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157

As a concrete example, consider Missouri v. Coleman, where Coleman handed a teller a plastic bag and said "I need you to do me a favor. Put the money in this bag", and later as the manager approached, said "Ma'am, stop where you are and don't move any farther". Coleman was convicted of second degree robbery: but the appeals court found that he had not acted ...


98

No. This would not be illegal. You are not trespassing or breaking and entering since you have permission to be on the premises, and you are the rightful owner of the guitar so you are not depriving him of property that belongs to him. If you did this with the assistance of a law enforcement officer, rather than Bob's family, without a court order ...


84

Generally, the law would not just look at the robber's literal words, but at how a reasonable person would understand them in context. And it will assume that the robber meant them to be understood in that way. Here, a reasonable person would understand such a note to be a threat of violence, so the law will assume the robber meant it as a threat. ...


65

Maybe, Hence the Lawsuits In the absence of clear statute law these all circle around tort law. For the scooter companies, trespass to chattels, and for the affected landowners (who hire the removalists) trespass to land and nuisance seem applicable. In essence, I can’t take your stuff (trespass to chattels) but you can’t leave your stuff on my property (...


50

Grand theft, a term which is used in some jurisdictions, is "big theft". It is defined in California in terms of what and how much you steal, for instance "over $950" except over $250 for domestic fowl (and other things). It also includes any auto theft. Otherwise, it is known as petty theft ("small theft": the terms derive from French and sometimes spelled "...


44

Ohwilleke's answer is good, but there is a further point to consider. You say that Bob is your ex. Are there grounds for him thinking that this guitar was a joint purchase while you were a couple, and hence that he has a right to it? If it could be a joint purchase, you would not be stealing it back - but nor is he. You could potentially end up being sued ...


24

As the previous reply says, you can't steal something if it was yours already. That's by definition – stealing can only be of something that isn't your possession. However there are three ways you can have a problem despite this, partly referred to in another answer: If there is a law or other legal basis for the other person to have control and keep that ...


17

It wouldn't quite be theft; California theft, like theft in many places following English legal tradition, requires intent to permanently deprive the owner of property. However, it fits section 499b of the Penal Code to a T: 499b. (a) Any person who shall, without the permission of the owner thereof, take any bicycle for the purpose of temporarily ...


16

The technical difference is that theft is illegal, and adverse possession is not. I'm assuming you're talking about why there's a difference. Historically, there are two basic reasons for adverse possession. First, land lasts for a very long time, and a sale is generally invalid unless the seller has valid title. That means that no property title is secure, ...


16

How is this different than say people asking for charity donations in the street? Context is everything. Obviously, someone asking for charity donations on the street will present themselves as a legal charity, like the Salvation Army, etc. If you meant "charity" in the sense of someone panhandling Panhandling | (Merriam-Webster), most if not all people ...


15

You can't have it both ways. Either the person used words or actions that, under the circumstances, caused the teller to reasonably fear that violence will occur if the money isn't given or they didn't. If the former, it's a threat. If the latter, the teller won't give them the money. If their words caused the teller to give them money because the teller ...


12

If, at the time of application for the loan, the borrower has no intention of repaying, it appears that it is a crime. From California Penal Code section 532: (a) Every person who knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defrauds any other person of money, labor, or property, whether real or personal, or who causes ...


11

The school can confiscate a cell phone if you violated phone usage policy, because schools have broad powers to set student conduct policies. Searching the phone is a separate matter: a search requires reasonable suspicion and the search has to be narrowly related to that suspicion. As long as there is an actual policy and a violation of the policy, there ...


9

As you note, it does appear that this tenant has committed one or more crimes. In Pennsylvania crimes are prosecuted by the state, and you can begin the process by filing a private criminal complaint with your local Magisterial District Court, which will forward it to your county's District Attorney for review and prosecution. You've essentially written ...


8

It's not theft, but the donee (recipient) generally is not entitled to keep the ring. A number of states - not all - have so-called "Heart Balm" Laws, which abolish the ability to sue for a breach of a promise to marry. New York State is one of them. However, this does not bar actions for recovery of a chattel, money, or securities transferred in ...


8

First off, I wouldn't assume that this is always a prank. This is a rather infamous tactic used by bike thieves. These thieves add a second lock to "discourage" the owner from taking their bicycle, wait a few days, and then remove both locks, thus stealing your bike. Don't wait, get your bike out right away. As long as this is your own bike, you don't have ...


7

You are conflating the crime against the state of possession stolen goods with the common law tort against the owner for conversion. To your questions: How would this proceed? It seems like it would be very difficult to prove (short of getting public surveillance footage) that I even bought the item. If you read the second paragraph of the page you ...


7

The distinction exists because land is special. There is only so much of it and the law encourages productive use of land. The nineteenth century ideology which nurtured adverse possession prioritized economic development. There's that and there's also the goal of avoiding stale claims. You can't sleep on your rights. We have similar rules for physical ...


7

In theory, a store can ban you or anyone else for any reason except those protected by law against discrimination. As a practical matter, you potentially have various forms of recourse. The first thing to do is to write the the CEO of the chain, with a long detailed letter describing the incidents, and naming names. Most CEO's don't want to deal with this ...


7

Direct civil suits are not the only way to obtain remedies for property violations. Other options: Ask. You can send them a simple letter describing the violation and asking them to compensate you appropriately. Complain to authorities. If they engaged in any behavior that constitutes a crime (e.g., criminal fraud) then the state (via district or state ...


6

tl;dr: No, the dealership generally won't be able to recover the car if its act of parting with the car involved "entrusting" it to someone. That said, it can pursue Doe for fraud. U.S. Background First off, when the dealership gets swindled the situation is distinctly different from one where the car is stolen from the dealership. If stolen, we'd expect ...


6

If you take something that is yours, it is not theft (by definition). You are not allowed to commit another crime (e.g. trespass, break & enter, assault) in order to recover it. That is, you can pick up anything that belongs to you if you can legally get to it.


6

Criminal copyright infringement is defined at 18 U.S. Code § 2319. 2319 does not call copyright infringement theft, and theft is a separate crime, defined at state level (except for a few categories of theft affecting federal interests). Copyright infringement doesn't meet the elements of theft in any state. For example, California's Penal Code Section 484:...


6

There are two issues, one is the legal issue of whether what you are doing is a crime, and the other is the evidentiary issue of proving that that is what happened. If you take the phone home with the intention of keeping it ('finders keepers') then you have committed larceny (sometimes called 'theft', sometimes correctly). This specific type is called '...


6

Can you plead guilty to a crime, get probation and simultaneously avoid a conviction? Yes. In a deferred prosecution, there is not a conviction. If a defendant follows the terms of the program faithfully, the charges are dismissed and a guilty plea is never entered. It is a bit like a conviction with a probation sentence, but milder, because if you ...


6

Go to the police Taking someone’s property with the intention of permanently depriving them of it is stealing. Ask a nice police officer to accompany you to the store to help you sort it out.


5

Your question is addressed in the opening paragraph of Ballantine, Title by Adverse Possession 32:2 Harvard Law Review 135–159 (1918): Title by adverse possession sounds, at first blush, like title by theft or robbery, a primitive method of acquiring land without paying for it. When the novice is told that by the weight of authority not even good faith is ...


5

In England and Wales, theft is defined by s1 Theft Act 1968: A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it It does not matter if the victim is not the rightful owner of the property, as the law only requires that the property belongs to another: the ...


5

Since you asked about any jurisdiction, and presumably any common law jurisdiction, in which one of the elements of theft is the intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property, here's the UK* answer. Regarding borrowing specifically, the UK statute referring to theft - the Theft Act 1968 - provides for this in section 6(1): A person ...


5

Although I don't think there's a general principle that stealing a key is equivalent to stealing what it unlocks, some jurisdictions may certainly have laws that punish the theft of a key more severely. For instance, see the North Dakota Criminal Code, section 12.1-23-05, which grades theft offenses. Paragraph 3i provides that: Theft under this chapter ...


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