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Theft Act Offences


Theft is dishonestly taking something belonging to someone else with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.  This means that just because you take something you are not necessarily guilty of theft. You can only be guilty if you are dishonest. If you accidentally walk out of a shop without paying that doesn’t make you a criminal.

A person can also only be guilty of theft if they intend that the person who owns the item won’t get it back. If you borrow something then you are not stealing it.




Burglary is when a person enters a building without permission intending to steal something, assault someone or cause unlawful damage, or where they have entered a building without permission and they steal something, assault someone or cause unlawful damage. A person can be guilty of burglary even if nothing was taken, if they were intending to steal something.



Robbery is stealing whilst either using or threatening violence. This inclusion of violence makes it a more serious offence and robbery can only be tried at the Crown Court. The maximum sentence for robbery is life imprisonment.


Handling Stolen Goods

If someone receives stolen goods, knowing that they are stolen, or if they assist someone else to deal with stolen property then they are committing the offence of handling stolen goods.

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