Theft is defined as taking a valuable possession from another person without consent and with the specific intent to permanently deprive the owner of the item. It must be proven by the District Attorney that the accused individual never intended to return the valuables or else that they deceived someone into giving money or property under false pretenses. If a person actually borrowed the money or items, it is not considered to be a criminal act in Colorado, even if the owner of the property was not aware that it had been borrowed.
Recently, this crime became a felony only if $1,000 or more of value was stolen instead of the former $500. However, multiple instances can be added together for a combined total of $1,000 or more and may be used to calculate what degree of felony theft can be charged. A value of $1,000 to $14,999.99 is a Class 4 Felony, and $15,000 or more is a Class 3 Felony.
If something is stolen from the actual body of a person, it is a Class 5 Felony no matter its actual worth. Stealing from at-risk adults or children will generally be treated more severely, and penalties are harsh when people steal from a person who has entrusted them with responsibility or goods, such as an employer.
Theft by Receiving
Theft by Receiving is defined as accepting an object of value knowing that it has been stolen. Sentences issued are based on dollar value and are the same as the penalties for stealing directly from the owner. If charged, a possible felony defense could be that there was no knowledge of the items having been stolen.
Theft of Rental Property
Theft of Rental Property is failing to return rented goods 72 hours or more after the return time. Dollar values apply to classify the severity of the crime. If a rental car is stolen, for instance, it is likely a Class 3 Felony. This also applies if the item is taken without consent or by deceiving the owner.
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