nothing in the testimony established that the
phone or phones they saw on the internet were the same kind
of phone or in a similar condition to the phone the victim
had. Absent that kind of testimony-or some other probative
evidence bearing on value-there was simply no way for the
delinquency court to say that the $300 threshold for grand
theft was met. See, e.g., M.K. v. State,
143 So.3d 428, 431 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) (holding that
victim's testimony was insufficient to establish value of
a stolen necklace where the victim "lack[ed] . . .
familiarity with the quality, length, weight and cost of the
stolen necklace" and could only testify to a price that
was based on her parent's internet research); K.W. v.
State, 13 So.3d 90, 91-92 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009) (holding
that testimony from witness who lacked personal knowledge of
the value of stolen cell phone was insufficient to establish
value in petit theft trial where the witness did not know the
phone's age, quality, condition, or to what extent its
value had depreciated); S.M.M. v. State, 569 So.2d
1339, 1341 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990) (holding that State failed to
prove value of stolen jewelry in grand theft prosecution
where victim was only able to testify to the price of items a
jeweler had indicated were similar to hers).
the evidence was insufficient to show that the value of the
stolen phone met the threshold necessary to prove the offense
of grand theft, the trial court erred in denying the motion
for judgment of dismissal, and we reverse. On remand, the
trial court shall enter an order finding D.D. guilty of
second-degree petit theft and hold a new disposition hearing.
See D.J.S. v. State, 43 Fla.L.Weekly D592 (Fla. 2d
DCA Mar. 14, 2018). In all other respects, we affirm.
in part, reversed in part, and ...