TITLE 21

Motor Vehicles

Miscellaneous

CHAPTER 67. THEFT, UNAUTHORIZED USE AND DAMAGE TO MOTOR VEHICLES

Subchapter I. General Provisions


No person shall, individually or in association with 1 or more others, wilfully break, injure, tamper with or remove any part or parts of any vehicle for the purpose of injuring, defacing or destroying such vehicle, or temporarily or permanently preventing its useful operation, or for any purpose against the will or without the consent of the owner of such vehicle or shall in any other manner wilfully or maliciously interfere with or prevent the running or operation of such vehicle.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 30; Code 1935, § 5568; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 6701.;

(a) No person shall drive another person's vehicle without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent temporarily to deprive the owner of possession of such vehicle, but without intent to steal the vehicle. The consent of the owner of a vehicle to its taking or driving shall not in any case be presumed or implied because of such owner's consent on a previous occasion to the taking or driving of such vehicle by the same or a different person.

(b) Whoever violates this section shall be fined not less than $115 nor more than $575, or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both; for each subsequent like offense the person shall be fined not less than $230 and imprisoned for not less than 30 days nor more than 2 years.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 28; 37 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 9; Code 1935, § 5566; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 6702; 53 Del. Laws, c. 358; 68 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 58; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

No person shall, without the consent of the owner or person in charge of a vehicle, climb into or upon such vehicle with the intent to commit any crime, malicious mischief or injury thereto or, while a vehicle is at rest and unattended, attempt to manipulate any of the levers, starting crank or other starting device, brakes or other mechanism thereof or to set the vehicle in motion.

This section shall not apply when any such act is done in an emergency in furtherance of public safety or convenience or by or under the direction of an officer in the regulation of traffic or performance of any other official duty.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 31; Code 1935, § 5569; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 6703.;

Whoever, with intent to procure or pass title to a motor vehicle or vehicle which the person knows or has reason to believe has been stolen, receives or transfers possession of the same from or to another or has in possession any motor vehicle or vehicle which the person knows or has reason to believe has been stolen and who is not an officer of the law engaged at the time in the performance of duty as such officer, is guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than $575 nor more than $5,750, or imprisoned not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years or both.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, §§ 29, 33; Code 1935, §§ 5567, 5571; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 6704; 57 Del. Laws, c. 547; 68 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 60; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) A person who wilfully removes to falsify or falsifies an identification number of a vehicle, a bicycle or an engine for a vehicle is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) A person who wilfully and with intent to conceal or misrepresent the identity of a vehicle, a bicycle or engine removes or falsifies an identification number of the vehicle or engine is guilty of a felony.

(c) A person who buys, sells, receives, possesses or disposes of a vehicle, a bicycle or an engine of a vehicle, knowing that an identification number of the vehicle or engine has been removed or falsified, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(d) A person who buys, sells, receives, possesses or disposes of a vehicle, a bicycle or an engine for a vehicle, with knowledge that an identification number of the vehicle or engine has been removed or falsified and with intent to conceal or misrepresent the identity of the vehicle or engine, is guilty of a felony.

(e) A person who removes a license/registration plate from a vehicle or affixes to a vehicle a license/registration plate not authorized by law for use on it, in either case with intent to conceal or misrepresent the identity of the vehicle or its owner, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(f) An identification number may be placed on a vehicle, a bicycle or engine by its manufacturer in the regular course of business or placed or restored on a vehicle, a bicycle or engine by authority of the Division without violating this section; an identification number so placed or restored is not falsified.

(g) No person, unless duly authorized by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles or an agent of the Director, shall remove or alter a license/registration plate from any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or part thereof, or have in possession any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or part thereof, where the license/registration has been removed without first obtaining permission, in writing, from the said Director.

(h) Whoever is found guilty of a misdemeanor under this section shall be fined not less than $57.50 nor more than $575, or imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than 6 months or both. Whoever is found guilty of a felony under this section shall be fined not less than $575 nor more than $5,750, or imprisoned not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years or both. Superior Court shall have jurisdiction. In addition to any fine levied for conviction of theft under this section, the defendant shall be ordered to pay restitution to the victim of the theft.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, §§ 44, 50; Code 1935, §§ 5582, 5588; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 6705; 57 Del. Laws, c. 544; 58 Del. Laws, c. 202; 63 Del. Laws, c. 60, §§ 1-6, 8; 68 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 61; 71 Del. Laws, c. 61, §§ 1, 2.;

(a) Any member of the State Highway Police or any automobile inspector shall summarily seize in the name of the State and take from any person, other than the rightful owner thereof, any motorcycle or motor vehicle or other vehicle in the person's possession, if the manufacturer's serial number or any other manufacturer's trade or distinguishing number or identification mark has been removed and effaced, changed, covered or destroyed or wherever there is reasonable grounds to believe such serial number, trade number or other distinguishing number or identification mark has been removed and effaced, changed, covered or destroyed. The officer making the seizure shall at once deliver the motorcycle or motor vehicle or other vehicle to the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security (hereinafter "Secretary") who may hold the motor vehicle or other vehicle until the Secretary has determined the true owner thereof. Upon such determination, the Secretary shall notify the true owner that the Secretary has such motorcycle or motor vehicle or other vehicle in possession, and the Secretary shall deliver the same to such owner upon payment to the Secretary of the cost of the delivery.

(b) The Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security shall hold in possession any motorcycle or motor vehicle or other vehicle seized under subsection (a) of this section for at least 10 days after such seizure, during which time the person from whom the vehicle was taken shall have the right to replevy it.

(c) If, at the end of 10 days, the person from whom the said vehicle or engine has been seized fails to provide the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, or 1 of the Director's authorized agents, sufficient proof of the origin and the ownership of a vehicle and the origin of its engine, the vehicle or engine shall be considered abandoned and disposed of pursuant to Chapter 44 of this title.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 140; Code 1935, § 5678; 42 Del. Laws, c. 167, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 6706; 57 Del. Laws, c. 546, §§ 1-3; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 20; 59 Del. Laws, c. 543, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, §§ 111, 112.;

(a) Whoever violates this chapter shall be fined not less than $28.75 nor more than $115, or imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days or both. For each subsequent like offense the person shall be fined not less than $115 nor more than $230, or imprisoned not less than 90 days nor more than 6 months or both.

(b) This section shall not apply to violations for which a specific punishment is provided in this chapter.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 32; 37 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 10; Code 1935, § 5570; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 6707; 68 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 59; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person, unless duly authorized by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, shall have in possession any blank certificate of title, blank registration card, blank vehicle identification plate, warranty sticker or vehicle inspection card.

(b) No person, unless duly authorized by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, shall sell or deliver any blank certificate of title, blank registration card, vehicle identification plate, warranty sticker or vehicle inspection card.

(c) Any person found guilty of the violation of this section shall be guilty of a class E felony as the same is defined in Chapter 42 of Title 11 and shall be sentenced in accordance therewith.

59 Del. Laws, c. 542, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person, unless duly authorized by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles or an agent of the Director, shall remove or alter a vehicle identification plate, warranty or certification sticker or confidential vehicle identification number from any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or part thereof, or have in possession any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or part thereof, where the vehicle identification plate, warranty or certification sticker or confidential vehicle identification number has been removed without first obtaining permission, in writing, from the said Director.

(b) Any person found guilty of the violation of this section shall be guilty of a class E felony as the same is defined in Chapter 42 of Title 11 and shall be sentenced in accordance therewith.

59 Del. Laws, c. 557, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person shall have in possession an assigned certificate of title, registration card, vehicle identification plate or warranty sticker or deliver for sale any assigned certificate of title, registration card, vehicle identification plate or warranty sticker unless such motor vehicle document is accompanied by 75% of the vehicle described on the assigned certificate of title, registration card, vehicle identification plate or warranty sticker.

(b) Any person found guilty of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a class E felony as the same is defined in Chapter 42 of Title 11 and shall be sentenced in accordance therewith.

59 Del. Laws, c. 558, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;