Theft & Shoplifting

There are dozens of acts that constitute a theft in Minnesota. The Minnesota theft statutes contain various acts that are illegal under Minnesota law:

Acts Constituting Theft

Whoever (1) intentionally and without claim of right takes, uses, transfers, conceals or retains possession of movable property of another without the other’s consent and with intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of the property; (2) with or without having a legal interest in movable property, intentionally and without consent, takes the property out of the possession of a pledgee or other person having a superior right of possession, with intent thereby to deprive the pledgee or other person permanently of the possession of the property; (3) obtains for the defendant or another the possession, custody, or title to property of, or performance of services by a third person by intentionally deceiving the third person with a false representation which is known to be false, made with intent to defraud, and which does defraud the person to whom it is made; (4) by swindling, whether by artifice, trick, device, or any other means, obtains property or services from another person; (5) finds lost property and knowing, or having reasonable means of ascertaining the true owner, appropriates it to the finder’s own use or to that of another not entitled thereto without first having made reasonable effort to find the owner and offer and surrender the property to the owner; (6) intentionally obtains property or services, offered upon the deposit of a sum of money or tokens in a coin or token operated machine or other receptacle, without making the required deposit or otherwise obtaining the consent of the owner; or (7) intentionally and without claim of right converts any article representing a trade secret, knowing it to be such, to the actor’s own use or that of another person or makes a copy of an article representing a trade secret, knowing it to be such, and intentionally and without claim of right converts the same to the actor’s own use or that of another person. It shall be a complete defense to any prosecution under this clause for the defendant to show that information comprising the trade secret was rightfully known or available to the defendant from a source other than the owner of the trade secret is guilty of a theft in Minnesota.

Possession of Shoplifting Gear

Whoever has in possession any device, gear, or instrument designed to assist in shoplifting or defeating an electronic article surveillance system with intent to use the same to shoplift and thereby commit theft is guilty of a crime.

Receiving Stolen Property

Any person who receives, posesses, transfers, buys or conceals any stolen property or property obtained by robbery, knowing, or having reason to know, the property was stolen or obtained by robbery is guilty of a crime.

Mail Theft

Whoever (1) intentionally and without claim of right removes mail from a mail depository; (2) intentionally and without claim of right takes mail from a mail carrier; (3) obtains custody of mail by intentionally deceiving a mail carrier, or other person who rightfully possesses or controls the mail, with a false representation which is known to be false, made with intent to deceive and which does deceive a mail carrier or other person who possesses or controls the mail; (4) intentionally and without claim of right removes the contents of mail addressed to another; or (5) intentionally and without claim of right takes mail, or the contents of mail, that has been left for collection on or near a mail depository is guilty of mail theft in Minnesota.

Stolen & Counterfeit Checks

A person who sells, possesses, receives, or transfers a check that is stolen or counterfeit, knowing or having reason to know the check is stolen or counterfeit, is guilty of a crime in Minnesota.

Call an attorney right away if you’ve been arrested or charged with theft. The earlier you involve an attorney, the sooner we will be to accumulate evidence, interview essential witnesses, and address the other important elements of your case. Call our law firm now for a free consultation: (218) 736-5456.

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