What is Theft Under $5,000?

The Criminal Code of Canada defines Theft as:

322. (1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent

(a) to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;
(b) to pledge it or deposit it as security;
(c) to part with it under a condition with respect to its return that the person who parts with it may be unable to perform; or
(d) to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted.

At What Time is a Theft Completed?

(2) A person commits theft when, with intent to steal anything, he moves it or causes it to move or to be moved, or begins to cause it to become movable.

What is the Punishment for Theft?

The Criminal Code of Canada provides us with a range of sentences for theft cases depending on the value of the stolen item(s). Theft Under $5,000 is a hybrid offence, meaning the prosecutor can elect to proceed summarily or by indictment. Theft Over $5,000 is a straight indictable offence with a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

334. Except where otherwise provided by law, every one who commits theft
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, where the property stolen is a testamentary instrument or the value of what is stolen exceeds five thousand dollars; or
(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction, where the value of what is stolen does not exceed five thousand dollars.

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