What is theft?
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, an individual commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent:
- to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;
- to pledge it or deposit it as security;
- to part with it under a condition with respect to its return that the person who parts with it may be unable to perform; or
- to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted.
A person commits theft when, with intent to steal anything, he or she moves it or causes it to be moved, or begins to cause it to become movable.
In order to be convicted of theft, the Crown Prosecutor will have to prove the following:
- identity of accused
- date and time of incident
- jurisdiction (province in which the act occurred)
- property was owned by someone
- value of the property
- continuity of the property
- file photo of property or actual property as exhibits (s. 491.2)
- accused took or converted property
- the owner did not give permission for the accused to take or convert it
- the items were not given to the accused
- the accused intended to deprive the owner of the property
Theft is defined as either under $5,000 or over $5,000. The greater the dollar value of the theft, the more severe the punishment if convicted.