Common Types of Theft 

Common Types of Theft 

Every year, millions of theft offenses occur all across the world. Theft offenses can have major ramifications for the offender and the victims affected. Are you facing theft-related charges? When you have been arrested or suspected of a crime, time is of the utmost importance, which is why contact with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away is critical.

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Common Types of Theft Crimes

Theft offenses are often classified according to the quantity of property allegedly taken. Regardless of the kind of infraction, if the value exceeds $500, the crime is categorized as a felony. Harsher penalties might be imposed if any aggressive actions or weapons were used in the alleged offense.

Petty theft and grand theft

Petty theft is distinguished from grand theft by the value of the stolen goods. If you take money or products worth less than $950, you might face petty theft charges. Petty theft is punishable by up to six months in county prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Grand theft is stealing money or property worth more than $950.

As a result, it might be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a crime, the maximum penalty is three years in state jail and a $1,000 fine.




Robbery is a type of theft that involves the use of force, intimidation, or threats to steal something. Because of the added threat element, this offense sometimes carries a harsher sentence than conventional theft.

Robbery involves the perpetrator to come face-to-face with the victim to gain control over their wealth or property. This confrontation can be scary and frightening and often leaves the victim with physical, emotional, and mental scars that are difficult to heal from. Many victims of robbery experience post-traumatic stress disorder for a lifetime.

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Armed robbery

An armed robbery occurs when a gun, knife, or other weapon is used during an act of theft. An armed robbery conviction carries even greater penalties than a robbery conviction. When one uses threats, weapons (such as guns), intimidation, and violence to steal merchandise from a store or from someone’s residential property, it is called armed robbery.

Often referred to as mugging, it is one of the types of theft that has a high legal penalty as the use of violence and weapons are involved.




Embezzlement is the stealing of assets (money or property) by someone who has been trusted with such assets. This type of theft occurs most frequently in the workplace and business settings. It is characterized by a violation of trust where the perpetrator has a somewhat strong relationship with the victim.

For example, a business owner trusts his employees in the finance department to handle financial transactions and accounts. If that employee wrongfully takes money from the business’s account and transfers it to his personal account, it is called embezzlement.


Fraud is theft involving enticing the victim to hand up money or property under pretenses. Fraud is a “white collar” crime that does not involve violence. Fraud happens when someone tries to or becomes successful in deceiving someone and convincing them to give up their money or other valuable items under false pretenses. This type of crime can happen in a variety of ways.

For example, creating a fake currency and using it to make payments is not illegal. Therefore, if anyone makes fake currency and uses it for exchanges, they become liable. Another example is when someone tries to mislead the government about their actual income and commits tax fraud.

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This theft offense entails taking merchandise from a retail company. Shoplifting is one of the most prevalent property offenses in several jurisdictions, and it is penalized by a required fine ranging from $50 to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. People may have different definitions of shoplifting, but here’s what the crime usually looks like:

  • Knowingly taking possession of or carrying away merchandise
  • Not paying the purchase price of the merchandise
  • Taking the item without the merchant’s knowledge or consent
  • Intending to keep the merchandise
  • Permanently deprive the merchant of it

Receiving stolen property

It is prohibited in several places to acquire, receive, hide, or sell something that has been stolen. Receiving stolen items can be penalized as either a misdemeanor or a felony. While the rules and laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is generally a crime to deal with stolen goods.

A shopkeeper or business owner must not accept an item from an individual unless they have a legitimate reason to believe it was obtained legally and ethically. For example, a receipt from the place it was bought. Accepting and re-selling stolen goods is as punishable as stealing itself.

Writing bad checks


To be convicted of passing bad checks, a person must have knowingly drafted and attempted to use a check from an account with insufficient money to deceive the receiver. Writing bad checks is also known as check fraud and is considered a criminal act in various jurisdictions.

The purpose of this act is to prevent the other party from accepting the payment or being able to cash the check at a bank. People do this to prevent making payments by showing that they have sufficient funds in their bank when, in fact, they do not.

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Accused of Theft?

If you have been accused of theft, it is important that you understand the gravity of the situation. Punishments for theft in New Jersey are not lenient. The greater the value of the stolen is, the harsher the punishment is. You could go to jail for a period of 6 months to five years or more, depending on the facts of your case.

This is why it is essential to clear your name as soon as possible. Hire a criminal defense attorney specializing in theft charges to find evidence proving your side of the story.

There are not many excuses for theft that the courts find acceptable. However, if you were unaware of the fact that you were carrying something that belonged to someone else, an attorney can help clear your name. If you like this topic, learn how to protect yourself from identity theft.