A middle-aged woman was pushing a shopping cart through a parking lot when a car backed into her cart and knocked her to the ground. According to reports, several shoppers went to help her get up and pick up the items that had fallen on the asphalt.
One of the shoppers was reported to be Corey Newkirk. Newkirk allegedly picked up and pocketed her license, multiple credit cards, and cash from the disarrayed items on the ground. He then allegedly hopped into his friend, Toria Fuller's vehicle, and the two left the parking lot.
Rockdale County authorities tracked both Newkirk and Fuller down and arrested them with the help of bystanders identifying who they believe stole from the injured woman's purse.
Newkirk has been charged with theft by taking, and Fuller has been charged with obstruction in Georgia.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I'd like to focus today's post on the multitude of laws behind theft in Georgia.
Theft in Georgia
When most people think about the offense of theft, they don't know that there are actually many types of theft. The state of Georgia provides delineations of different types of theft in the Georgia Code.
The Georgia Code defines the following different types of thefts:
- Theft by Receiving in Georgia
- Theft by Taking in Georgia
- Theft by Conversion in Georgia
- Theft by Extortion in Georgia
- Theft by Deception in Georgia
There are other types of theft as well. The ones mentioned above are the most common.
Theft by Taking in Georgia
Theft by taking in Georgia is also known as larceny in other states. Theft by taking is simply the taking of anything valuable with the intent to deprive the owner.
Theft by taking is the most common type of theft in Georgia. The Georgia Code defines theft by taking in Georgia as:
When a person unlawfully takes or being in lawful possession thief unlawfully appropriates any property of another with the intention of depriving him of the property, regardless of the manner in which property is taken or appropriated. O.C.G.A. §16-8-2.
Interpretation by Georgia Courts
Georgia Courts define the property of another as any property that belongs to a person other than the accused person. Theft by taking is impossible if you have some type of ownership or claim in the property.
Georgia Courts also determine the intention of depriving someone of their property in two distinct ways:
- To withhold property temporarily or permanently.
- To dispose of the property to make it unlikely of it's recovery by the owner.
Penalty for Theft by Taking Conviction
Theft by taking in Georgia can be considered either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Theft by taking will be considered a misdemeanor when the property is worth less than $500. The punishment can include a fine up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail.
Theft by taking will be considered a felony no matter what in the following scenarios:
- Theft of government/bank property by an employee
- Theft of a gravesite/cemetery decoration
- Theft of a motor vehicle/part of a motor vehicle worth more than $1,000.
The punishment for a felony charge includes a prison sentence of one to ten years.
Moreover, theft by taking will be considered a felony when the property is worth more than $500. But in certain situations, a judge can use his or her discretion to consider the crime a misdemeanor.
Further Penalty for Theft by Taking
The offense of theft by taking can also include a civil action from the victim of the theft if the victim decides to sue for damages. These damages could include the value of the property, any other losses resulting from the theft, liquidated damages amounting to twice the value of the loss from the theft, or any costs resulting from bringing suit.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today. We will walk you through each step of the way and make sure you know what's happening with your case.