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Criminal law the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession



(Russian, krazha), in criminal law, the secret stealing of property. The secrecy with which the property is taken, implying that the criminal is confident that his actions are not observed by the victim or other people, distinguishes theft from grabezh (open stealing) and robbery.

In the USSR the criminal codes of the Union republics establish separate liability for theft with the intent to gain possession of state or social property and theft with the intent to gain possession of personal property (for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, arts. 89 and 144). Stricter punishment is prescribed for the theft of state or social property than for the theft of personal property. Liability for the theft of state or social property on an especially large scale or for the petty theft of such property is established by special norms (for example, arts. 931 and 96 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).

Under the law the circumstances aggravating liability for theft are repeated theft, theft by a group of people in accordance with a prior agreement, theft using technical means (the latter only in the criminal codes of the RSFSR, Georgian SSR, and Tadzhik SSR), and theft causing significant loss to the victim (in theft of personal property). Especially aggravating circumstances are the commission of theft by a particularly dangerous recidivist or on a large scale (in theft of state or social property).

References in periodicals archive ?
Chris Price, head of Direct Line Travel Insurance, said: "People can fall prey to petty theft in their everyday lives, but on holiday the event can be all the more traumatic
Using such harsh language that fails--perhaps intentionally--to distinguish real safety threats from petty theft is reckless and does not serve the public interest.
Then, during the second week after the stamps disappeared, four incidents of petty theft were reported from rooms 100-120 during mid-day hours.
But the property owner was not characterized as a victim of tenant violence because the columnist claimed that the argument was not over the landlord wanting a drug addict out of her building, supposedly it was because of a petty theft.
Biodrowski and Delgado allege that the City of El Monte, the El Monte Police Department, and their personnel, falsely accused them of, and arrested them for, petty theft of a $3.
SHOPLIFTING arrests in South Wales are on the increase, amid fears the cost of living crisis is driving people to petty theft.
Other issues have included petty theft and disputes between readers.
LET'S talk about theft, let's talk about larceny, but in this case it is not petty theft, it is gigantic theft and grand larceny: the theft of a country.
It wasn't their giggling teenage idiocy that bothered me, or the casual petty theft involved.
Currently Asbos are used to tackle low-level crime and antisocial behaviour such as vandalism, petty theft, or using abusive language.
Later this month, Hesterbey will face trial on charges of burglary and petty theft.
Winsome Snowdon has run up a string of petty theft offences in recent years even though she has no need for the things she steals.