Theft and robbery seem like interchangeable terms. They both mean that something was stolen, right? Well, technically, yes. But that doesn’t mean a charge of theft and a charge of robbery are the same thing. In the eyes of the law, the two crimes are distinct. Both have their own legal definitions, penalties, and ramifications.
In Colorado, a range of illegal actions can lead to a fraud charge. Fraud is considered a “white-collar crime,” which is defined as an act of deception to secure unlawful or unfair financial or personal gain. A fraudulent act can lead to both criminal and civil charges. In cases of high-value losses, the damaged party may have the right to seek restitution through civil court.
Legal marijuana shops are linked to higher levels of property crime in nearby areas, according to a nearly three-year study in Denver. Researchers from Ohio State University found that while crime isn’t higher in the area immediately surrounding marijuana outlets, adjacent areas saw about 84 more property crimes per year than neighborhoods without a nearby marijuana store. (Science Daily). It’s of note that “no significant increase in violent crime was seen as a result of marijuana sales.”
Extortion is a word we hear a lot in the movies, particularly those that involve the Mafia, but many people aren’t sure about its actual meaning. Other names for it include shakedown, outwrestling, exaction, or a protection racket. In the legal sense, extortion is defined as obtaining money, property, or services from an individual or business through the act of coercion, typically involving the threat of violence or property damage.
In the Centennial state, shoplifting falls under the umbrella of theft offenses. Depending on where the shoplifting occurs, jurisdictionally, the resulting charges may be filed in either municipal court or county court. Municipal Court offenses typically occur within the municipality, like a city, where county court cases will occur within the jurisdiction, such as the county, and may occur within the municipality as well.
Credit card fraud is a complex crime that is closely linked to identity theft. It can occur if someone obtains another person’s information for the purposes of making unauthorized transactions or in order to illegally withdraw funds from the card holder’s bank account. However, even the card holder themselves can be guilty of credit card fraud if they use their own credit card knowing that there aren’t enough funds in the account to cover the purchases being made.
Being involved in credit card fraud is never something a person wants to go through. It not only can ruin a person’s credit but also lead to serious financial consequences. In general, credit card fraud includes illegally obtaining someone else’s information, using one’s own card knowing that it is either revoked or lacks the necessary amount of money to cover the charges made on it, or knowingly using an illegally obtained card without authorization to sell something to someone else. Because credit card fraud involves using another person’s information to commit a crime, it is considered a form of identity theft.
Penalties for a theft depend on the value of what you’ve been accused of stealing. The worth of the object in question will lead to a petty, misdemeanor, or felony theft offense. A theft crime happens anytime someone illegally obtains (by taking, taking by a threat, or taking by deception) anything of value from the item’s owner. This means a theft charge can arise from purse snatching, returning fraudulent items to a store, or conning someone out of their money.
According to a recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette, rates of property crimes, such as burglary, increased by 25 percent in the first quarter of 2013 when compared to the first quarter of 2012. Motor vehicle thefts increased 70 percent in the first quarter of 2013 when compared to 2012.
The Colorado Springs police force is responding to these increases in several ways. One of the most prominent involves the creation of a Motor Vehicle Theft Task Force (MVT Task Force) to address motor vehicle thefts specifically. The task force includes a sergeant and three officers, and it partners with other agencies to use technology like license plate readers and other resources to track down vehicles believed to be stolen, according to the agency.