(b) Any person in possession or control of any personal property by virtue of or subject to a written lease who, with intent to defraud and without written consent of the owner, disposes of such property by sale or transfer, or, after receiving a written notice to return the property or otherwise make the property available to the lessor, secretes or converts such property to his own use and in so doing places the property in a location other than the locations described in the written lease, or removes or causes to be removed such property from the state shall be deemed guilty of the larceny of such property.
In any prosecution under the provisions of this subsection, written notice may be mailed by certified mail, addressed to the consumer at the address of the consumer stated in the lease, and served on the consumer within ten days of the expiration of the lease, which notice shall state that the lease has expired and that consumer has ten days from receipt of such notice to return the leased property. Proof that the consumer failed to return the property within ten days of receiving such notice shall in any prosecution under this subsection constitute prima facie evidence that the consumer intended to defraud the owner.
Whenever the consumer is a resident of the county in which the lease was contracted, the dealer, after written notice to the consumer within ten days after the expiration of the lease, has the right to immediate possession of the leased property, without formal process to secure return and possession of the leased property, if this can be done without breach of the peace. The dealer is not liable to the consumer for any damages for any action taken that is reasonable, necessary and incidental to the reclaiming or taking possession of the leased property.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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