Law:Division 4. Special Antitheft Laws (California)

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Contents

Chapter 1. Reports Of Stolen Vehicles

Ca Codes (veh:10500-10505) Vehicle Code Section 10500-10505



10500. (a) Every peace officer, upon receiving a report based on reliable information that any vehicle registered under this code has been stolen, taken, or driven in violation of Section 10851, or that a leased or rented vehicle has not been returned within five days after its owner has made written demand for its return, by certified or registered mail, following the expiration of the lease or rental agreement, or that license plates for any vehicle have been lost or stolen, shall, immediately after receiving that information, report the information to the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System. An officer, upon receiving information of the recovery of any vehicle described in this subdivision, or of the recovery of plates which have been previously reported as lost or stolen, shall immediately report the fact of the recovery to the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System. At the same time, the recovering officer shall advise the Department of Justice Stolen Vehicle System and the original reporting police agency of the location and condition of the vehicle or license plates recovered. The original reporting police agency, upon receipt of the information from the recovering officer, shall, immediately attempt to notify the reporting party by telephone, if the telephone number of the reporting party is available or readily accessible, of the location and condition of the recovered vehicle. If the reporting party's telephone number is unknown, or notification attempts were unsuccessful, the original reporting police agency shall notify the reporting party by placing, in the mail, a notice providing the location and condition of the recovered vehicle. This written notice shall be mailed within 24 hours of the original reporting police agency's receipt of the information of the recovery of the vehicle, excluding holidays and weekends. (b) If the recovered vehicle is subject to parking or storage charges, Section 10652.5 applies.


10501. (a) It is unlawful for any person to make or file a false or fraudulent report of theft of a vehicle required to be registered under this code with any law enforcement agency with intent to deceive. (b) If a person has been previously convicted of a violation of subdivision (a), he or she is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or in a county jail for not to exceed one year.


10501. (a) It is unlawful for any person to make or file a false or fraudulent report of theft of a vehicle required to be registered under this code with any law enforcement agency with intent to deceive. (b) If a person has been previously convicted of a violation of subdivision (a), he or she is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months, or two or three years, or in a county jail for not to exceed one year.


10502. (a) The owner or legal owner of a vehicle registered under this code which has been stolen or embezzled may notify the Department of the California Highway Patrol of the theft or embezzlement, but in the event of an embezzlement other than an embezzlement as specified in Section 10855, may make the report only after having procured the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the person charged with the embezzlement. (b) Every owner or legal owner who has given any notice under subdivision (a) shall notify the Department of the California Highway Patrol of a recovery of the vehicle.


10503. The Department of Justice upon receiving notice under this chapter that a vehicle has been stolen, or taken or driven in violation of Section 10851, or that a vehicle reported stolen, or taken or driven in violation of Section 10851 has been recovered, shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of the reported theft, taking or driving, or recovery.


10504. The department upon receiving a report of a stolen vehicle, or of a vehicle taken or driven in violation of Section 10851, shall place an appropriate notice in the electronic file system which will identify such vehicles during the processing of new certificates of registration, ownership, or registration and ownership. When such vehicles are thus identified, processing shall be discontinued and the Department of Justice shall be notified. New certificates shall not be issued until cleared by the Department of Justice. Notices shall remain in the Department of Motor Vehicles system until a Department of Justice deletion is received. A report of a stolen vehicle, or of a vehicle taken or driven in violation of Section 10851, is effective for a period of not less than one year from the date first reported or longer as the department may determine.

10505. Upon the transfer of registration of a vehicle reported as stolen or embezzled, the department shall immediately notify the reporting agency of such fact.


Chapter 1.5. Reports Of Stolen Vessels

Ca Codes (veh:10550-10554) Vehicle Code Section 10550-10554



10550. In this chapter, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the terms and definitions set forth in Section 9840 shall apply.

10551. Every peace officer upon receiving a report based on reliable information that any undocumented vessel numbered under this code has been stolen shall immediately after receiving such information report the theft to the Department of Justice, Automated Boat System, and such peace officer upon receiving information of the recovery of any such vessel which he has previously reported as stolen, shall immediately report the fact of the recovery to the Department of Justice, Automated Boat System.


10551.5. The Department of Justice upon receiving notice under this chapter that a vessel has been stolen or that a vessel reported stolen has been recovered shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of the reported theft or recovery.


10552. It is unlawful for any person to make or file a false or fraudulent report of the theft of an undocumented vessel required to be numbered under this code with any law enforcement agents with intent to deceive.

10553. The owner or legal owner of a vessel numbered under this code which has been stolen or embezzled may notify a law enforcement agency of the theft or embezzlement, but in the event of an embezzlement may make the report only after having procured the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the person charged with such embezzlement. Every owner or legal owner who has given any such notice shall notify the law enforcement agency of a recovery of the vessel.

10554. The department upon receiving a report of a stolen or embezzled vessel shall place an appropriate notice in the electronic file system which will identify such vessel during the processing of new certificates of number, ownership, or number and ownership. When such vessels are thus identified, processing shall be discontinued and the agency holding the theft report and the Department of Justice shall be notified. New certificates shall not be issued until cleared by the Department of Justice. Notices shall remain in the Department of Motor Vehicles system until a Department of Justice deletion is received. A report of a stolen or embezzled vessel is effective for a period of not less than one year from the date first reported, or for such longer period as the department may determine.


Chapter 2. Reports Of Stored Vehicles

Ca Codes (veh:10650-10658) Vehicle Code Section 10650-10658



10650. (a) Every operator of a towing service and every keeper of a garage or trailer park shall keep a written record of every vehicle of a type subject to registration under this code stored for a period longer than 12 hours. (b) The record shall contain the name and address of the person storing the vehicle or requesting the towing, the names of the owner and driver of the vehicle, if ascertainable, and a brief description of the vehicle including the name or make, the motor or other number of the vehicle, the nature of any damage to the vehicle, and the license number and registration number shown by the license plates or registration card, if either of the latter is attached to the vehicle in a clearly discernible place. (c) All records shall be kept for one year from the commencement of storage and shall be open to inspection by any peace officer. (d) Upon termination of the storage, a statement shall be added to the record as to the disposition of the vehicle, including the name and address of the person to whom the vehicle was released and the date of such release.

10652. Whenever any vehicle of a type subject to registration under this code has been stored in a garage, repair shop, parking lot, or trailer park for 30 days, the keeper shall report such fact to the Department of Justice by receipted mail, which shall at once notify the legal owner as of record. This section shall not apply to any vehicle stored by a peace officer or employee designated in Section 22651 pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 22850) of Chapter 10 of Division 11.


10652.5. (a) Whenever the name and address of the legal owner of a motor vehicle is known, or may be ascertained from the registration records in the vehicle or from the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles, no fee or service charge may be imposed upon the legal owner for the parking and storage of the motor vehicle except as follows: (1) The first 15 days of possession and (2) following that 15-day period, the period commencing three days after written notice is sent by the person in possession to the legal owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, and continuing for a period not to exceed any applicable time limit set forth in Section 3068 or 3068.1 of the Civil Code. (b) The costs of notifying the legal owner may be charged as part of the storage fee when the motor vehicle has been stored for an indefinite period of time and notice is given no sooner than the third day of possession. This subdivision also applies if the legal owner refuses to claim possession of the motor vehicle. (c) In any action brought by, or on behalf of, a legal owner of a motor vehicle to which subdivision (a) applies, to recover a motor vehicle alleged to be withheld by the person in possession of the motor vehicle by demanding storage fees or charges for any number of days in excess of that permitted pursuant to subdivision (a), the prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees, not to exceed one thousand seven hundred fifty dollars ($1,750). The recovery of those fees is in addition to any other right, remedy, or cause of action of that party. (d) This section is not applicable to any motor vehicle stored by a levying officer acting under the authority of judicial process.


10653. Whenever any vehicle of a type subject to registration under this code which shows evidence of having been struck by a bullet is stored in a garage or repair shop, the keeper thereof shall within 24 hours after receiving the vehicle report such fact to the sheriff's office of the county or police department of the city wherein the garage or repair shop is located, giving the motor or other number of the vehicle, the license number if ascertainable, and the name and address of the person storing the same or the name and address of the owner shown by the registration card, if the same is attached to the vehicle in a clearly discernible place.


10654. Every person other than the keeper of a garage renting any private building used as a private garage or space therein for the storage of a vehicle of a type subject to registration under this code, when the agreement to rent includes only the building or space therein, shall within 24 hours after the vehicle is stored therein report such fact together with the name of the tenant, and a description of the vehicle, including the name or make, the motor or other number of the vehicle, and the license number to the sheriff's office of the county or the police department of the city wherein the building is located. "Private garage" as used in this section does not include a public warehouse or public garage.


10655. No person required to keep a record or make a report under this chapter shall wilfully fail, refuse, or neglect to comply with this chapter.

10656. The director, deputy director, registrar, deputy registrar, investigators of the department, and members of a city police department or county sheriff's office whose primary responsibility is to conduct vehicle theft investigations, may inspect any vehicle of a type required to be registered under this code in any garage, repair shop, parking lot, used car lot, automobile dismantlers lot, or other similar establishment for the purpose of investigating the title and registration of vehicles and inspection of vehicles wrecked or dismantled.

10658. (a) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the storage of any recreational vehicle owned by a mobilehome park resident and stored in a mobilehome park. (b) As used in this section, "recreational vehicle" shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 18215.5 of the Health and Safety Code, and "mobilehome park" shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 18214 of the Health and Safety Code.


Chapter 3. Alteration Or Removal Of Numbers

Ca Codes (veh:10750-10752) Vehicle Code Section 10750-10752



10750. (a) No person shall intentionally deface, destroy, or alter the motor number, other distinguishing number, or identification mark of a vehicle required or employed for registration purposes without written authorization from the department, nor shall any person place or stamp any serial, motor, or other number or mark upon a vehicle, except one assigned thereto by the department. (b) This section does not prohibit the restoration by an owner of the original vehicle identification number when the restoration is authorized by the department, nor prevent any manufacturer from placing in the ordinary course of business numbers or marks upon new motor vehicles or new parts thereof.


10751. (a) No person shall knowingly buy, sell, offer for sale, receive, or have in his or her possession, any vehicle, or component part thereof, from which any serial or identification number, including, but not limited to, any number used for registration purposes, that is affixed by the manufacturer to the vehicle or component part, in whatever manner deemed proper by the manufacturer, has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed, unless the vehicle or component part has attached thereto an identification number assigned or approved by the department in lieu of the manufacturer's number. (b) Whenever a vehicle described in subdivision (a), including a vehicle assembled with any component part which is in violation of subdivision (a), comes into the custody of a peace officer, it shall be destroyed, sold, or otherwise disposed of under the conditions as provided in an order by the court having jurisdiction. No court order providing for disposition shall be issued unless the person from whom the property was seized, and all claimants to the property whose interest or title is on registration records in the Department of Motor Vehicles, are provided a postseizure hearing by the court having jurisdiction within 90 days after the seizure. This subdivision shall not apply with respect to a seized vehicle or component part used as evidence in any criminal action or proceeding. Nothing in this section shall, however, preclude the return of a seized vehicle or a component part to the owner by the seizing agency following presentation of satisfactory evidence of ownership and, if determined necessary, upon the assignment of an identification number to the vehicle or component part by the department. (c) Whenever a vehicle described in subdivision (a) comes into the custody of a peace officer, the person from whom the property was seized, and all claimants to the property whose interest or title is on registration records in the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall be notified within five days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, after the seizure, of the date, time, and place of the hearing required in subdivision (b). The notice shall contain the information specified in subdivision (d). (d) Whenever a peace officer seizes a vehicle described in subdivision (a), the person from whom the property was seized shall be provided a notice of impoundment of the vehicle which shall serve as a receipt and contain the following information: (1) Name and address of person from whom the property was seized. (2) A statement that the vehicle seized has been impounded for investigation of a violation of Section 10751 of the California Vehicle Code and that the property will be released upon a determination that the serial or identification number has not been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed, or upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence of ownership of the vehicle or a component part, if no other person claims an interest in the property; otherwise, a hearing regarding the disposition of the vehicle shall take place in the proper court. (3) A statement that the person from whom the property was seized, and all claimants to the property whose interest or title is on registration records in the Department of Motor Vehicles, will receive written notification of the date, time, and place of the hearing within five days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, after the seizure. (4) Name and address of the law enforcement agency where evidence of ownership of the vehicle or component part may be presented. (5) A statement of the contents of Section 10751 of the Vehicle Code. (e) A hearing on the disposition of the property shall be held by the superior court within 90 days after the seizure. The hearing shall be before the court without a jury. A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case. (1) If the evidence reveals either that the serial or identification number has not been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed or that the number has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed but satisfactory evidence of ownership has been presented to the seizing agency or court, the property shall be released to the person entitled thereto. Nothing in this section precludes the return of the vehicle or a component part to a good faith purchaser following presentation of satisfactory evidence of ownership thereof upon the assignment of an identification number to the vehicle or component part by the department. (2) If the evidence reveals that the identification number has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed, and satisfactory evidence of ownership has not been presented, the vehicle shall be destroyed, sold, or otherwise disposed of as provided by court order. (3) At the hearing, the seizing agency has the burden of establishing that the serial or identification number has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed and that no satisfactory evidence of ownership has been presented. (f) This section does not apply to a scrap metal processor engaged primarily in the acquisition, processing, and shipment of ferrous and nonferrous scrap, and who receives dismantled vehicles from licensed dismantlers, licensed junk collectors, or licensed junk dealers as scrap metal for the purpose of recycling the dismantled vehicles for their metallic content, the end product of which is the production of material for recycling and remelting purposes for steel mills, foundries, smelters, and refiners.


10752. (a) No person shall, with intent to prejudice, damage, injure, or defraud, acquire, possess, sell, or offer for sale any genuine or counterfeit manufacturer's serial or identification number from or for, or purporting to be from or for, a vehicle or component part thereof. (b) No person shall, with intent to prejudice, damage, injure, or defraud, acquire, possess, sell, or offer for sale any genuine or counterfeit serial or identification number issued by the department, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or the vehicle registration and titling agency of any foreign jurisdiction which is from or for, or purports to be from or for, a vehicle or component part thereof. (c) Every person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in the county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, and by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).


10752. (a) No person shall, with intent to prejudice, damage, injure, or defraud, acquire, possess, sell, or offer for sale any genuine or counterfeit manufacturer's serial or identification number from or for, or purporting to be from or for, a vehicle or component part thereof. (b) No person shall, with intent to prejudice, damage, injure, or defraud, acquire, possess, sell, or offer for sale any genuine or counterfeit serial or identification number issued by the department, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or the vehicle registration and titling agency of any foreign jurisdiction which is from or for, or purports to be from or for, a vehicle or component part thereof. (c) Every person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, or in the county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, and by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).


Chapter 3.5. Motor Vehicle Chop Shops

Ca Codes (veh:10801-10804) Vehicle Code Section 10801-10804



10801. Any person who knowingly and intentionally owns or operates a chop shop is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or by a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.


10801. Any person who knowingly and intentionally owns or operates a chop shop is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for two, three, or four years, or by a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.


10802. Any person who knowingly alters, counterfeits, defaces, destroys, disguises, falsifies, forges, obliterates, or removes vehicle identification numbers, with the intent to misrepresent the identity or prevent the identification of motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, for the purpose of sale, transfer, import, or export, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.


10802. Any person who knowingly alters, counterfeits, defaces, destroys, disguises, falsifies, forges, obliterates, or removes vehicle identification numbers, with the intent to misrepresent the identity or prevent the identification of motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, for the purpose of sale, transfer, import, or export, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months, or two or three years, or by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.


10803. (a) Any person who buys with the intent to resell, disposes of, sells, or transfers, more than one motor vehicle or parts from more than one motor vehicle, with the knowledge that the vehicle identification numbers of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts have been altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, obliterated, or removed for the purpose of misrepresenting the identity or preventing the identification of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years, or by a fine of not more than sixty thousand dollars ($60,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (b) Any person who possesses, for the purpose of sale, transfer, import, or export, more than one motor vehicle or parts from more than one motor vehicle, with the knowledge that the vehicle identification numbers of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts have been altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, obliterated, or removed for the purpose of misrepresenting the identity or preventing the identification of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or by a fine of not more than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both the fine and imprisonment.


10803. (a) Any person who buys with the intent to resell, disposes of, sells, or transfers, more than one motor vehicle or parts from more than one motor vehicle, with the knowledge that the vehicle identification numbers of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts have been altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, obliterated, or removed for the purpose of misrepresenting the identity or preventing the identification of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for two, four, or six years, or by a fine of not more than sixty thousand dollars ($60,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (b) Any person who possesses, for the purpose of sale, transfer, import, or export, more than one motor vehicle or parts from more than one motor vehicle, with the knowledge that the vehicle identification numbers of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts have been altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, obliterated, or removed for the purpose of misrepresenting the identity or preventing the identification of the motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months, or two or three years, or by a fine of not more than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both the fine and imprisonment.


10804. (a) Section 10803 does not apply to a motor vehicle scrap processor who, in the normal legal course of business and in good faith, processes a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part by crushing, compacting, or other similar methods, if any vehicle identification number is not removed from the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part prior to or during the processing. (b) Section 10803 does not apply to any owner or authorized possessor of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part which has been recovered by law enforcement authorities after having been stolen or if the condition of the vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part is known to, or has been reported to, law enforcement authorities. Law enforcement authorities are presumed to have knowledge of all vehicle identification numbers on a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part which are altered, counterfeited, defaced, disguised, falsified, forged, obliterated, or removed, when law enforcement authorities deliver or return the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part to its owner or an authorized possessor after it has been recovered by law enforcement authorities after having been reported stolen.


Chapter 4. Theft And Injury Of Vehicles

Ca Codes (veh:10850-10855) Vehicle Code Section 10850-10855



10850. The provisions of this chapter apply to vehicles upon the highways and elsewhere throughout the State.


10851. (a) Any person who drives or takes a vehicle not his or her own, without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner thereof of his or her title to or possession of the vehicle, whether with or without intent to steal the vehicle, or any person who is a party or an accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (b) If the vehicle is (1) an ambulance, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 165, (2) a distinctively marked vehicle of a law enforcement agency or fire department, taken while the ambulance or vehicle is on an emergency call and this fact is known to the person driving or taking, or any person who is party or an accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, or (3) a vehicle which has been modified for the use of a disabled veteran or any other disabled person and which displays a distinguishing license plate or placard issued pursuant to Section 22511.5 or 22511.9 and this fact is known or should reasonably have been known to the person driving or taking, or any person who is party or an accessory in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, the offense is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (c) In any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b), the consent of the owner of a vehicle to its taking or driving shall not in any case be presumed or implied because of the owner's consent on a previous occasion to the taking or driving of the vehicle by the same or a different person. (d) The existence of any fact which makes subdivision (b) applicable shall be alleged in the accusatory pleading, and either admitted by the defendant in open court, or found to be true by the jury trying the issue of guilt or by the court where guilt is established by plea of guilty or nolo contendere or by trial by the court sitting without a jury. (e) Any person who has been convicted of one or more previous felony violations of this section, or felony grand theft of a vehicle in violation of subdivision (d) of Section 487 of the Penal Code, former subdivision (3) of Section 487 of the Penal Code, as that section read prior to being amended by Section 4 of Chapter 1125 of the Statutes of 1993, or Section 487h of the Penal Code, is punishable as set forth in Section 666.5 of the Penal Code. The existence of any fact that would bring a person under Section 666.5 of the Penal Code shall be alleged in the information or indictment and either admitted by the defendant in open court, or found to be true by the jury trying the issue of guilt or by the court where guilt is established by plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or by trial by the court sitting without a jury. (f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1997.


10851. (a) Any person who drives or takes a vehicle not his or her own, without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner thereof of his or her title to or possession of the vehicle, whether with or without intent to steal the vehicle, or any person who is a party or an accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (b) If the vehicle is (1) an ambulance, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 165, (2) a distinctively marked vehicle of a law enforcement agency or fire department, taken while the ambulance or vehicle is on an emergency call and this fact is known to the person driving or taking, or any person who is party or an accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, or (3) a vehicle which has been modified for the use of a disabled veteran or any other disabled person and which displays a distinguishing license plate or placard issued pursuant to Section 22511.5 or 22511.9 and this fact is known or should reasonably have been known to the person driving or taking, or any person who is party or an accessory in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, the offense is a felony punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for two, three, or four years or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (c) In any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b), the consent of the owner of a vehicle to its taking or driving shall not in any case be presumed or implied because of the owner's consent on a previous occasion to the taking or driving of the vehicle by the same or a different person. (d) The existence of any fact which makes subdivision (b) applicable shall be alleged in the accusatory pleading, and either admitted by the defendant in open court, or found to be true by the jury trying the issue of guilt or by the court where guilt is established by plea of guilty or nolo contendere or by trial by the court sitting without a jury. (e) Any person who has been convicted of one or more previous felony violations of this section, or felony grand theft of a vehicle in violation of subdivision (d) of Section 487 of the Penal Code, former subdivision (3) of Section 487 of the Penal Code, as that section read prior to being amended by Section 4 of Chapter 1125 of the Statutes of 1993, or Section 487h of the Penal Code, is punishable as set forth in Section 666.5 of the Penal Code. The existence of any fact that would bring a person under Section 666.5 of the Penal Code shall be alleged in the information or indictment and either admitted by the defendant in open court, or found to be true by the jury trying the issue of guilt or by the court where guilt is established by plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or by trial by the court sitting without a jury. (f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1997.


10851.5. Any person who takes binder chains, required under regulations adopted pursuant to Section 31510, having a value of nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less which chains are not his own, without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either permanently or temporarily to deprive the owner thereof of his title to or possession of the binder chains whether with or without intent to steal the same, or any person who is a party or accessory to or an accomplice in the unauthorized taking or stealing is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than six months or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both such fine and imprisonment. The consent of the owner of the binder chain to its taking shall not in any case be presumed or implied because of such owner's consent on a previous occasion to the taking of the binder chain by the same or a different person.


10852. No person shall either individually or in association with one or more other persons, wilfully injure or tamper with any vehicle or the contents thereof or break or remove any part of a vehicle without the consent of the owner.

10853. No person shall with intent to commit any malicious mischief, injury, or other crime, climb into or upon a vehicle whether it is in motion or at rest, nor shall any person attempt to manipulate any of the levers, starting mechanism, brakes, or other mechanism or device of a vehicle while the same is at rest and unattended, nor shall any person set in motion any vehicle while the same is at rest and unattended.


10854. Every person having the storage, care, safe-keeping, custody, or possession of any vehicle of a type subject to registration under this code who, without the consent of the owner, takes, hires, runs, drives, or uses the vehicle or who takes or removes any part thereof is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not exceeding one year or by both.

10855. Whenever any person who has leased or rented a vehicle wilfully and intentionally fails to return the vehicle to its owner within five days after the lease or rental agreement has expired, that person shall be presumed to have embezzled the vehicle.


Chapter 5. Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention

Ca Codes (veh:10900-10902) Vehicle Code Section 10900-10902



10900. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act."


10901. (a) Pursuant to Section 1872.8 of the Insurance Code, proceeds from the assessment imposed thereunder shall be used to fund prevention and increased investigation of economic automobile theft. Funds received pursuant to Section 1872.8 of the Insurance Code shall be deposited in the Motor Vehicle Account and appropriated to the Department of the California Highway Patrol for prevention and enhanced investigative efforts to deter economic automobile theft. (b) Moneys received by the commissioner pursuant to this section shall be used to fund (1) enhanced programs to prevent and investigate economic automobile theft; (2) a program directed at investigating and interdicting the export of stolen motor vehicles and stolen motor vehicle components across an international border; and (3) to operate the CAL H.E.A.T. (Californians Help Eliminate Auto Theft) program. Moneys received by a local law enforcement agency pursuant to this section shall be used to fund enhanced programs to prevent and investigate economic automobile theft and shall not be used to supplant or replace funding of existing personnel or equipment. The commissioner shall submit an annual report to the Legislature, no later than 90 days following the completion of the fiscal year, accounting for all funds received and disbursed pursuant to this section. The report shall detail (A) the uses to which those funds were put, including payment of salaries and expenses, purchase of equipment and supplies, and other expenditures by type; and (B) results achieved as a consequence of expenditures made, including the number of investigations, arrests, complaints filed, convictions, and the number of vehicles recovered and amounts of property losses saved. (c) As used in this section, "economic automobile theft" means automobile theft perpetrated for financial gain, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Theft of a motor vehicle for financial gain. (2) Reporting that a motor vehicle has been stolen for the purpose of filing a false insurance claim. (3) Engaging in any act prohibited by Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 10801) of Division 4. (4) Switching of vehicle identification numbers to obtain title to a stolen motor vehicle.


10902. The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall establish a program entitled "CAL H.E.A.T." (Californians Help Eliminate Auto Theft) for the purpose of reducing the incidence of economic auto theft in California. The program shall be an anti-auto theft program with a toll-free telephone hotline operator funded by the department using funds distributed to it pursuant to Section 10901. The hotline operator shall channel reports from the public regarding auto thefts to state and local law enforcement agencies. In the annual report, the commissioner shall report on the results of this program, including the number of calls from the public reporting a suspected motor vehicle theft, the number of arrests, complaints filed, convictions, and vehicles recovered, and the amount of property losses saved as a result of the program. If funded by admitted insurers in this state, the program may offer rewards for reports that lead to the arrest and conviction of a person engaged in economic automobile theft. If so funded, the Department of the California Highway Patrol shall establish a claims board, which shall include appointments from state and local law enforcement agencies and the insurance industry, to determine the amount of individual awards.


Chapter 5. Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention

Ca Codes (veh:10900-10904) Vehicle Code Section 10900-10904



10900. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act."


10901. (a) Pursuant to Section 1872.8 of the Insurance Code, proceeds from the assessment imposed thereunder shall be used to fund prevention and increased investigation of economic automobile theft. Funds received pursuant to Section 1872.8 shall be deposited in the Motor Vehicle Account and appropriated to the Department of the California Highway Patrol for prevention and enhanced investigative efforts to deter economic automobile theft. (b) Moneys received by the commissioner pursuant to this section shall be used to fund (1) enhanced programs to prevent and investigate economic automobile theft; (2) a program directed at investigating and interdicting the export of stolen motor vehicles and stolen motor vehicle components across an international border; and (3) to operate the CAL H.E.A.T (Californians Help Eliminate Auto Theft) program. Moneys received by a local law enforcement agency pursuant to this section shall be used to fund enhanced programs to prevent and investigate economic automobile theft and shall not be used to supplant or replace funding of existing personnel or equipment. The commissioner shall submit an annual report to the Legislature, no later than 90 days following the completion of the fiscal year, accounting for all funds received and disbursed pursuant to this section. The report shall detail (A) the uses to which those funds were put, including payment of salaries and expenses, purchase of equipment and supplies, and other expenditures by type; and (B) results achieved as a consequence of expenditures made, including the number of investigations, arrests, complaints filed, convictions, and the number of vehicles recovered and amounts of property losses saved. (c) As used in this section, "economic automobile theft" means automobile theft perpetrated for financial gain, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Theft of a motor vehicle for financial gain. (2) Reporting that a motor vehicle has been stolen for the purpose of filing a false insurance claim. (3) Engaging in any act prohibited by Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 10801) of Division 4 this code. (4) Switching of vehicle identification numbers to obtain title to a stolen motor vehicle.


10902. The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall establish a program entitled "CAL H.E.A.T." (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) for the purpose of reducing the incidence of economic auto theft in California. The program shall be an anti-auto theft program with a toll-free telephone hotline operator funded by the department using funds distributed to it pursuant to Section 10901. The hotline operator shall channel reports from the public regarding auto thefts to state and local law enforcement agencies. In the annual report, the commissioner shall report on the results of this program, including the number of calls from the public reporting a suspected motor vehicle theft, the number of arrests, complaints filed, convictions, and vehicles recovered, and the amount of property losses saved as a result of the program. If funded by admitted insurers in this state, the program may offer rewards for reports that lead to the arrest and conviction of a person engaged in economic automobile theft. If so funded, the Department of the California Highway Patrol shall establish a claims board, which shall include appointments from state and local law enforcement agencies and the insurance industry, to determine the amount of individual awards.

10904. The commissioner may develop a public education campaign to deter participation in auto insurance fraud and to encourage reporting of fraudulent claims.


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