Common Theft Crimes
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What Is Theft?
- Larceny: The taking and carrying away of someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the true owner of that property.
- Burglary: Breaking and entering into another person’s home with the intent to commit a felony once inside.
- Embezzlement: Fraudulent conversion of property from the rightful owner’s name to another person by someone who had a right to possess the property (such as an accountant or financial planner).
- False Pretenses: Acquiring legitimate title to property through false representations with the intent to defraud.
Some jurisdictions continue to treat the theft crimes as separate, distinct charges, while others have consolidated them into a more general charge of “theft.”
What Are Some Common Examples of Theft Crimes?
- Automobile Theft: Crimes involving the unlawful taking of another person’s vehicle. The two most common types of automobile theft are grand theft auto and carjacking.
- Petty Theft: Theft of a small quantity of cash or low-value goods or services. Petty theft is usually a misdemeanor. The most common type of petty theft is shoplifting.
- Cyber Theft: Using a computer to access and steal financial records and other personal and confidential information. This information is often used for identity theft.
- Identity Theft: Using someone’s name, address, Social Security number, credit card, or other identifying information without their knowledge to commit other crimes.
- Extortion: Obtaining money or property through oral or written threats of physical harm or to ruin the victim’s reputation. Extortion is a felony in all states.
- Theft of Services: Obtaining services by threat, deception, tampering, or some other unlawful means. Stealing WiFi and stealing cable are the two most common forms.
Are You a Victim of Theft?
If you are a victim of theft, you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the District Attorney's office to prosecute the person who committed the theft against you.
Have You Been Accused of Theft?
If you are accused of theft, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney to learn more about your rights, defenses, and the legal ramifications under the National Stolen Property Act.
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Last Modified: 12-01-2016 10:33 AM PST
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