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lindagray

Theft

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In common usage, theft is the taking of another person's property or services without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting, library theft, and fraud (obtaining money under false pretenses). In some jurisdictions, theft is considered to be synonymous with larceny; in others, theft has replaced larceny. Someone who carries out an act of or makes a career of theft is known as a thief. The act of theft is also known by other terms such as stealing, thieving, and filching.

Theft is the name of a statutory offence in California, Canada, England and Wales, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Australian states of South Australia, and Victoria.

Canada
Section 322(1) of the Criminal Code provides the general definition for theft in Canada:

322. (1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his/her use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent

(a) to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;
(b) to pledge it or deposit it as security;
(c) to part with it under a condition with respect to its return that the person who parts with it may be unable to perform; or
(d) to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted.

United Kingdom
England and Wales
In England and Wales, theft is a statutory offence, created by section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968. This offence replaces the former offences of larceny, embezzlement and fraudulent conversion.

The marginal note to section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 describes it as a "basic definition" of theft. Sections 1(1) and (2) provide:

1.-(1) A person is guilty of theft, if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and "thief" and "steal" shall be construed accordingly.
(2) It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief’s own benefit.
Sections 2 to 6 of the Theft Act 1968 have effect as regards the interpretation and operation of section 1 of that Act. Except as otherwise provided by that Act, sections 2 to 6 of that Act apply only for the purposes of section 1 of that Act.

United States
In the United States, plenary regulation of theft exists only at the state level, in the sense that most thefts by default will be prosecuted by the state in which the theft occurred.[citation needed] The federal government has criminalized certain narrow categories of theft which directly affect federal agencies or interstate commerce.
The Model Penal Code includes categories of theft by unlawful taking or by unlawfully disposing of property, theft by deception (fraud), theft by extortion, theft by failure to take measures to return lost or mislaid or mistakenly delivered property, theft by receipt of stolen property, theft by failing to make agreed disposition of received funds, and theft of services.

Although many U.S. states have retained larceny as the primary offense, some have now adopted theft provisions.

Grand theft, also called grand larceny, is a term used throughout the United States designating theft that is large in magnitude or serious in potential penological consequences. Grand theft is contrasted with petty theft, also called petit theft, that is of smaller magnitude or lesser seriousness.

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