According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, over 100,000 people in the state get arrested each year due to theft. Theft, broadly speaking, is the act of unlawfully taking another person’s property with the intention of depriving them of it permanently.
However, the specific circumstances of the act can lead to different types of theft charges in Missouri.
Degrees of stealing
In Missouri, the degree of stealing crime often hinges on the value of the property stolen. If you steal property valued at less than $750, it is a class D misdemeanor. If the stolen property is worth between $750 and $25,000, it escalates to a class D felony. Stealing property valued at over $25,000 results in a class B felony.
However, certain thefts automatically become a felony, regardless of the property value. These include thefts of firearms, motor vehicles, credit cards, livestock, fish with a value of $75 or more from a private pond and controlled substances.
Shoplifting, or stealing from a retail store, is another common theft crime. As with stealing, the severity of the charge often depends on the value of the goods taken. You might also face enhanced charges if you used an emergency exit to facilitate the theft or have prior theft convictions.
Receiving stolen property
You might face criminal charges for receiving stolen property. This is a class D felony if the property value is $750 or more. Otherwise, it is a class A misdemeanor. Missouri law defines this crime as buying, receiving or aiding in the concealment of stolen property, and you knew someone stole it.
Identity theft is another serious crime. It involves using another person’s identifying information, such as their name, Social Security number or credit card number, without their consent, usually for financial gain. This is a class A misdemeanor or a class D felony, depending on the circumstances.
All types of theft are a serious crime. If the police charge you, it is important to know what they are arresting you for and what your rights are.