FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Barbara Twine
M. Dietsch of Melody Dietsch Law, Brandon, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Chelsea N. Simms,
Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
appeals from the disposition order finding that he committed
the delinquent acts of trespass of a conveyance, grand theft
of a motor vehicle, third-degree grand theft, and resisting
an officer without violence. Because of the State's
failure of proof, we reverse the trial court's
disposition as to grand theft of a motor vehicle and
third-degree grand theft. We affirm the court's
disposition of the remaining charges without discussion.
Rosales Urquiza, a maintenance worker at the Oaks at
Riverview apartment community, used a golf cart to travel
around the complex. The golf cart had a compartment under the
rear seat in which Mr. Rosales Urquiza stored his tools. On
the date of the offenses, Mr. Rosales Urquiza drove the golf
cart to one of the apartments and went in to repair a washing
machine. When he returned to the cart to get his tools, the
cart was gone. The manager of the apartment complex reported
to law enforcement that the cart had been stolen. An officer
responded to the manager's call and placed a BOLO alert
for the stolen golf cart.
a few hours of the golf cart's disappearance, Sydney Rose
saw a juvenile opening the door of his neighbor's car.
When he shouted at the juvenile, the juvenile and three
others departed in a golf cart. He reported the suspicious
activity to police. An officer responded to the
"suspicious persons" call and investigated whether
a golf cart had been reported stolen. He found that there was
a BOLO alert for a recently stolen golf cart in the area.
Shortly thereafter, four juveniles in a golf cart came riding
down the middle of the street toward his unmarked police car.
The officer could not identify which of the juveniles was
driving the cart. When he activated his emergency lights and
siren, the juveniles fled. Wearing a police vest, badge,
police patch, radio and gun, the officer identified himself
as a police officer, ordered the juveniles to stop, and
chased them on foot. The juveniles ignored the officer's
commands and continued to run. The officer called for
reinforcements and within a few minutes the juveniles were
apprehended. Mr. Rose identified W.J.M. and the other
juveniles as the ones he had seen in his neighborhood riding
around in the golf cart. W.J.M. was charged with the
delinquent acts of burglary of a conveyance, grand theft of
the golf cart, third-degree grand theft of Mr. Rosales
Urquiza's tools, and resisting an officer without
violence. W.J.M. moved for a judgment of dismissal of the
charges, claiming that the State had not proven that he was
anything other than a passenger in the golf cart. The trial
court reduced the burglary charge to trespass of a conveyance
and found that W.J.M. had committed the remaining delinquent
acts as charged.
Theft of a Motor Vehicle
essential elements of grand theft of a motor vehicle require
proof that an accused knowingly obtained or used a motor
vehicle belonging to another with the intent to deprive the
person of its use or to appropriate it to his own use. §
812.014(1), Fla. Stat. (2017). W.J.M. argues that evidence
that a person was a passenger in a stolen vehicle is
insufficient to prove that the person stole the vehicle, even
if the passenger knew the vehicle was stolen. We agree.
See A.D.P. v. State, 223 So.3d 428, 430 (Fla. 2d DCA
2017); Canady v. State, 813 So.2d 161, 161 (Fla. 2d
State argues that W.J.M. could be found to have committed the
theft along with the other juveniles under a principal
theory. This argument fails because the State did not prove
that W.J.M. "had a conscious intent that the criminal
act be done" or that he encouraged, assisted, or advised
the other juveniles in stealing the golf cart. See
Alfonso-Roche v. State, 199 So.3d 941, 944 (Fla. 4th DCA
2016) (quoting Hall v. State, 100 So.3d 288, 289
(Fla. 4th DCA 2012)).
Theft of the Tools
State also failed to prove the third-degree grand theft of
the tools. The evidence did not show W.J.M. knew there were
tools stored under the seat of the golf cart or that he had
the specific intent to deprive Mr. Rosales Urquiza of his
property. See T.L.M. v. State, 755 So.2d 749, 751
(Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (noting that the intent to steal or
deprive the victim of the victim's property is a
necessary element of grand theft, and there must be
substantial competent evidence from which the factfinder may
reasonably infer the intent).
we reverse the disposition order's findings that W.J.M.
committed the delinquent acts of grand theft of the golf cart
and grand theft of the tools, and remand with directions that
W.J.M. be ...