What Are the Worst Things to Steal?
When we think of stealing and stolen items, we commonly think of retail theft. Many people steal things they need or small items that they think they can hide. In the United States, some of the most commonly stolen items include infant formula, allergy medicine, pain relievers, deodorant, clothes, and laundry detergent. Depending on the type of items you steal and if anyone was hurt in the process, you can face as little as 90 days in jail and a fine of $300 up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines. However, there are stolen items that carry harsher consequences.
Some are commonly stolen from homes rather than stores, which is why many people may not realize that they carry heftier penalties. Breaking into someone’s home and stealing something from them, or stealing something off someone’s physical personal are acts that commonly overshadow whatever it is they stole. In actuality, what someone steals can be as important, if not more important than how they stole it.
If you’re unsure of the consequences of stealing certain items, the criminal defense attorneys at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam can explain.
Firearms are One of the Most Stolen Items in Home Invasions
While not quite topping the list, firearms continue to be one of the most commonly stolen items in home invasions. There are millions of guns owned by gun owners across the state of Pennsylvania, let alone the country. They are commonly stolen because of the high resale value of many firearms, and how thieves can resell them without getting caught.
Due to a firearm being a weapon designed to hurt and kill people, it should make sense that stealing one would carry a heftier punishment than household items. The punishment for the theft of a firearm is detailed in Pennsylvania Criminal Code, Title 18, Section 3903, where it is designated as a second-degree felony charge.
Someone who steals a firearm, even if it’s not of high value, may be punished with up to ten years in prison and a fine of $25,000. This eclipses both the maximum jail time and fine for stealing cheaper items such as allergy medicine. If you’re accused of stealing firearms, whether from someone’s house or a storefront, you need to contact an attorney immediately. The consequences of this charge are dire, and cannot be ignored.
Stealing a Car Automatically Threatens with at Least Three Years in Prison
Since cars can be incredibly dangerous if handled improperly and are integral to the owner’s ability to travel and provide for themselves, stealing one has a penalty of a mandatory minimum of three and a half years. While the maximum punishment for grand theft auto is the same as stealing any household item–seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine–the seriousness of the crime necessitates a higher minimum.
This isn’t just because of how grand theft auto can thoroughly interrupt and ruin the victim’s life. Grand theft auto can also lead to a great financial burden on the victim. Cars are not cheap. Even if a vehicle is a used car worth $1000 or less, the owner can’t easily replace it. Even rentals can be incredibly costly, and causing that hardship on another person isn’t something the criminal court will take lightly.
The Worst Thing You Can Steal Is Money From Someone’s Bank Account
Depending on how you think about it, it may or may not make sense that stealing money from someone’s bank account carries one of the heftiest punishments a theft crime can receive. To steal money from someone’s bank account, you have to use their banking information or take their debit card, then receive money from a transfer or a withdrawal.
If you use their banking information, you didn’t physically take anything from them, and once it’s proven their money is stolen, there’s a good chance the bank will give them back their money. There are many ways for someone to steal money from someone else’s bank account without ever meeting their victim, threatening them with harm, or damaging their personal property.
So why does this crime lead to 30 years in prison or up to $1 million in fines, or both? Because you’re not simply stealing money from someone, you’re stealing from a bank or financial institution whose business runs on protecting their customer’s money.
The amount of money you steal affects how harsh your punishment will be. It’s safe to assume that the fine you receive will be more than the money you stole if you receive a fine. If you steal from someone’s bank account through violent means or by stealing their debit card, you’re increasing your chances of receiving a harsh punishment, or an additional criminal charge.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at MVSK Law if You’re Accused of Theft
Not all theft crimes are blue-collar crimes, so you need an attorney who can handle it all. Experienced criminal defense attorneys like those at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam have extensive experience with representing people charged with crimes. If you have been charged with theft of any kind, you need an attorney to start forming your defense immediately. Contact us today.