Law

Georgia Codes

TITLE 16 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES

CHAPTER 8 – OFFENSES INVOLVING THEFT

ARTICLE 1 – THEFT

§ 16-8-1 – Definitions

O.C.G.A. 16-8-1 (2010) 16-8-1. Definitions As used in this article, the term: (1) “Deprive” means, without justification: (A) To withhold property of another permanently or temporarily; or (B) To dispose of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it. (2) “Financial institution” means a bank, insurance company, credit union, building and loan association, investment trust, or other organization held out to the public as a place of deposit of funds or medium of savings or collective investment. (3) “Property of another” includes property in which any person other than the accused has an interest but does not include property belonging to the spouse of an accused or to them jointly.

§ 16-8-2 – Theft by taking

O.C.G.A. 16-8-2 (2010) 16-8-2. Theft by taking A person commits the offense of theft by taking when he unlawfully takes or, being in lawful possession

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thereof, unlawfully appropriates any property of another with the intention of depriving him of the property, regardless of the manner in which the property is taken or appropriated.

§ 16-8-3 – Theft by deception

O.C.G.A. 16-8-3 (2010) 16-8-3. Theft by deception (a) A person commits the offense of theft by deception when he obtains property by any deceitful means or artful practice with the intention of depriving the owner of the property. (b) A person deceives if he intentionally: (1) Creates or confirms another’s impression of an existing fact or past event which is false and which the accused knows or believes to be false; (2) Fails to correct a false impression of an existing fact or past event which he has previously created or confirmed; (3) Prevents another from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the property involved; (4) Sells or otherwise transfers or encumbers property intentionally failing to disclose a substantial and valid known lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether such impediment is or is not a matter of official record; or (5) Promises performance of services which he does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed. Evidence of failure to perform standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction under this subsection. (c) “Deceitful means” and “artful practice” do not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.

§ 16-8-4 – Theft by conversion

O.C.G.A. 16-8-4 (2010) 16-8-4. Theft by conversion (a) A person commits the offense of theft by conversion when, having lawfully obtained funds or other property of another including, but not limited to, leased or rented personal property, under an agreement or other known legal obligation to make a specified application of such funds or a specified disposition of such property, he knowingly converts the funds or property to his own use in violation of the agreement or legal obligation. This Code section applies whether the application or disposition is to be made from the funds or property of another or from the accused’s own funds or property in equivalent amount when the agreement contemplates that the accused may deal with the funds or property of another as his own. (b) When, under subsection (a) of this Code section, an officer or employee of a government or of a financial institution fails to pay on an account, upon lawful demand, from the funds or property of another held by him, he is presumed to have intended to convert the funds or property to his own use. (c)(1) As used in this subsection, the term “personal property” means personal property having a replacement cost value greater than $100.00, excluding any late fees and penalties, and includes heavy equipment as defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 10-1-731 and tractors and farm equipment primarily designed for use in agriculture. (2) Any person having any personal property in such person’s possession or under such person’s control by virtue of a lease or rental agreement who fails to return the personal property within five days, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded, after a letter demanding return of the personal property has been mailed to such person by certified or registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at such

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person’s last known address by the owner of the personal property or by the owner’s agent shall be presumed to have knowingly converted such personal property to such person’s own use in violation of such lease or agreement. (3) In the event that any personal property is not returned as provided for in the lease or rental agreement and the court orders the lessor or renter to pay replacement costs, replacement costs shall include but not be limited to: (A) The market value of the personal property. The market value shall be established by the owner of the property by providing from a supplier of such or reasonably similar personal property a current quotation of the value of the personal property which is of like quality, make, and model of the personal property being replaced. The value to be awarded shall be the higher of: (i) The value on the date when the conversion occurred; or (ii) The value on the date of the trial; (B) All rental charges from the date the rental agreement was executed until the date of the trial or the date that the property was recovered, if recovered; and (C) Interest on the unpaid balance each month at the current legal rate from the date the court orders the lessor or renter to pay replacement costs until the date the judgment is satisfied in full. (4) If as a part of the order of the court the lessor or renter is placed on probation, supervision of said probation shall not be terminated until all replacement costs, fees, charges, penalties, interest, and other charges are paid in full. All payments relative to this Code section shall be made to the appropriate court of jurisdiction and the court shall make distribution to the owner within 30 days of receipt thereof. (5) In the event that the owner incurs any expenses in the process of locating a lessor or renter who did not return any personal property according to the lease or rental agreement, the court shall provide that the lessor or renter reimburse the owner for those expenses which may include, but not be limited to, credit reports, private detective fees, investigation fees, fees charged by a law enforcement agency for such services as police reports, background checks, fees involved with swearing out a warrant for incarceration, and any other bona fide expenses.

§ 16-8-5 – Theft of services

O.C.G.A. 16-8-5 (2010) 16-8-5. Theft of services A person commits the offense of theft of services when by deception and with the intent to avoid payment he knowingly obtains services, accommodations, entertainment, or the use of personal property which is available only for compensation.

§ 16-8-5.1 – Circumstances permitting inference of intent to avoid payment; exceptions

O.C.G.A. 16-8-5.1 (2010) 16-8-5.1. Circumstances permitting inference of intent to avoid payment; exceptions The trier of fact may infer that the accused intended to avoid payment due for the rental or lease of any personal property in any prosecution pursuant to Code Section 16-8-2, relating to theft by taking; 16-8-3, relating to theft by deception; 16-8-4, relating to theft by conversion; or 16-8-5, relating to theft of services; if a person knowingly: (1) Used false identification; (2) Provided false information on a written contract; (3) Made, drew, uttered, executed, or delivered an instrument for the payment of money on any bank or other depository in exchange for present consideration, knowing that it would not be honored by the

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drawee; (4) Abandoned any property at a location that is not the location agreed upon for return and that would not be reasonably known to the owner; (5) Returned any property to a location that would not reasonably be known to the owner without notifying the owner; or (6) Returned any property at a time beyond posted business hours of the owner. No person shall be convicted under Code Section 16-8-2, relating to theft by taking; 16-8-3, relating to theft by deception; 16-8-4, relating to theft by conversion; or 16-8-5, relating to theft of services; where there was an agreement to delay payment for such property or services or the accused makes payment in full within two business days after returning the property or obtaining the services.

§ 16-8-5.2 – Retail property fencing; forfeiture; related matters

O.C.G.A. 16-8-5.2 (2010) 16-8-5.2. Retail property fencing; forfeiture; related matters (a) As used in this Code section, the term: (1) “Retail property” means any new article, product, commodity, item, or component intended to be sold in retail commerce. (2) “Retail property fence” means a person or entity that buys, sells, transfers, or possesses with the intent to sell or transfer retail property that such person knows or should have known was stolen. (3) “Value” means the retail value of the item as stated or advertised by the affected retail establishment, to include applicable taxes. (b) A person commits the offense of retail property fencing when such persons receives, disposes of, or retains retail property which was unlawfully taken or shoplifted over a period not to exceed 180 days with the intent to: (1) Transfer, sell, or distribute such retail property to a retail property fence; or (2) Attempt or cause such retail property to be offered for sale, transfer, or distribution for money or other things of value. (c) Whoever knowingly receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of retail property with the intent to distribute any retail property which is known or should be known to have been taken or stolen in violation of this subsection with the intent to distribute the proceeds, or to otherwise promote, manage, carry on, or facilitate an offense described in this subsection, shall have committed the offense of retail property fencing. (d) (1) It shall not be necessary in any prosecution under this Code section for the state to prove that any intended profit was actually realized. The trier of fact may infer that a particular scheme or course of conduct was undertaken for profit from all of the attending circumstances. (2) It shall not be a defense to violating this Code section that the property was obtained by means other than through the commission of a theft offense if the property was explicitly represented to the accused as being obtained through the commission of a theft. (e) Any property constituting proceeds derived from or realized through a violation of this Code section shall be subject to forfeiture to the State of Georgia except that no property of any owner shall be forfeited under this subsection, to the extent of the interest of such owner, by reason of an act or omission established by such owner to have been committed or omitted without knowledge or consent of such owner. The procedure for forfeiture and disposition of forfeited property under this subsection shall be as provided for under Code Section 16-13-49. (f) Each violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense.

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§ 16-8-6 – Theft of lost or mislaid property

O.C.G.A. 16-8-6 (2010) 16-8-6. Theft of lost or mislaid property A person commits the offense of theft of lost or mislaid property when he comes into control of property that he knows or learns to have been lost or mislaid and appropriates the property to his own use without first taking reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner.

§ 16-8-7 – Theft by receiving stolen property

O.C.G.A. 16-8-7 (2010) 16-8-7. Theft by receiving stolen property (a) A person commits the offense of theft by receiving stolen property when he receives, disposes of, or retains stolen property which he knows or should know was stolen unless the property is received, disposed of, or retained with intent to restore it to the owner. “Receiving” means acquiring possession or control or lending on the security of the property. (b) In any prosecution under this Code section it shall not be necessary to show a conviction of the principal thief.

PENALTIES FOR THEFT

§ 16-8-12 – Penalties for violation of Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9

O.C.G.A. 16-8-12 (2010) 16-8-12. Penalties for violation of Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9 (a) A person convicted of a violation of Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9 shall be punished as for a misdemeanor except: (1) If the property which was the subject of the theft exceeded $500.00 in value, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or, in the discretion of the trial judge, as for a misdemeanor; (2) If the property was any amount of anhydrous ammonia, as defined in Code Section 16-11-111, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine not to exceed the amount provided by Code Section 17-10-8, or both; (3) If the property was taken by a fiduciary in breach of a fiduciary obligation or by an officer or employee of a government or a financial institution in breach of his or her duties as such officer or employee, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years, a fine not to exceed the amount provided by Code Section 17-10-8, or both; (4) If the crime committed was a violation of Code Section 16-8-2 and if the property which was the subject of the theft was a memorial to the dead or any ornamentation, flower, tree, or shrub placed on, adjacent to, or within any enclosure of a memorial to the dead, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as to cause action taken by a cemetery, cemetery owner, lessee, trustee, church, religious or fraternal organization, corporation, civic organization, or club legitimately attempting to clean, maintain, care for, upgrade, or beautify a grave, gravesite, tomb, monument, gravestone, or other structure or thing placed or designed for a memorial of the dead to be a criminal act; (5)(A) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection notwithstanding, if the property which was the subject of the theft was a motor vehicle or was a motor vehicle part or component which exceeded $100.00 in value or if the theft or unlawful activity was committed in violation of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1- 393.5 or in violation of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393.6 or while engaged in telemarketing conduct in violation of Chapter 5B of Title 10, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or, in

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the discretion of the trial judge, as for a misdemeanor; provided, however, that any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this paragraph shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than 20 years. (B) Subsequent offenses committed under this paragraph, including those which may have been committed after prior felony convictions unrelated to this paragraph, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 17- 10-7; (6)(A) As used in this paragraph, the term: (i) “Destructive device” means a destructive device as such term is defined by Code Section 16-7-80. (ii) “Explosive” means an explosive as such term is defined by Code Section 16-7-80. (iii) “Firearm” means any rifle, shotgun, pistol, or similar device which propels a projectile or projectiles through the energy of an explosive. (B) If the property which was the subject of the theft offense was a destructive device, explosive, or firearm, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years; (7) If the property which was the subject of the theft is a grave marker, monument, or memorial to one or more deceased persons who served in the military service of this state, the United States of America or any of the states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or any of the states thereof, or a monument, plaque, marker, or memorial which is dedicated to, honors, or recounts the military service of any past or present military personnel of this state, the United States of America or any of the states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or any of the states thereof, and if such grave marker, monument, memorial, plaque, or marker is privately owned or located on privately owned land, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years if the value of the property which was the subject of the theft is $300.00 or less, and by imprisonment for not less than three years and not more than five years if the value of the property which was the subject of the theft is more than $300.00; (8) If the property that was the subject of the theft was a vehicle engaged in commercial transportation of cargo or any appurtenance thereto, including without limitation any such trailer, semitrailer, container, or other associated equipment, or the cargo being transported therein or thereon, by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than ten years, a fine not less than $5,000.00 nor more than $50,000.00, and, if applicable, the revocation of the defendant’s commercial driver’s license in accordance with Code Section 40- 5-151, or any combination of such penalties. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “vehicle” includes without limitation any railcar; or (9) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, if the property of the theft was ferrous metals or regulated metal property, as such terms are defined in Code Section 10-1-350, and the sum of the aggregate amount of such property, in its original and undamaged condition, plus any reasonable costs which are or would be incurred in the repair or the attempt to recover any property damaged in the theft or removal of such regulated metal property, exceeds $500.00, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both. (b) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of this Code section, any person who commits the offense of theft by deception when the property which was the subject of the theft exceeded $500.00 in value and the offense was committed against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than ten years. (c) Where a violation of Code Sections 16-8-2 through 16-8-9 involves the theft of a growing or otherwise unharvested commercial agricultural product which is being grown or produced as a crop, such offense shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 and not more than the maximum fine otherwise authorized by law. This minimum fine shall not in any such case be subject to suspension, stay, or probation. This minimum fine shall not be required in any case in which a sentence of confinement is imposed and such sentence of confinement is not suspended, stayed, or probated; but this subsection shall not prohibit imposition of any otherwise authorized fine in such a case.

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§ 16-8-14 – Theft by shoplifting

O.C.G.A. 16-8-14 (2010) 16-8-14. Theft by shoplifting (a) A person commits the offense of theft by shoplifting when he alone or in concert with another person, with the intent of appropriating merchandise to his own use without paying for the same or to deprive the owner of possession thereof or of the value thereof, in whole or in part, does any of the following: (1) Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment; (2) Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment; (3) Transfers the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another; (4) Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise; or (5) Wrongfully causes the amount paid to be less than the merchant’s stated price for the merchandise. (b)(1) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft is $300.00 or less in value shall be punished as for a misdemeanor; provided, however, that: (A) Upon conviction of a second offense for shoplifting, where the first offense is either a felony or a misdemeanor, as defined by this Code section, in addition to or in lieu of any imprisonment which might be imposed, the defendant shall be fined not less than $250.00 and the fine shall not be suspended or probated; (B) Upon conviction of a third offense for shoplifting, where the first two offenses are either felonies or misdemeanors, or a combination of a felony and a misdemeanor, as defined by this Code section, in addition to or in lieu of any fine which might be imposed, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 30 days or confinement in a “special alternative incarceration-probation boot camp,” probation detention center, diversion center, or other community correctional facility of the Department of Corrections for a period of 120 days or shall be sentenced to monitored house arrest for a period of 120 days and, in addition to either such types of confinement, may be required to undergo psychological evaluation and treatment to be paid for by the defendant; and such sentence of imprisonment or confinement shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld; and (C) Upon conviction of a fourth or subsequent offense for shoplifting, where the prior convictions are either felonies or misdemeanors, or any combination of felonies and misdemeanors, as defined by this Code section, the defendant commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years; and the first year of such sentence shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld. (2) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft exceeds $300.00 in value commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years. (3) A person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting, as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, when the property which was the subject of the theft is taken from three separate stores or retail establishments within one county during a period of seven days or less and when the property which was the subject of each theft exceeds $100.00 in value, commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years. (c) In all cases involving theft by shoplifting, the term “value” means the actual retail price of the property at the time and place of the offense. The unaltered price tag or other marking on property, or duly identified photographs thereof, shall be prima-facie evidence of value and ownership of the property. (d) Subsection (b) of this Code section shall in no way affect the authority of a sentencing judge to provide for a sentence to be served on weekends or during the nonworking hours of the defendant as provided in Code Section 17-10-3, relative to punishment for misdemeanors.

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§ 16-8-16 – Theft by extortion

O.C.G.A. 16-8-16 (2010) 16-8-16. Theft by extortion (a) A person commits the offense of theft by extortion when he unlawfully obtains property of or from another person by threatening to: (1) Inflict bodily injury on anyone or commit any other criminal offense; (2) Accuse anyone of a criminal offense; (3) Disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule or to impair his credit or business repute; (4) Take or withhold action as a public official or cause an official to take or withhold action; (5) Bring about or continue a strike, boycott, or other collective unofficial action if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or (6) Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense. (b) In a prosecution under this Code section, the crime shall be considered as having been committed in the county in which the threat was made or received or in the county in which the property was unlawfully obtained. (c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraph (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subsection (a) of this Code section that the property obtained by threat of accusation, exposure, legal action, or other invocation of official action was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstance to which such accusation, exposure, legal action, or other official action relates or as compensation for property or lawful services. (d) A person convicted of the offense of theft by extortion shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

§ 16-8-17 – Intent to cheat or defraud a retailer

O.C.G.A. 16-8-17 (2010) 16-8-17. Intent to cheat or defraud a retailer (a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who, with intent to cheat or defraud a retailer, possesses, uses, utters, transfers, makes, alters, counterfeits, or reproduces a retail sales receipt or a Universal Product Code label which results in a theft of property which exceeds $300.00 in value commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years or by a fine or both. (2) A person convicted of a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection, when the property which was the subject of the theft resulting from the unlawful use of retail sales receipts or Universal Product Code labels is taken from three separate stores or retail establishments within one county during a period of seven days or less and when the property which was the subject of each theft exceeds $100.00 in value, commits a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years. (b) A person who, with intent to cheat or defraud a retailer, possesses 15 or more fraudulent retail sales receipts or Universal Product Code labels or possesses a device the purpose of which is to manufacture fraudulent retail sales receipts or Universal Product Code labels will be guilty of a felony and punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

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§ 16-8-18 – Entering automobile or other motor vehicle with intent to commit theft or felony

O.C.G.A. 16-8-18 (2010) 16-8-18. Entering automobile or other motor vehicle with intent to commit theft or felony If any person shall enter any automobile or other motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or a felony, he shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or, in the discretion of the trial judge, as for a misdemeanor.

§ 16-8-21 – Removal or abandonment of shopping carts; posting of Code section in stores and markets

O.C.G.A. 16-8-21 (2010) 16-8-21. Removal or abandonment of shopping carts; posting of Code section in stores and markets (a) As used in this Code section, “shopping cart” means those pushcarts of the type which are commonly provided by grocery stores, drugstores, or other merchant stores or markets for the use of the public in transporting commodities in stores and markets and incidentally from the store to a place outside the store. (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to remove a shopping cart from the premises, posted as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, of the owner of such shopping cart without the consent, given at the time of such removal, of the owner or of his agent, servant, or employee. For the purpose of this Code section, the premises shall include all the parking area set aside by the owner or on behalf of the owner for the parking of cars for the convenience of the patrons of the owner. (c) It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon a shopping cart upon any public street, sidewalk, way, or parking lot other than a parking lot on the premises of the owner. (d) The owner of the store in which the shopping cart is used shall post in at least three prominent places in his store and at each exit therefrom a printed copy of this Code section, which copy shall be printed in type no smaller than 12 points. (e) Any person who violates subsection (b) or (c) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

ARTICLE 2 – ROBBERY

§ 16-8-40 – Robbery

O.C.G.A. 16-8-40 (2010) 16-8-40. Robbery (a) A person commits the offense of robbery when, with intent to commit theft, he takes property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another: (1) By use of force; (2) By intimidation, by the use of threat or coercion, or by placing such person in fear of immediate serious bodily injury to himself or to another; or (3) By sudden snatching. (b) A person convicted of the offense of robbery shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section, any person who commits the offense of robbery against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished

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4513b24c8861&pager.pageNo=1#georgia-title-16-chapter-8-article-2

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What are the Different Types of Georgia Theft? ▪ Theft by taking: This means that a person unlawfully took possession of any item or piece of property

that belongs to another. It does not matter how the item was taken. This is the simplest form of Georgia theft, and if you have another person’s property and deprive them of it you can be charged and found guilty of theft by taking.

▪ Theft by deception: This means that you were able to get something from another by deceitful means. This includes billing someone for a service that was not done, accepting payment for something you know will not be done, or selling property or an item without disclosing that there is a lien or loan still on it. Georgia theft by deception is more complex due to the intention of theft involved to deceive another out of their property or money which may involve confirming another’s wrong assumption about a fact or event when you know it is wrong.

▪ Theft by conversion: Georgia theft by conversion means that you took someone’s money to apply it in some manner for them, such as a deposit or payment, and instead you used it for your own purposes. For example, an officer or an employee of a government or financial institution does not apply your payment to the intended account, but rather, pockets the money for their own use. In addition, Georgia theft by conversion also applies to rental property that you are using; if you do not return such property when the owner demands it back then you have committed theft by conversion.

▪ Theft of services: In Georgia theft of services involves receiving a service, entertainment or an accommodation with no intention of paying for it. This includes not paying for maid service, not paying for a hotel room or meal, or item that requires payment of some sort. Georgia theft law ensures that service providers are able to collect the fee they are due by making the theft of services a crime.

▪ Theft by receiving stolen property: This type of theft is a crime which involves receiving stolen goods whether or not you are aware that they are stolen. You have committed a Georgia theft crime if you receive, get rid of, or keep property that you know or should know is stolen.

▪ Theft of lost or mislaid property: Many people may not realize that this is a crime under Georgia theft law. If, for example, you find a lost wallet and make no effort to return it to its rightful owner, then you have now committed theft of lost or mislaid property. Effort needs to be made to return the property under the law.

▪ Shoplifting: Shoplifting has its own specific punishments under Georgia theft law. Shoplifting includes any attempt to conceal an item, change the listed price, or failing to pay in full for an item removed from a store. Unlike the other Georgia theft crimes, a misdemeanor conviction involves stealing an item under $300; a felony shoplifting conviction involves stealing items that are worth more than $300.

http://atlantacrimelawyer.com/georgia-theft-laws-carry-punishments-fines-jail-time-legal-representation-

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CRIMINAL TYPOLOGIES

Occasional Property Crimes

Most occasional property criminals lack a past official history of criminality. They exhibit little

progressive knowledge of criminal techniques or of crime in general. In contrast to career criminals

or even conventional criminals, crime is not their sole or major means of livelihood, and they do not

view themselves as criminal. Not identifying with criminal behavior, they have little of the vocabulary

or “street sense” of the conventional criminal.

Under the category of occasional property offenses, discussion will center on shoplifting, vandalism,

motor vehicle theft, and check forgery. (Professional crimes of these types will be discussed later.)

Surprisingly, there have not been many studies that focus on occasional and ordinary property

offenders (Hepburn, 1984; Shover, 1983).

Shoplifting

The polite term for shoplifting used by the retail trade industry is “inventory shrinkage”—quite

literally, goods have disappeared or shrunk from the total of accountable inventory. The slang term

“five-finger discount” is a less polite term for this same process. While shoplifting is perhaps as

ancient as trade or bartering, the post-World War II emergence of a consumer society and of large

retail chains has created both a greater desire and a greater opportunity for retail theft. Inventory

shortage costs in the United States account for about 2 percent of retail sales; the actual proportion

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