Friday, February 4, 2022


Law Enforcement deal with thievery of a wide variety all the time, whether it be petty theft or major embezzlement a LEO will eventually respond to investigate the incident when requested to do so. That being said, today I wanted to explore theft and discuss how those calls for service are normally dealt with.

Before we get too far into the discussion, just know that “Theft” is an umbrella term, hence it has many names throughout this country, but they all mean pretty much the same thing. At the core of it all something was taken by someone that it didn’t belong to with the intent to permanently defraud the owner of said property.

Under the umbrella of Theft, you have Carjacking, Petit Larceny, Grand Larceny, Embezzlement, Robbery, etc. The main difference involves what possession was taken and whether or not there was an intimidation tactic employed at the time of the incident. The intimidating tactic or act can be the use of violence or the presence of a weapon, or simply the tone of voice utilized to generate a fear response to aid in compliance during the incident.

A good example of the difference could be if an offender stole a package from outside of a residence without making contact with the owner of said package at all it would be deemed as Larceny or Grand Larceny depending on the value of what was taken. Now if the offender instead saw the owner with the package, approached the owner, and through an intimidation factor obtained the package. This would be deemed a Robbery because of the intimidation factor’s involvement with the incident.

When it comes to Larceny, the severity of the crime depends on the value of what was taken. Majority of states with the US utilizes a threshold of $1000 to determine whether or not the Larceny is or isn’t upgraded to a Grand Larceny. Grand Larceny is always a Felony, Robbery is always a Felony, both would always result in a custodial arrest by a Law Enforcement Officer.

Robbery calls for service tend to be in progress or just having occurred calls, hence they usually require an upgraded response by Law Enforcement Officials because there is a potentially harmful element associated with Robbery. The goal for Law Enforcement when dealing with a Robbery call for service is to make contact with the victim as soon as possible, gather a description of the offender, put said description over the radio, and set up a perimeter large enough that the offender cannot escape. Saturate the area, then take the offender into custody whenever he/she is discovered.

On the other hand, Larceny calls for service don’t require that upgraded response and are usually handled by simply gathering the facts with the owner and documenting the findings via a formal report. Additionally, Law Enforcement canvass areas in reference to potentially gathering evidence associated with the incident. The difference is that there isn’t a sense of urgency because at the time end of the day it is only property and the owner of said property is unharmed.

Theft is the umbrella term associated with all criminal actions associated with any form of stealing, throughout the country it may be labeled differently, but overall, it is the same. There are different severities associated with Theft, whether it be a fine or 15 years in prison depends on what can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have occurred in court.

Theft, the Act of Stealing from Another…