Theft Crimes

In Colorado, theft is a broad statute that is meant to encompass several crimes. Theft typically involves the act of taking the property of another person or entity, without their consent or the legal authority to do so. Colorado law takes this crime very seriously, in all of its forms. Punishments for crimes of theft can be at varying degrees of severity, normally depending on the value of what was taken, and also the manner in which the crime occurred. There are also a few instances of theft that are classified on their own.

Crimes of Theft in Colorado

A majority of theft crimes will be prosecuted under C. R. S. § 18-4-401, which classifies the act of theft as when a person "knowingly obtains, retains, or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization or by threat or deception; or receives, loans money by pawn or pledge on, or disposes of anything of value or belonging to another that he or she knows or believes to have been stolen" and also:

  • Intends to deprive the other person of the use or benefit of the thing of value.
  • Knowingly uses, conceals or abandons the thing of value in a way that deprives the other person permanently of its use or benefit.
  • Uses, conceals, or abandons the thing of value with the intent to deprive the other person permanently of its use or benefit.
  • Demands any consideration to which they are not legally entitled as a condition of restoring the thing of value to the other person.
  • Knowingly retains the thing of value for more than 72 hours after the agreed-upon time of return in any lease or hire agreement.

The broadness of the statute provides a lot of freedom for the prosecutor to act under this statute. Things of value can range from physical items, such as things in a store, or a car, to non-physical items, such as monetary benefits or electronic funds.

Other Forms of Theft

While the statute simply defines this criminal act as "theft" there are other forms of theft that can be considered under the statute, such as embezzlement or theft through fraud. The statute C. R. S. § 18-4-403 allows the state to prosecute these crimes, stating that larceny, stealing, embezzlement, shoplifting, and the like may all be prosecuted under the statute for theft. However, Colorado does define certain, specific types of theft through their own statutes. These include:

  • Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Theft of Medical Records
  • Theft of Trade Secrets
  • Newspaper Theft
  • Fuel Piracy
  • Theft by Resale of Ski Lift Ticket or Coupon
  • Theft of Sound Recordings
  • Theft of Cable Television Services
  • Theft of Public Transportation

Though these have separate statutes, these may merely invoke certain actions that will constitute theft or separate punishments for these actions.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime of theft in Colorado, contact attorney Robert Grossman today.