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the conscious, illegal taking of someone else’s property with the intent of turning it to one’s own benefit or using it as one’s own. Soviet criminal law covers responsibility for stealing state and public property and for stealing the personal property of citizens. A characteristic feature of stealing is a mercenary motive.
Stealing may fall into one of several categories depending on the method employed in committing the crime. The criminal codes of the Union republics recognize theft, robbery, assault with intent to rob, embezzlement or misappropriation, abuse of official position, and swindling as categories of stealing of state or social property. The categories of stealing of citizens’ personal property recognized by the codes are theft, robbery, assault with intent to rob, and swindling. Aggravating circumstances include the repetition of the crime and the stealing of large amounts. For most types of stealing, the commission of the crime by an especially dangerous recidivist is considered an aggravating circumstance, and in cases of theft, the commission of the crime with the use of weapons or by a group of persons in accordance with a plot is also an aggravating circumstance.
Stealing can be classified not only according to the method employed but also according to the amount of damage done. The stealing of state and social property is subdivided into several classifications, the first of which is petty stealing by theft, embezzlement, misappropriation, abuse of official position, or swindling where the state or social organization suffers damage amounting to not more than 50 rubles. A person guilty of petty stealing is punished by measures of social pressure or by administrative measures, such as a fine of ten to 50 rubles. If the circumstances of the case and the personality of the guilty party are such that these measures may not be applied, petty stealing is punished by deprivation of freedom for a term not exceeding six months, by corrective labor tasks without deprivation of freedom for a term not exceeding one year, or by a fine of up to 100 rubles. The same act committed for the second time or by a person previously convicted of stealing state, social, or personal property (including firearms, ammunition, explosives, and narcotics) is punished by deprivation of freedom for a term not exceeding two years, or by corrective labor without deprivation of freedom for a term not exceeding one year, or by a fine of up to 200 rubles. (Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 96).
The second classification covers stealing in small quantities (Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 93–2) and is defined as an act of theft, embezzlement, misappropriation, abuse of official position, or swindling that has caused damage not exceeding 100 rubles. If the accused is a first offender and if his personality and the circumstances of the case are such that the application of the measures of punishment specified in Articles 89,92, and 93 of the Criminal Code is not necessary, the guilty party is punished by a fine not exceeding three times the value of the stolen property.
The third classification, stealing in considerable quantities, results in damage amounting to 100 to 2,500 rubles. Stealing in considerable quantities carries responsibility under the articles of the Criminal Code that specify measures of punishment for theft, robbery, assault with intent to rob, embezzlement, misappropriation, and swindling committed without aggravating circumstances (Criminal Code of the RSFSR, arts. 89–93).
The fourth classification, stealing in large quantities, is stealing that has caused damage amounting to 2,500 to 10,000 rubles. Punishment is fixed by the articles of the Criminal Code that specify punishment for the various types of stealing committed with aggravating circumstances (for example, Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 92, sec. 3).
The fifth classification, stealing in especially large quantities (Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 93–1), results in losses amounting to more than 10,000 rubles and is punished by death with confiscation of property or by deprivation of freedom for a term of eight to 15 years with confiscation of property, with or without exile.
V. A. VLADIMIROV
What does it mean when you dream about stealing?
To steal in a dream could indicate that the dreamer is deprived and the neediness can be fulfilled where the stealing takes place—e.g., at home, the office, or school. (See also Burglar, Robbery, Thieves/Theft).