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Penal Code § 484/488, 487, 503, 211

Below are some of the most common types of theft crimes.

Petty Theft (Shoplifting)

Also known as larceny, to commit a petty theft under Penal Code 484/488 one must, 1) take possession of property (worth less than $950) that is not their own; 2) take it without permission, 3) when they took it they intended to deprive the owner permanently or for a significant amount of time, and 4) the property was moved for at least some distance.

Grand Theft

The legal definition of grand theft (Penal Code 487) mirrors that of petty theft, only that the value of the property must be larger than $950.


Embezzlement is commonly referred to as employee theft and employee fraud.

It is defined under Penal Code 503 as unlawfully taking something from another that has been entrusted to you. The "entrusting" is the major difference between embezzlement and other types of theft. In order to be convicted of embezzling property, it must be property that you legally possessed, or had authority to access.

Although embezzlement used to be a crime in and of itself, it now falls under the umbrella of PC 484. Embezzlement is simply one way to commit a theft. The value of the property that you allegedly embezzle will determine whether you are penalized under Penal Code 488 petty theft (less than $950), or Penal Code 487 grand theft (more than $950).


Penal Code Section 211 is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear. As you see, the difference between simple theft offenses is that it is from the possession of another with force/fear. Robbery is punishable by two to nine years in the state prison.

Theft crimes also could include means by fraud, trick or device, or even failing to return found property (Penal Code § 485).

If you are facing theft criminal charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can adequately protect your rights and raise a strong defense on your behalf!

To schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with our firm, call our office at:

844-RICOLAW (844-742-6529)

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