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theft

A person commits the criminal offense (crime) of theft—also known as stealing—by unlawfully taking or appropriating the property of another person or entity with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.

Taking or appropriating property is generally unlawful if it is done without the owner's effective consent—for example, if the property was taken by threat, deception, or extortion.


In Texas, theft is defined under the Texas Penal Code Section 31.03 as unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. Appropriation is considered unlawful if it is without the owner's effective consent, which can be withheld due to deception, coercion, or if the property is stolen. The severity of the theft charge in Texas can range from a Class C misdemeanor for property valued under $100, to a first-degree felony for property valued at $300,000 or more, or if the property stolen is of a certain type or from a certain owner, such as livestock or from a nonprofit organization. Penalties for theft can include fines, restitution, and imprisonment, and the specific consequences depend on the value of the property stolen and the circumstances of the offense.


Texas Statutes & Rules

Federal Statutes & Rules

18 U.S.C. § 641 - Public money, property or records
This statute is relevant as it addresses the theft or conversion of government property, which is a form of theft.

Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to their use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to their use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the value of such property does not exceed the sum of $1,000, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. The word 'value' means face, par, or market value, or cost price, either wholesale or retail, whichever is greater.

18 U.S.C. § 2314 - Transportation of stolen goods, securities, moneys, fraudulent State tax stamps, or articles used in counterfeiting
This statute is relevant to the topic of theft as it criminalizes the transportation of stolen goods across state lines, which is a common aspect of theft crimes.

Whoever transports, transmits, or transfers in interstate or foreign commerce any goods, wares, merchandise, securities or money, of the value of $5,000 or more, knowing the same to have been stolen, converted or taken by fraud; or Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transports or causes to be transported, or induces any person to travel in, or to be transported in interstate or foreign commerce in the execution or concealment of a scheme or artifice to defraud that person of money or property having a value of $5,000 or more; or Whoever, with unlawful or fraudulent intent, transports in interstate or foreign commerce any falsely made, forged, altered, or counterfeited securities or tax stamps, or any articles used in counterfeiting—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

18 U.S.C. § 2315 - Sale or receipt of stolen goods, securities, moneys, or fraudulent State tax stamps
This statute is relevant as it pertains to the receipt or sale of stolen property, which is a key component of the crime of theft.

Whoever receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of any goods, wares, or merchandise, securities, or money of the value of $5,000 or more, or pledges or accepts as security for a loan any goods, wares, or merchandise, or securities, of the value of $500 or more, which have crossed a State or United States boundary after being stolen, unlawfully converted, or taken, knowing the same to have been stolen, unlawfully converted, or taken; or Whoever receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of any falsely made, forged, altered, or counterfeited securities or tax stamps, or any articles used in counterfeiting, knowing the same to have been falsely made, forged, altered, or counterfeited—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

18 U.S.C. § 1029 - Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices
This statute is relevant to theft involving access devices, such as credit cards, which is a modern form of theft.

Whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses, or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices; or Whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud possesses fifteen or more devices which are counterfeit or unauthorized access devices; or Whoever without the authorization of the issuer of the access device, knowingly and with intent to defraud solicits a person for the purpose of—(1) offering an access device; or (2) selling information regarding or an application to obtain an access device—Shall, if the offense affects interstate or foreign commerce, be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section. Penalties include fines and imprisonment for up to 20 years, depending on the severity of the offense and the number of devices involved.