Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 8083-88-11.
Leonard N. Sosnov, Asst. Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Kathy L. Echteruach, Asst. Dist. Atty., for Com., participating party.
Wieand, Beck and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 388 Pa. Super. Page 551]
Andre Scott, a fifteen year old boy, was adjudicated delinquent on a petition alleging that he had committed the crimes of theft by receiving stolen property,*fn1 unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,*fn2 and criminal conspiracy.*fn3 On appeal from a dispositional order committing him to detention, Scott contends that the evidence was insufficient to
[ 388 Pa. Super. Page 552]
show that he ever had possession or control of the stolen vehicle or that he knew the vehicle to be stolen. Although these issues are interesting, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the juvenile court's finding.
In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, we view all evidence received at the adjudicatory hearing, as well as all reasonable inferences therefrom, in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. We then determine whether "the trier of fact could have found that each element of the offense charged was supported by evidence and inferences sufficient in law to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." Commonwealth v. Jackson, 506 Pa. 469, 472-473, 485 A.2d 1102, 1103 (1984). See also: Commonwealth v. Stark, 363 Pa. Super. 356, 526 A.2d 383 (1987); Commonwealth v. Quarles, 361 Pa. Super. 272, 522 A.2d 579 (1987); In the Interest of LaMore, 356 Pa. Super. 322, 514 A.2d 633 (1986).
On November 15, 1988, at or about 7:50 p.m., Philadelphia Police Officer Stanley Panikowski observed a 1982 Buick Regal pass his unmarked car at a high rate of speed. He and his partner followed the Buick vehicle as it violated a stop sign and struck two parked vehicles. When the police vehicle was about a car length away, the driver and a passenger in the Buick leaped from the vehicle and fled in different directions. Panikowski pursued the passenger as he ran down an alley. Although conceding that he lost sight of the person whom he was pursuing, Panikowski testified that moments later he observed the passenger walking toward him. Panikowski apprehended the male passenger, who was identified as Andre Scott, and returned him to the scene of the accident. The Buick was then found to have been stolen less than twelve (12) hours earlier. The steering column had been broken. Scott testified in his own behalf that he had not been a passenger in the Buick and had not been the person who had run therefrom. The hearing court expressly rejected appellant's explanation.
To convict appellant of theft by receiving stolen property, the Commonwealth was required to prove beyond
[ 388 Pa. Super. Page 553]
a reasonable doubt that the car had been stolen, that appellant had been in possession of it, and that he had known or had reason to know it was stolen. See: 18 Pa.C.S. § 3925; Commonwealth v. Deemer, 316 Pa. Super. 28, 32, 462 A.2d 776, 778 (1983). See also: Commonwealth v. Peluso, 481 Pa. 641, 393 A.2d 344 (1978); Commonwealth v. Jerry, 323 Pa. Super. 299, 470 A.2d 601 (1983); Commonwealth v. Grabowski, 306 Pa. Super. 483, 452 A.2d 827 (1982). Similarly, to convict on a charge of unauthorized use of an automobile, the Commonwealth was required to prove that appellant had been operating a vehicle without the owner's consent and that appellant ...