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Theft Crimes

Ohio law provides for various degrees of theft, ranging from misdemeanor theft offenses that are punishable by small fines and short jail sentences to felony theft crimes, which can result in lengthy prison terms and very steep fines.

Although theft accusations can arise from a number of situations, it is important to take these allegations seriously. Theft offenses are commonly known as crimes of dishonesty or crimes involving moral turpitude, which can have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to be accepted into certain graduate school programs or colleges, in addition to ineligibility to apply for certain jobs or pursue certain professions or occupations.

Although you were probably wrongfully accused of theft or you accidentally walked out of a store with an item in your bag and were charged with a shoplifting offense, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dayton to help you create the best legal defense for your particular situation.

Dayton Theft Crimes Lawyer

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm for a consultation today about your alleged theft crime throughout the areas of Dayton, Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek and Fairborn. Brian Joslyn is experienced defending individuals who have been charged with theft offenses and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Contact the Joslyn Law Firm for a free consultation at (614) 444-1900 if you have been charged with a theft offense throughout Dayton, Ohio.


Dayton Theft Crimes Information Center


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Theft Offenses in Dayton

Petty Theft / Shoplifting – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly take or control property or services under $500:

      • Without the owner or another authorized person’s consent,
      • Beyond the owner’s permissive use,
      • By threat,
      • By intimidation, or
      • By deception.

Petty theft or shoplifting is generally punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Theft – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly take or control property or services valued at least at $1,000 but less than $7,500:

      • Without the owner or another authorized person’s consent,
      • Beyond the owner’s permissive use,
      • By threat,
      • By intimidation, or
      • By deception.

Theft is generally punishable as a felony of the fifth degree.

Grand Theft – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly take or control property or services valued at least at $7,500 but less than $150,000:

      • Without the owner or another authorized person’s consent,
      • Beyond the owner’s permissive use,
      • By threat,
      • By intimidation, or
      • By deception.

Grand theft is generally punishable as a felony of the fourth degree.

If the property stolen was a firearm or a motor vehicle, regardless of the value of the item, the offense is also considered grand theft. However, grand theft of a firearm is generally punishable as a felony of the third degree and grand theft of a motor vehicle is punishable as a felony of the fourth degree.

Aggravated Theft – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly take or control property or services valued at $150,000 or more:

      • Without the owner or another authorized person’s consent,
      • Beyond the owner’s permissive use,
      • By threat,
      • By intimidation, or
      • By deception.

Aggravated theft is punishable as a felony of the third, felony of the second degree or felony of the first degree.

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.03 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly use a motor vehicle, aircraft, motor boat, motorcycle or other motor-propelled vehicle without the owner’s consent. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree, felony of the fifth degree, felony of the fourth degree, felony of the third degree, or felony of the second degree.

Receiving Stolen Property – Ohio Rev. Code § 2913.51 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they receive, retain or dispose of another person’s property with knowledge or with reason to know that it was stolen property. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree, felony of the fourth degree, felony of the fifth degree or misdemeanor of the first degree.

Robbery – Ohio Rev. Code § 2911.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit any of the following during the commission of a theft offense:

  • Have a deadly weapon under their control during the commission of the offense;
  • Inflict, attempt to inflict, or threaten to inflict physical harm on another person;
  • Use or threaten to use immediate force against another person during the commission of the offense, the attempt of the offense, or while fleeing from the offense.

Robbery is generally punishable as a felony of the first degree, felony of the second degree or felony of the third degree.


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Theft Crime Penalties in Dayton

According to the Ohio Revised Code, the penalties for various theft offenses are as follows:

  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree theft offense can receive a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the fifth degree theft offense can receive a prison sentence ranging from six months to one year and/or a fine up to $2,500.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the fourth degree theft offense can receive a prison sentence ranging from six to 18 months and/or a fine up to $5,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the third degree theft offense can receive a prison sentence ranging from one to five years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the second degree theft offense can receive a prison sentence ranging from two to eight years and/or a fine up to $15,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the first degree theft offense can receive a prison sentence ranging from three to ten years and/or a fine up to $20,000.

Additionally, an individual that has been accused of a theft crime may be required to pay restitution to the store or merchant. Also, the alleged theft offender may be required to pay damages under a civil lawsuit. According to Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.61, a merchant or store owner may be legally entitled to recover damages for the value of the stolen property plus any additional losses from the alleged offender in a civil lawsuit. This is a separate penalty from any criminal punishments the alleged offender may face.


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Dayton Shoplifter Arrest and Detention

If a person is suspected of shoplifting in Dayton, a merchant or employee of the store where the shoplifting allegedly occurred can detain the alleged offender until law enforcement arrives.

Under section 2935.041 of the Ohio Revised Code, an employee, agent of a merchant, hired security guards or police officers, or store merchant can detain anyone they believe has stolen an item from the store. However, they must follow the requirements listed below.

  • The store merchant must have probable cause the item was taken unlawfully. This is basically defined as some articulable and reasonable suspicion that the alleged offender committed the act.
  • The detention must be somewhere in the store or in close proximity to the store. Therefore, the merchant or employee of the store cannot follow the alleged offender far away and attempt to detain them in another area.  
  • The merchant or employee cannot search the alleged offender or take any property that rightfully belongs to the alleged offender. Therefore, the employee or merchant cannot search the alleged offender’s body, purse, clothes or shopping bags.
  • The merchant or employees also cannot use undue restraint to detain the alleged shoplifter.
  • The merchant or employee must detain the alleged offender in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time.

If you were suspected of shoplifting, detained by the store and subsequently charged with an arrest. Your criminal defense lawyer will help you identify if the detention was for an unreasonable time, in an unreasonable manner or if you were detained with undue restraint.


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Dayton Theft Crime Resources

Ohio Revised Code – Many theft offenses and penalties are defined in Chapter 2913 of the Ohio Revised Code, including petty theft, grand theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle and receiving stolen property.

National Association for Shoplifting Prevention – This national non-profit organization, also known as NASP, aims to prevent shoplifting through research on shoplifting occurrences, discussion of methods to prevent shoplifting with government officials, and the creation of various programs targeting shoplifting prevention.

Kleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous – This national organization, also known as CASA, provides avenues for individuals suffering from addictive-compulsive behavior to seek help for their addictions.

Dayton Police Department – The Dayton Police Report protects and serves the citizens of Dayton, Ohio. This link provides information on how to protect your vehicle from theft, crime prevention tips and crime prevention initiatives. The Dayton Police Department can be contacted at:

Dayton Police Department
335 W. Third St.
Dayton, OH 45402
Phone: (937) 333-1000

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Joslyn Law Firm | Dayton Theft Crime Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of a theft offense throughout the areas of Montgomery County, Miami County, Clark County and Greene County, contact the Joslyn Law Firm today. Brian Joslyn is a knowledgeable Dayton criminal lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 today for a free consultation about your alleged theft crime in Dayton.

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