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submitted: April 26, 1983.


No. 1082 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Northampton County, No. 453-1981.


Margaret H. Poswistilo, Assistant Public Defender, Easton, for appellant.

Elviria C. LaBarre, Assistant District Attorney, Easton, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Rowley, Wieand and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 316 Pa. Super. Page 30]

Rose Deemer was tried non-jury and was convicted of theft by receiving stolen property*fn1 and conspiracy*fn2 in connection with the taking of two chain saws from a farm supply store in Palmer Township, Northampton County. On direct appeal, after post trial motions had been denied and sentence imposed, appellant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support the guilty verdicts and that evidence regarding the discovery and seizure of one of the stolen chain saws, as well as appellant's oral statements, should have been suppressed because they were obtained following an illegal arrest. We find no merit in these contentions and, accordingly, affirm.

[ 316 Pa. Super. Page 31]

In determining the sufficiency of the evidence to convict, we view all the evidence, and permissible inferences to be drawn therefrom, in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. The test is whether, accepting as true the evidence most favorable to the Commonwealth together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, the evidence is sufficient to prove appellant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Commonwealth v. Giles, 500 Pa. 413, 415, 456 A.2d 1356, 1357 (1983); Commonwealth v. Kennedy, 499 Pa. 389, 392, 453 A.2d 927, 928 (1982); Commonwealth v. Lovette, 498 Pa. 665, 669, 450 A.2d 975, 977 (1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 1178, 103 S.Ct. 830, 74 L.Ed.2d 1025 (1983); Commonwealth v. Scarborough, 313 Pa. Super. 521, 525, 460 A.2d 310, 312 (1983); Commonwealth v. Ruth, 309 Pa. Super. 458, 460-61, 455 A.2d 700, 701 (1983); Commonwealth v. Davis, 308 Pa. Super. 431, 433-34, 454 A.2d 612, 613 (1982). In making this determination, we evaluate the entire trial record and consider all evidence actually received, whether or not the trial court's rulings thereon were correct. Commonwealth v. Waldman, 484 Pa. 217, 222-223, 398 A.2d 1022, 1025 (1979); Commonwealth v. Scarborough, supra, 313 Pa. Superior at 526, 460 A.2d at 312; Commonwealth v. Minnis, 312 Pa. Super. 53, 55, 458 A.2d 231, 232 (1983); Commonwealth v. Barnes, 310 Pa. Super. 480, 483, 456 A.2d 1037, 1038 (1983).

The Commonwealth's evidence showed that during the early morning hours of March 11, 1981, two yellow, John Deere chain saws, Model 40V, had been stolen from Seiple's Farm Equipment Company. Later on the same morning, police in Palmer Township received information from an unidentified informant that Steven Fucci, Diane Mingle, Bruce Deemer and appellant were in possession of the stolen saws and were in New Jersey. The informant stated further that someone from this group, or perhaps all of them, would be coming over the bridge from New Jersey into the City of Easton in a small green car in order to sell the saws. The Palmer Township police relayed this information at once to neighboring law enforcement agencies, including the Police Department of the City of Easton. At

[ 316 Pa. Super. Page 32]

    or about 3:30 p.m., detectives from the Easton Police Department set up surveillance at a place known as the "Trader's Den," a place known to the police to be a place where stolen goods were traded. A short time later, they observed a small, green car pull into the street which they were watching. Appellant was driving the car and was accompanied by Steven Fucci and another person. The car stopped near the rear entrance to the Trader's Den, and Fucci exited, carrying a yellow chain saw partially covered by two paper bags. He entered the Trader's Den with the saw and returned shortly thereafter, still carrying the saw. When he returned to the car, the detectives approached the vehicle, where they observed the chain saw lying on the passenger's side of the vehicle. Detective Serfass picked up the saw, matched its serial number to the serial number which had been provided by the Palmer Township Police,*fn3 and placed the occupants of the car under arrest. At the police station, appellant was told of her Miranda rights and signed a waiver thereof before giving a statement that she had "assumed" the saw to be stolen but had nevertheless agreed to drive Fucci to Easton for $5 so that Fucci could sell it.

To prove appellant guilty of theft by receiving, it was incumbent upon the Commonwealth to show that the saw was stolen, that appellant was in possession of it, and that she knew or had reason to know it was stolen. See: Commonwealth v. Peluso, 481 Pa. 641, 646, 393 A.2d 344, 347 (1978); Commonwealth v. Wilcox, 310 Pa. Super. 331, 337, 456 A.2d 637, 640 (1983); Commonwealth v. Grabowski, 306 Pa. Super. 483, 488, 452 A.2d 827, 830 (1982); Commonwealth v. Harrison, 289 Pa. Super. 126, 132, 432 A.2d 1083, 1086 (1981); Commonwealth v. Worrell, 277 Pa. Super. 386, 390, 419 A.2d 1199, 1201 (1980); 18 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 3925. Here, ...

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