Case Caption: Ezra Thomas v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2016-0029Date: 11/19/2018Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary: A conviction for the crime of possession of stolen property is affirmed. The plain meaning of 14 V.I.C. § 2101(a) is clear, and it was not necessary for the prosecution to prove who stole the property, since a conviction under this statute may be based on proof (1) that the defendant bought, received or possessed the property (2) that it was obtained in an unlawful manner; (3) that the defendant knew or had cause to believe that the property was obtained in an unlawful manner; and (4) that the property had a minimum value of $ 500. Given the victim’s testimony about the value of the tablet computer and that was stolen from her, use of its built-in alarm to locate the device, sworn police evidence, and the defendant’s own post-arrest admissions, there was ample evidence from which a rational jury could conclude that the required elements for this crime were proven beyond a reasonable doubt, including the defendant’s dominion and control over the stolen property and his knowledge or reason to know that it had been unlawfully obtained. In addition, evidence that a defendant was in possession of recently stolen property, without a reasonable explanation, gives rise to a permissible inference of guilt. The contention that there was insufficient evidence of possession of stolen property to convict the defendant 14 V.I.C. § 2101(a) is rejected, and the conviction is affirmed.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion