theft

(redirected from thefts)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

Theft

A criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person's consent.

The term theft is sometimes used synonymously with Larceny. Theft, however, is actually a broader term, encompassing many forms of deceitful taking of property, including swindling, Embezzlement, and False Pretenses. Some states categorize all these offenses under a single statutory crime of theft.

Cross-references

Burglary; Robbery.

theft

n. the generic term for all crimes in which a person intentionally and fraudulently takes personal property of another without permission or consent and with the intent to convert it to the taker's use (including potential sale). In many states, if the value of the property taken is low (for example, less than $500) the crime is "petty theft," but it is "grand theft" for larger amounts, designated misdemeanor, or felony, respectively. Theft is synonymous with "larceny." Although robbery (taking by force), burglary (taken by entering unlawfully), and embezzlement (stealing from an employer) are all commonly thought of as theft, they are distinguished by the means and methods used, and are separately designated as those types of crimes in criminal charges and statutory punishments. (See: larceny, robbery, burglary, embezzlement)

theft

noun burglary, embezzlement, felonious taking, filchery, fraudulent taking, furtum, larceny, looting, misappropriation, peculation, pilferage, pilfering, robbery, stealing, swindling, thievery, wrongful taking
Associated concepts: theft of services
Foreign phrases: Contrectatio rei alienae animo furando, est furtum.The touching or removing of another's propprty, with an intention of stealing, is theft.
See also: burglary, conversion, embezzlement, housebreaking, larceny, misappropriation, plunder, robbery, spoliation

theft

in English law, now defined in statutory terms as the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. The law has, however, been complicated by semantic arguments, leading the Court of Appeal to say that the law is in urgent need of reform to make cases understandable to juries. Wheel-clamping is not theft in England (contrary to the position in Scotland) because there is not the intention to permanently deprive.

In Scots criminal law, the felonious taking or appropriation (or retention) of the property of another without his consent and (in most cases, but not necessarily) with the intention to deprive him of it permanently. Wheel-clamping has been held to be theft in Scotland, even although the vehicle is not moved by the clamper.

THEFT, crimes. This word is sometimes used as synonymous with larceny, (q.v.) but it is not so technical. Ayliffe's Pand. 581 2 Swift's Dig. 309.
     2. In the Scotch law, this is a proper and technical word, and signifies the secret and felonious abstraction of the property of another for sake of lucre, without his consent. Alison, Princ. Cr. Law of Scotl. 250.

References in periodicals archive ?
Other high-profile thefts include bridge structures, rails from rail lines and various metals from power plants and other buildings.
Identity theft, according to the FBI, is one the fastest-growing crimes in America, with 10 million victims every year.
The recent ChoicePoint data breach affected thousands, but a recent study reveals that consumers are more likely to become identity theft victims via two of the most old-fashioned methods--Dumpster diving and phone fraud.
At least one of them will be a member, sometimes under an alias, of the club the group targeted for locker thefts.
I still believe that most of these thefts are joy riders,'' Carn said.
Cargo theft has mushroomed in the last few years, giving insurers new headaches and new opportunities.
Before Julie's apprehension, two other employees were waiting to see what their employer would do about these thefts, their reasoning being that if another employee could steal and get away with it, so could they.
Banks are missing a valuable opportunity to raise customer awareness of identity theft prevention nationwide, according to a leading security expert.
Investigators say mail thefts have occurred in Gorman, Lake Hughes, Lake Elizabeth and elsewhere in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.
Because the pattern of annual rings and the shape of the tree trunk provide unique information similar to fingerprints, the officer took a cutting from the end of each log for possible comparisons in any future thefts.
A few of the measures we have taken to prevent in-house theft may seem harsh to some.