Theft needs no explanation, but if you are talking about larceny, you are describing theft by using a legal term. Taking away someone’s belongings without the owner knowing about it is the simplest definition of theft. Still, to establish it from a legal angle, it is necessary to highlight the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it. Theft crimes may be of different types, but broadly there are two types aka.ms/remoteconnect of thefts – petty thefts and grand thefts.
In this article, we will discuss the types of thefts to have a clear understanding of what is petty theft. Instead of defining what constitutes petty theft, it is easier to define grand theft instead so that anything that falls beyond it amounts to petty theft.
Grand theft vs. petty theft
As the name implies, Grand theft is a serious crime, and in some jurisdictions, it might be a first degree theft. Although the state laws about theft differ, there are some common considerations for determining grand theft. Most states follow the guideline that any stolen property worth between $500 and $1000 constitutes Grand theft. If a property is taken from a person without using force or fear, but by other means like picking pockets, then it is Grand theft. Certain other types of thefts like car thefts and stealing some types of animals are typical Grand thefts, regardless of the value.
Any theft that does not qualify for Grand theft is petty theft and includes second degree theft or intermediate offense. Some states like Washington have a first degree, second degree, and third degree theft.
Shoplifting – Merchandize theft
Some states specifically have laws to define shoplifting. Other states that do not have specific laws about shoplifting might prosecute shoplifting as a crime within the broader context of thefts. Regardless of the manner of prosecution, it is clear that taking any material from a store without paying for it first is a crime. It includes actions like taking away any item displayed for sale at any retail outlet without the merchant’s knowledge or obtaining consent to keep the merchandise permanently to deprive the merchant of it and, above all, not paying for it.
Even if the thief does not take away the item but conceals it, it can amount to theft in the lines of willful concealment of merchandise. In such cases, the offender might still be present at the store when hiding the item.
Theft that leads to loss of property
Keeping lost property can turn you into a thief if the finder of the property can return the property to the owner. However, it is vital to establish that the person in possession of the property, despite being aware of its owner, still holds on to it. On the contrary, if the person picks up the property while being ignorant about its owner, like picking up a toy lying on the road, the person is not guilty of theft.
Receiving stolen goods is also theft if it is proved that the property was stolen before passing hands.