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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kathy said: "Surrey History Centre have the log books of the Dorking's first police constable in the early 1840s and his records for Holmwood show a litany of petty thefts, arson attempts, fights at places like the Norfolk Arms etc.
Many of those responsible for anti-social behaviour and more minor crimes such as graffiti, criminal damage and petty theft often do it as part of a bigger crowd.
RECORDS of more than 67,000 Victorian criminals, detailing crimes ranging from petty theft and drunkenness to arson and murder, are published online for the first time today.
Live bands include "Tribute to Rock" Bands to perform including PETTY THEFT "Tom Petty & the Heart Breakers", Powerage "AC/DC" and Zoo Station "U2".
How about an amnesty for rioters who committed petty theft due to police inability to enforce laws?
The suspect had an arrest record for petty theft, but there were no arrests for any violence, police said.
Petty theft and crime, and kidnap and ransom received 17 and 16 percent of the vote, respectively, with maritime security receiving only 2 percent.
Yet however polished the product, it's hardly a premise that leaps off the page, and while the show deals with major crimes, the series feels more like petty theft from CBS' playbook.
of petty theft from the shop, and anti-social behaviour nearby, with a minority of drunken youths making life difficult for law-abiding customers and staff.
Not only is he asked to care for Devon's teenage daughter, Sally, while Devon awaits bail, but his investigations into what he believed was a case of petty theft, lead him to the underworld of Boston's organised crime gangs, links with the IRA and the realisation that he may be close to solving the mystery of the stolen paintings ali those years ago.
The students take aim at the most controversial part of the law, which imposes at least 25 years to life in prison for any felony (including nonviolent, such as petty theft or drug possession) as long as an offender's criminal history includes at least two violent or serious crimes.
For years there have been cases of convictions in the courts, amidst wide publicity, of benefit fraud, petty theft, incorrect expenses' claims by some councillors and public sector staff.