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Elements of Theft

Applicable to the following sections

Theft over $5000 – Section 334
Theft under $5000 – Section 334
Theft of Motor Vehicle – Section 333.1
Theft of  Electricity, Gas or Telecommunications – Section 326

Date, Time, and Location

Identification of the Accused

  • How is the accused identified as the one who took the property?


Information about the Stolen Property

  • Who is the owner?
  • How did the owner identify the property?
  • What is the value of the property? How was the value determined?
  • Where is the property now?
  • If the property has been returned to the owner did you
  • Photograph the property
  • Get a receipt or affidavit from the owner


Condition of Property

  • What was the condition of the property prior to the theft?
  • What was the condition of the property upon its recovery?
  • Estimated cost of damage?


If the Stolen Property is a Motor Vehicle  – Section 333.1


Information About the Crime and the Accused

  • Describe how the accused had  possession and/or use of the property (Legal Issues re Possession)
  • Did the accused possess the ability to pay upon arrest (shoplifting)
  • Did the accused possess tools or equipment used for the theft


Intent (Theft is a specific intent offence)

  • Evidence that the accused intended to steal, and did not just forget
  • The accused did not offer to pay
  • The accused did not have permission to take the goods
  • The accused does not have legal claim to the property (colour of right)
  • The accused’s level of intoxication by drug or alcohol
  • Intoxication is a defence to theft

Related Links:
Statutory Wording for Theft
Keywords: MV, veh