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8.139 Attempted Mail Theft

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8.139 ATTEMPTED MAIL THEFT (18 U.S.C. § 1708)

The defendant is charged in [Count _______ of] the indictment with attempted mail theft in violation of Section 1708 of Title 18 of the United States Code. In order for the defendant to be found guilty of that charge, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, the defendant intended to steal mail from a [post office] [letter box] [a private mail box] [mail receptacle] [mail route] [authorized depository for mail matter] [mail carrier]; and

Second, the defendant did something that was a substantial step toward stealing the mail.

Mere preparation is not a substantial step toward committing the crime. To constitute a substantial step, a defendant’s act or actions must demonstrate that the crime will take place unless interrupted by independent circumstances.


Jurors do not need to agree unanimously as to which particular act or actions constituted a substantial step toward the commission of a crime. United States v. Hofus, 598 F.3d 1171, 1176 (9th Cir.2010).