Common Theft Crimes in California

theft crimes in californiaTheft of another’s property is the most common act of all crimes committed in USA. By virtue of this fact, it represents an increased degree of social danger to the economic (property) interests of citizens and state. In general, theft is expressed in a secret taking of another’s property, the essential content of which is that the thief is trying to avoid any apparent contact with the owner or title of the property or witnesses able to prevent crime or to expose the criminal.

Theft is synonymous with “larceny.” Although robbery (taking by force), burglary (taken by entering unlawfully), and embezzlement (stealing from an employer) are all commonly thought of as theft, they are distinguished by the means and methods used, and are separately designated as those types of crimes in criminal charges and statutory punishments.*

California Theft Crimes

Petty Theft

According to California law (Penal Code §484 and §488) if the value of all money, goods, services, and other things of value obtained as a result of a thief does not exceed $950, it is considered to be a petty theft. At the first time, it is considered to be a misdemeanor, nonetheless under the provisions given under Penal Code 666 a second offense can be charged as a felony.

Grand Theft:

According to California law (Penal Code §487) when the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding $950, an offense is charged to be a grand theft. There are some exceptions of cases previewed by the aforementioned article, i.e., when domestic fowls, avocados, olives, citrus or deciduous fruits, other fruits, vegetables, nuts, artichokes, or other farm crops are taken of a value exceeding $250 or when the property taken is any of the following: an automobile, horse, mare, gelding, any bovine animal, any caprine animal, mule, jack, jenny, sheep, lamb, hog, sow, boar, gilt, barrow, or pig, as well as theft of a firearm.

Grand Theft Firearm:

All thefts of any firearm are qualified as “grand thefts”. Regardless of circumstances, it is charged as a felony.

Grand Theft Auto:

According to California law (Penal Code §487) any theft of an automobile is charged to be a “grand theft.”


Every person who enters any structure with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.

Auto Burglary:

Entering into vehicle when the doors are locked is considered to be an “auto burglary” according to California law,


The fraudulent conversion of another’s property entrusted to a person who is in a position of trust by the rightful owner is considered to be embezzlement.

Receiving Stolen Property:

Buying or receiving any property that has been stolen or that has been obtained in any manner constituting theft or extortion, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained, or who conceals, sells, withholds, or aids in concealing, selling, or withholding any property from the owner, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained.


Taking of property from a person by using or threatening to use force,


Forcible misappropriation of a vehicle from its legal owner.

The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. If you have faced accusations of a theft crime, it is essential to contact an experienced California defense attorney who is will provide legal assistance. We handle every aspect of your case, from the very start through the very last court hearing, all for a flat fee agreed upon before we begin.
You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000


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