Joyriding is a temporary taking of a car or motorcycle (Vehicle Code § 10851), bicycle (Penal Code § 499b(a)), or boat (Penal Code § 499b(b)), without the owner’s permission. The taking is generally thought to be for enjoyment only and is often committed by juvenile males. When the use of the vehicle, bike or boat is no longer enjoyable, the user returns or intends to return the item to the owner. Sometimes, the vehicle, bike or boat runs out of gas before it can be returned.
In this regard, joyriding differs from theft because in theft, the intent is to permanently deprive the owner. The “joyrider” never intends to keep the vehicle, bike or boat, either for personal use of to sell it.
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