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North Carolina Theft Laws


North Carolina Theft Laws

 

14 1.  Felonies and misdemeanors defined.

A felony is a crime which:

(1)       Was a felony at common law;

(2)       Is or may be punishable by death;

(3)       Is or may be punishable by imprisonment in the State's prison; or

(4)       Is denominated as a felony by statute.

Any other crime is a misdemeanor.

SUBCHAPTER V. OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY.

Article 16.

Larceny.

§ 14 70.  Distinctions between grand and petit larceny abolished; punishment; accessories to larceny.

All distinctions between petit and grand larceny are abolished. Unless otherwise provided by statute, larceny is a Class H felony and is subject to the same rules of criminal procedure and principles of law as to accessories before and after the fact as other felonies. (R.C., c. 34, s. 26; Code, s. 1075; Rev., s. 3500; C.S., s. 4249; 1969, c. 522, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1163; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 71.  Receiving stolen goods; receiving or possessing goods represented as stolen.

(a)       If any person shall receive any chattel, property, money, valuable security or other thing whatsoever, the stealing or taking whereof amounts to larceny or a felony, either at common law or by virtue of any statute made or hereafter to be made, such person knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe the same to have been feloniously stolen or taken, he shall be guilty of a Class H felony, and may be indicted and convicted, whether the felon stealing and taking such chattels, property, money, valuable security or other thing, shall or shall not have been previously convicted, or shall or shall not be amenable to justice; and any such receiver may be dealt with, indicted, tried and punished in any county in which he shall have, or shall have had, any such property in his possession or in any county in which the thief may be tried, in the same manner as such receiver may be dealt with, indicted, tried and punished in the county where he actually received such chattel, money, security, or other thing; and such receiver shall be punished as one convicted of larceny.

(b)       If a person knowingly receives or possesses property in the custody of a law enforcement agency that was explicitly represented to the person by an agent of the law enforcement agency as stolen, the person is guilty of a Class H felony and may be indicted, tried, and punished in any county in which the person received or possessed the property. (1797, c. 485, s. 2; R.C., c. 34, s. 56; Code, s. 1074; Rev., s. 3507; C.S., s. 4250; 1949, c. 145, s. 1; 1975, c. 163, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1164; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2007-373, s. 1.)

§ 14 71.1.  Possessing stolen goods.

If any person shall possess any chattel, property, money, valuable security or other thing whatsoever, the stealing or taking whereof amounts to larceny or a felony, either at common law or by virtue of any statute made or hereafter to be made, such person knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe the same to have been feloniously stolen or taken, he shall be guilty of a Class H felony, and may be indicted and convicted, whether the felon stealing and taking such chattels, property, money, valuable security or other thing shall or shall not have been previously convicted, or shall or shall not be amenable to justice; and any such possessor may be dealt with, indicted, tried and punished in any county in which he shall have, or shall have had, any such property in his possession or in any county in which the thief may be tried, in the same manner as such possessor may be dealt with, indicted, tried and punished in the county where he actually possessed such chattel, money, security, or other thing; and such possessor shall be punished as one convicted of larceny. (1977, c. 978, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1165; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 72.  Larceny of property; receiving stolen goods or possessing stolen goods.

(a)       Larceny of goods of the value of more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) is a Class H felony. The receiving or possessing of stolen goods of the value of more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) while knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that the goods are stolen is a Class H felony. Larceny as provided in subsection (b) of this section is a Class H felony. Receiving or possession of stolen goods as provided in subsection (c) of this section is a Class H felony. Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, larceny of property, or the receiving or possession of stolen goods knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe them to be stolen, where the value of the property or goods is not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), is a Class 1 misdemeanor. In all cases of doubt, the jury shall, in the verdict, fix the value of the property stolen.

(b)       The crime of larceny is a felony, without regard to the value of the property in question, if the larceny is any of the following:

(1)       From the person.

(2)       Committed pursuant to a violation of G.S. 14-51, 14-53, 14-54, 14-54.1, or 14-57.

(3)       Of any explosive or incendiary device or substance. As used in this section, the phrase "explosive or incendiary device or substance" shall include any explosive or incendiary grenade or bomb; any dynamite, blasting powder, nitroglycerin, TNT, or other high explosive; or any device, ingredient for such device, or type or quantity of substance primarily useful for large-scale destruction of property by explosive or incendiary action or lethal injury to persons by explosive or incendiary action. This definition shall not include fireworks; or any form, type, or quantity of gasoline, butane gas, natural gas, or any other substance having explosive or incendiary properties but serving a legitimate nondestructive or nonlethal use in the form, type, or quantity stolen.

(4)       Of any firearm. As used in this section, the term "firearm" shall include any instrument used in the propulsion of a shot, shell or bullet by the action of gunpowder or any other explosive substance within it. A "firearm," which at the time of theft is not capable of being fired, shall be included within this definition if it can be made to work. This definition shall not include air rifles or air pistols.

(5)       Of any record or paper in the custody of the North Carolina State Archives as defined by G.S. 121-2(7) and G.S. 121-2(8).

(c)       The crime of possessing stolen goods knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe them to be stolen in the circumstances described in subsection (b) is a felony or the crime of receiving stolen goods knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe them to be stolen in the circumstances described in subsection (b) is a felony, without regard to the value of the property in question.

(d)       Where the larceny or receiving or possession of stolen goods as described in subsection (a) of this section involves the merchandise of any store, a merchant, a merchant's agent, a merchant's employee, or a peace officer who detains or causes the arrest of any person shall not be held civilly liable for detention, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, or false arrest of the person detained or arrested, when such detention is upon the premises of the store or in a reasonable proximity thereto, is in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time, and, if in detaining or in causing the arrest of such person, the merchant, the merchant's agent, the merchant's employee, or the peace officer had, at the time of the detention or arrest, probable cause to believe that the person committed an offense under subsection (a) of this section. If the person being detained by the merchant, the merchant's agent, or the merchant's employee, is a minor under the age of 18 years, the merchant, the merchant's agent, or the merchant's employee, shall call or notify, or make a reasonable effort to call or notify the parent or guardian of the minor, during the period of detention. A merchant, a merchant's agent, or a merchant's employee, who makes a reasonable effort to call or notify the parent or guardian of the minor shall not be held civilly liable for failing to notify the parent or guardian of the minor. (1895, c. 285; Rev., s. 3506; 1913, c. 118, s. 1; C.S., s. 4251; 1941, c. 178, s. 1; 1949, c. 145, s. 2; 1959, c. 1285; 1961, c. 39, s. 1; 1965, c. 621, s. 5; 1969, c. 522, s. 2; 1973, c. 238, ss. 1, 2; 1975, c. 163, s. 2; c. 696, s. 4; 1977, c. 978, ss. 2, 3; 1979, c. 408, s. 1; c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, ss. 11, 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1991, c. 523, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 34; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 185, s. 2; 2006-259, s. 4(a).)

§ 14 72.1.  Concealment of merchandise in mercantile establishments.

(a)       Whoever, without authority, willfully conceals the goods or merchandise of any store, not theretofore purchased by such person, while still upon the premises of such store, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in subsection (e). Such goods or merchandise found concealed upon or about the person and which have not theretofore been purchased by such person shall be prima facie evidence of a willful concealment.

(b)       Repealed by Session Laws 1985 (Regular Session, 1986), c. 841, s. 2.

(c)       A merchant, or the merchant's agent or employee, or a peace officer who detains or causes the arrest of any person shall not be held civilly liable for detention, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, or false arrest of the person detained or arrested, where such detention is upon the premises of the store or in a reasonable proximity thereto, is in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time, and, if in detaining or in causing the arrest of such person, the merchant, or the merchant's agent or employee, or the peace officer had at the time of the detention or arrest probable cause to believe that the person committed the offense created by this section. If the person being detained by the merchant, or the merchant's agent or employee, is a minor under the age of 18 years, the merchant or the merchant's agent or employee, shall call or notify, or make a reasonable effort to call or notify the parent or guardian of the minor, during the period of detention. A merchant, or the merchant's agent or employee, who makes a reasonable effort to call or notify the parent or guardian of the minor shall not be held civilly liable for failing to notify the parent or guardian of the minor.

(d)       Whoever, without authority, willfully transfers any price tag from goods or merchandise to other goods or merchandise having a higher selling price or marks said goods at a lower price or substitutes or superimposes thereon a false price tag and then presents said goods or merchandise for purchase shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in subsection (e).

Nothing herein shall be construed to provide that the mere possession of goods or the production by shoppers of improperly priced merchandise for checkout shall constitute prima facie evidence of guilt.

(d1)     Notwithstanding subsection (e) of this section, any person who violates subsection (a) of this section by using a lead-lined or aluminum-lined bag, a lead-lined or aluminum-lined article of clothing, or a similar device to prevent the activation of any antishoplifting or inventory control device is guilty of a Class H felony.

(e)       Punishment. - For a first conviction under subsection (a) or (d), or for a subsequent conviction for which the punishment is not specified by this subsection, the defendant shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The term of imprisonment may be suspended only on condition that the defendant perform community service for a term of at least 24 hours. For a second offense committed within three years after the date the defendant was convicted of an offense under this section, the defendant shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. The term of imprisonment may be suspended only on condition that the defendant be imprisoned for a term of at least 72 hours as a condition of special probation, perform community service for a term of at least 72 hours, or both. For a third or subsequent offense committed within five years after the date the defendant was convicted of two other offenses under this section, the defendant shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The term of imprisonment may be suspended only if a condition of special probation is imposed to require the defendant to serve a term of imprisonment of at least 11 days. However, if the sentencing judge finds that the defendant is unable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to perform the service required under this section, and the reasons for such findings are set forth in the judgment, the judge may pronounce such other sentence as the judge finds appropriate.

(f)        Community Service Period. - If the judgment requires a defendant sentenced under this section to perform a specified number of hours of community service, the community service must be completed within:

(1)       90 days, if the amount of community service required is 72 hours or more;

(2)       60 days, if the amount of community service required is at least 48 hours but less than 72 hours; and

(3)       30 days, if the amount of community service required is at least 24 hours but less than 48 hours.

The court may extend these time limits upon motion of the defendant if it finds that the defendant has made a good faith effort to comply with the time limits specified in this subsection. Failure to complete the community service requirement within the applicable time limits is a violation of the defendant's probation.

(g)       Limitations. - For active terms of imprisonment imposed under this section:

(1)       The judge may not give credit to the defendant for the first 24 hours of time spent in incarceration pending trial;

(2)       The defendant must serve the mandatory minimum period of imprisonment and good or gain time credit may not be used to reduce that mandatory minimum period; and

(3)       The defendant may not be released or paroled unless he is otherwise eligible and has served the mandatory minimum period of imprisonment. (1957, c. 301; 1971, c. 238; 1973, c. 457, ss. 1, 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 841, ss. 1-3; 1987, c. 660; 1993, c. 539, s. 35; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); c. 28, s. 1; 1995, c. 185, s. 3; c. 509, s. 9; 1997-80, s. 1; 1997-443, s. 19.25(ff).)

§ 14 72.2.  Unauthorized use of a motor-propelled conveyance.

(a)       A person is guilty of an offense under this section if, without the express or implied consent of the owner or person in lawful possession, he takes or operates an aircraft, motorboat, motor vehicle, or other motor-propelled conveyance of another.

(b)       Unauthorized use of an aircraft is a Class H felony. All other unauthorized use of a motor-propelled conveyance is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(c)       Unauthorized use of a motor-propelled conveyance shall be a lesser-included offense of unauthorized use of an aircraft.

(d)       As used in this section, "owner" means any person with a property interest in the motor-propelled conveyance. (1973, c. 1330, s. 38; 1977, c. 919; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, ss. 36, 1166; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 72.3.  Removal of shopping cart from shopping premises.

(a)       As used in this section:

(1)       "Shopping cart" means the type of push cart commonly provided by grocery stores, drugstores, and other retail stores for customers to transport commodities within the store and from the store to their motor vehicles outside the store.

(2)       "Premises" includes the motor vehicle parking area set aside for customers of the store.

(b)       It is unlawful for any person to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store without the consent, given at the time of the removal, of the store owner, manager, agent or employee.

(c)       Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1983, c. 705, s. 1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, s. 3.1.)

§ 14 72.4.  Unauthorized taking or sale of labeled dairy milk cases or milk crates bearing the name or label of owner.

(a)       A person is guilty of the unauthorized taking or sale of a dairy milk case or milk crate on or after January 1, 1990, if he:

(1)       Takes, buys, sells or disposes of any dairy milk case or milk crate, bearing the name or label of the owner, without the express or implied consent of the owner or his designated agent; or

(2)       Refuses upon demand of the owner or his designated agent to return to the owner or his designated agent any dairy milk case or milk crate, bearing the name or label of the owner; or

(3)       Defaces, obliterates, erases, covers up, or otherwise removes or conceals any name, label, registered trademark, insignia, or other business identification of an owner of a dairy milk case or milk crate, for the purpose of destroying or removing from the milk case or milk crate evidence of its ownership.

(b)       For purposes of this section dairy milk cases or milk crates shall be deemed to bear a name or label of an owner when there is imprinted or attached on the case or crate a name, insignia, mark, business identification or label showing ownership or sufficient information to ascertain ownership.  For purposes of this section, the term "dairy case" shall be defined as a wire or plastic container which holds 16 quarts or more of beverage and is used by distributors or retailers, or their agents, as a means to transport, store, or carry dairy products.

(c)       A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(d)       Nothing in this section shall preclude the prosecution of any misdemeanor or felony offense that is applicable under any other statute or common law. (1989, c. 303; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, s. 3.2.)

§ 14 72.5.  Larceny of motor fuel.

(a)       If any person shall take and carry away motor fuel valued at less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) from an establishment where motor fuel is offered for retail sale with the intent to steal the motor fuel, that person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b)       The term "motor fuel" as used in this section shall have the same meaning as found in G.S. 105-449.60(20).

(c)       Conviction Report Sent to Division of Motor Vehicles. - The court shall report final convictions of violations of this section to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The Division of Motor Vehicles shall revoke a person's drivers license for a second or subsequent conviction under this section in accordance with G.S. 20-17(a)(16). (2001-352, s. 1.)

§ 14 72.6.  Felonious larceny, possession, or receiving of stolen goods from a permitted construction site.

(a)       A person is guilty of a Class I felony if he commits any of the following offenses, where the goods are valued in excess of three hundred dollars ($300.00) but less than one thousand dollars ($1,000):

(1)       Larceny of goods from a permitted construction site.

(2)       Possessing or receiving of stolen goods, with actual knowledge or having reasonable grounds to believe that the goods were stolen from a permitted construction site.

(b)       As used in this section, a "permitted construction site" is a site where a permit, license, or other authorization has been issued by the State or a local governmental entity for the placement of new construction or improvements to real property. (2005-208, s. 1.)

§ 14 72.7.  Chop shop activity.

(a)       A person is guilty of a Class H felony if that person knowingly engages in any of the following activities, without regard to the value of the property in question:

(1)       Altering, destroying, disassembling, dismantling, reassembling, or storing any motor vehicle or motor vehicle part the person knows to be illegally obtained by theft, fraud, or other illegal means.

(2)       Permitting a place to be used for any activity prohibited by this section, where the person either owns or has legal possession of the place, and knows that the place is being used for any activity prohibited by this section.

(3)       Purchasing, disposing of, selling, transferring, receiving, or possessing a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part with the knowledge that the vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle, or vehicle part identification number of the vehicle part, has been altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, obliterated, or removed.

(4)       Purchasing, disposing of, selling, transferring, receiving, or possessing a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part to or from a person engaged in any activity prohibited by this section, knowing that the person is engaging in that activity.

(b)       Innocent Activities. - The provisions of this section shall not apply to either of the following:

(1)       Purchasing, disposing of, selling, transferring, receiving, possessing, crushing, or compacting a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part in good faith and without knowledge of previous illegal activity in regard to that vehicle or part, as long as the person engaging in the activity does not remove a vehicle identification number or vehicle part identification number before or during the activity.

(2)       Purchasing, disposing of, selling, transferring, receiving, possessing, crushing, or compacting a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part after law enforcement proceedings are completed or as a part of law enforcement proceedings, as long as the activity is not in conflict with law enforcement proceedings.

(c)       Civil Penalty. - Any court with jurisdiction of a criminal prosecution under this section may also assess a civil penalty. The clear proceeds of the civil penalties shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2. The civil penalty shall not exceed three times the assets obtained by the defendant as a result of violations of this section.

(d)       Private Actions. - Any person aggrieved by a violation of this section may, in a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, obtain appropriate relief, including preliminary and other equitable or declaratory relief, compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable investigation expenses, costs of suit, and any attorneys' fees as may be provided by law.

(e)       Seizure and Forfeiture. - Any instrumentality possessed or used to engage in the activities prohibited by this section are subject to the seizure and forfeiture provisions of G.S. 14-86.1. The real property of a place used to engage in the activities prohibited by this section is subject to the abatement and forfeiture provisions of Chapter 19 of the General Statutes.

(f)        Definitions. - For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)       Instrumentality. - Motor vehicle, motor vehicle part, other conveyance, tool, implement, or equipment possessed or used in the activities prohibited under this section.

(2)       Vehicle identification number. - A number, a letter, a character, a datum, a derivative, or a combination thereof, used by the manufacturer or the Division of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of uniquely identifying a motor vehicle.

(3)       Vehicle part identification number. - A number, a letter, a character, a datum, a derivative, or a combination thereof, used by the manufacturer for the purpose of uniquely identifying a motor vehicle part. (2007-178, s. 1.)

§ 14 72.11.  Larceny from a merchant.

A person is guilty of a Class H felony if the person commits larceny against a merchant under any of the following circumstances:

(1)       If the property taken has a value of more than two hundred dollars ($200.00), by using an exit door erected and maintained to comply with the requirements of 29 C.F.R. § 1910 Subpart E, upon which door has been placed a notice, sign, or poster providing information about the felony offense and punishment provided under this subsection, to exit the premises of a store.

(2)       By removing, destroying, or deactivating a component of an antishoplifting or inventory control device to prevent the activation of any antishoplifting or inventory control device.

(3)       By affixing a product code created for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining goods or merchandise from a merchant at less than its actual sale price.

(4)       When the property is infant formula valued in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00). As used in this subsection, the term "infant formula," has the same meaning as found in 21 U.S.C. § 321(z). (2007-373, s. 2.)

§ 14 73.  Jurisdiction of the superior courts in cases of larceny and receiving stolen goods.

The superior courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction of the trial of all cases of the larceny of property, or the receiving of stolen goods knowing them to be stolen, of the value of more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). (1913, c. 118, s. 2; C.S., s. 4252; 1941, c. 178, s. 2; 1949, c. 145, s. 3; 1961, c. 39, s. 2; 1979, c. 408, s. 2; 1991, c. 523, s. 3.)

§ 14 73.1.  Petty misdemeanors.

The offenses of larceny and the receiving of stolen goods knowing the same to have been stolen, which are made misdemeanors by Article 16, Subchapter V, Chapter 14 of the General Statutes, as amended, are hereby declared to be petty misdemeanors. (1949, c. 145, s. 4; 1973, c. 108, s. 1.)

§ 14 74.  Larceny by servants and other employees.

If any servant or other employee, to whom any money, goods or other chattels, or any of the articles, securities or choses in action mentioned in G.S. 14-75, by his master shall be delivered safely to be kept to the use of his master, shall withdraw himself from his master and go away with such money, goods or other chattels, or any of the articles, securities or choses in action mentioned as aforesaid, or any part thereof, with intent to steal the same and defraud his master thereof, contrary to the trust and confidence in him reposed by his said master; or if any servant, being in the service of his master, without the assent of his master, shall embezzle such money, goods or other chattels, or any of the articles, securities or choses in action mentioned as aforesaid, or any part thereof, or otherwise convert the same to his own use, with like purpose to steal them, or to defraud his master thereof, the servant so offending shall be guilty of a felony: Provided, that nothing contained in this section shall extend to apprentices or servants within the age of 16 years. If the value of the money, goods, or other chattels, or any of the articles, securities, or choses in action mentioned in G.S. 14-75, is one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more, the person is guilty of a Class C felony. If the value of the money, goods, or other chattels, or any of the articles, securities, or choses in action mentioned in G.S. 14-75, is less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the person is guilty of a Class H felony.  (21 Hen. VIII, c. 7, ss. 1, 2; R.C., c. 34, s. 18; Code, s. 1065; Rev., s. 3499; C.S., s. 4253; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1997-443, s. 19.25(c); 1998-217, s. 4(a).)

§ 14 75.  Larceny of chose in action.

If any person shall feloniously steal, take and carry away, or take by robbery, any bank note, check or other order for the payment of money issued by or drawn on any bank or other society or corporation within this State or within any of the United States, or any treasury warrant, debenture, certificate of stock or other public security, or certificate of stock in any corporation, or any order, bill of exchange, bond, promissory note or other obligation, either for the payment of money or for the delivery of specific articles, being the property of any other person, or of any corporation (notwithstanding any of the said particulars may be termed in law a chose in action), that person is guilty of a Class H felony. (1811, c. 814, s. 1; R.C., c. 34, s. 20; Code, s. 1064; Rev., s. 3498; C.S., s. 4254; 1945, c. 635; 1993, c. 539, s. 1167; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 75.1.  Larceny of secret technical processes.

Any person who steals property consisting of a sample, culture, microorganism, specimen, record, recording, document, drawing, or any other article, material, device, or substance which constitutes, represents, evidences, reflects, or records a secret scientific or technical process, invention, formula, or any phase or part thereof shall be punished as a Class H felon. A process, invention, or formula is "secret" when it is not, and is not intended  to be, available to anyone other than the owner thereof or selected persons having access thereto for limited purposes with his consent, and when it accords or may accord the owner an advantage over competitors or other persons who do not have knowledge or the benefit thereof. (1967, c. 1175; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2 nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14.)

§ 14 76.  Larceny, mutilation, or destruction of public records and papers.

If any person shall steal, or for any fraudulent purpose shall take from its place of deposit for the time being, or from any person having the lawful custody thereof, or shall unlawfully and maliciously obliterate, injure or destroy any record, writ, return, panel, process, interrogatory, deposition, affidavit, rule, order or warrant of attorney or any original document whatsoever, of or belonging to any court of record, or relating to any matter, civil or criminal, begun, pending or terminated in any such court, or any bill, answer, interrogatory, deposition, affidavit, order or decree or any original document whatsoever, of or belonging to any court or relating to any cause or matter begun, pending or terminated in any such court, every such offender shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor; and in any indictment for such offense it shall not be necessary to allege that the article, in respect to which the offense is committed, is the property of any person or that the same is of any value.  If any person shall steal or for any fraudulent purpose shall take from the register's office, or from any person having the lawful custody thereof, or shall unlawfully and willfully obliterate, injure or destroy any book wherein deeds or other instruments of writing are registered, or any other book of registration or record required to be kept by the register of deeds or shall unlawfully destroy, obliterate, deface or remove any records of proceedings of the board of county commissioners, or unlawfully and fraudulently abstract any record, receipt, order or voucher or other paper writing required to be kept by the clerk of the board of commissioners of any county, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (8 Hen. VI, c. 12, s. 3; R.C., c. 34, s. 31; 1881, c. 17; Code, s. 1071; Rev., s. 3508; C.S., s. 4255; 1993, c. 539, s. 37; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 76.1.  Mutilation or defacement of records and papers in the North Carolina State Archives.

If any person shall willfully or maliciously obliterate, injure, deface, or alter any record or paper in the custody of the North Carolina State Archives as defined by G.S. 121-2(7) and 121-2(8), he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.  The provisions of this section do not apply to employees of the Department of Cultural Resources who may destroy any accessioned records or papers that are approved for destruction by the North Carolina Historical Commission pursuant to the authority contained in G.S. 121-4(12). (1975, c. 696, s. 3; 1993, c. 539, s. 38; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 77.  Larceny, concealment or destruction of wills.

If any person, either during the life of the testator or after his death, shall steal or, for any fraudulent purpose, shall destroy or conceal any will, codicil or other testamentary instrument, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (R.C., c. 34, s. 32; Code, s. 1072; Rev., s. 3510; C.S., s. 4256; 1993, c. 539, s. 39; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 78.  Larceny of ungathered crops.

If any person shall steal or feloniously take and carry away any maize, corn, wheat, rice or other grain, or any cotton, tobacco, potatoes, peanuts, pulse, fruit, vegetable or other product cultivated for food or market, growing, standing or remaining ungathered in any field or ground, that person is guilty of a Class H felony. (1811, c. 816, P.R.; R.C., c. 34, s. 21; 1868-9, c. 251; Code, s. 1069; Rev., s. 3503; C.S., s. 4257; 1975, c. 697; 1993, c. 539, s. 1168; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 78.1:  Repealed by Session Laws 1994, Ex.  Sess., c. 14, s. 72(1).

§ 14 79.  Larceny of ginseng.

If any person shall take and carry away, or shall aid in taking or carrying away, any ginseng growing upon the lands of another person, with intent to steal the same, he shall be punished as a Class H felon. (1905, c. 211; Rev., s. 3502; C.S., s. 4258; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1169; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1999-107, s. 1.)

§ 14 79.1.  Larceny of pine needles or pine straw.

If any person shall take and carry away, or shall aid in taking or carrying away, any pine needles or pine straw being produced on the land of another person upon which land notices, signs, or posters prohibiting the raking or removal of pine needles or pine straw have been placed in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 14-159.7, or upon which posted notices have been placed in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 14-159.7, with the intent to steal the pine needles or pine straw, that person shall be guilty of a Class H felony. (1997-443, s. 19.25(aa).)

§ 14 80:  Repealed by Session Laws 1994, Ex.  Sess., c. 14, s. 72(2).

§ 14 81.  Larceny of horses, mules, swine, cattle, or dogs.

(a)       Larceny of horses, mules, swine, or cattle is a Class H felony.

(a1)     Larceny of a dog is a Class I felony.

(b)       In sentencing a person convicted of violating this section, the judge shall, as a minimum punishment, place a person on probation subject to the following conditions:

(1)       A person must make restitution for the damage or loss caused by the larceny of the livestock or dogs, and

(2)       A person must pay a fine of not less than the amount of the damages or loss caused by the larceny of the livestock or dogs.

(c)       No provision in this section shall limit the authority of the judge to sentence the person convicted of violating this section to an active sentence. (1866-7, c. 62; 1868, c. 37, s. 1; 1879, c. 234, s. 2; Code, s. 1066; Rev., s. 3505; 1917, c. 162, s. 2; C.S., s. 4260; 1965, c. 621, s. 6; 1981, c. 664, s. 2; 1989, c. 773, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 1171; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 82.  Taking horses, mules, or dogs for temporary purposes.

If any person shall unlawfully take and carry away any horse, gelding, mare, mule, or dog, the property of another person, secretly and against the will of the owner of such property, with intent to deprive the owner of the special or temporary use of the same, or with the intent to use such property for a special or temporary purpose, the person so offending shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1879, c. 234, s. 1; Code, s. 1067; Rev., s. 3509; 1913, c. 11; C.S., s. 4261; 1969, c. 1224, s. 3; 1989, c. 773, s. 3; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, s. 3.3.)

§ 14 83.  Repealed by Session Laws 1943, c. 543.

§ 14 84.  Animals subject to larceny.

All common-law distinctions among animals with respect to their being subject to larceny are abolished. Any animal that is in a person's possession is the subject of larceny. (1919, c. 116, s. 9; C.S., s. 4263; 1955, c. 804; 1983, c. 35, s. 1.)

§ 14 85.  Pursuing or injuring livestock with intent to steal.

If any person shall pursue, kill or wound any horse, mule, ass, jennet, cattle, hog, sheep or goat, the property of another, with the intent unlawfully and feloniously to convert the same to his own use, he shall be guilty of a Class H felony, and shall be punishable, in all respects, as if convicted of larceny, though such animal may not have come into the actual possession of the person so offending. (1866, c. 57; Code, s. 1068; Rev., s. 3504; C.S., s. 4264; 1993, c. 539, s. 1172; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

§ 14 86:  Repealed by Session Laws 1994, Ex.  Sess., c. 14, s. 72(3).

§ 14 86.1.  Seizure and forfeiture of conveyances used in committing larceny and similar crimes.

(a)       All conveyances, including vehicles, watercraft or aircraft, used to unlawfully conceal, convey or transport property in violation of G.S. 14-71, 14-71.1, or 20-106, or used by any person in the commission of armed or common-law robbery, or used in violation of G.S. 14-72.7, or used by any person in the commission of any larceny when the value of the property taken is more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) shall be subject to forfeiture as provided herein, except that:

(1)       No conveyance used by any person as a common carrier in the transaction of the business of the common carrier shall be forfeited under the provisions of this section unless it shall appear that the owner or other person in custody or control of such conveyance was a consenting party or privy to a violation that may subject the conveyance to forfeiture under this section;

(2)       No conveyance shall be forfeited under the provisions of this section by reason of any act or omission committed or omitted while such conveyance was unlawfully in the possession of a person other than the owner in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or any state;

(3)       No conveyance shall be forfeited pursuant to this section unless the violation involved is a felony;

(4)       A forfeiture of a conveyance encumbered by a bona fide security interest is subject to the interest of the secured party who neither had knowledge of nor consented to the act or omission;

(5)       No conveyance shall be forfeited under the provisions of this section unless the owner knew or had reason to believe the vehicle was being used in the commission of any violation that may subject the conveyance to forfeiture under this section;

(6)       The trial judge in the criminal proceeding which may subject the conveyance to forfeiture may order the seized conveyance returned to the owner if he finds forfeiture inappropriate. If the conveyance is not returned to the owner the procedures provided in subsection (e) shall apply.

As used in this section concerning a violation of G.S. 14-72.7, the term "conveyance" includes any "instrumentality" as defined in that section.

(b)       Any conveyance subject to forfeiture under this section may be seized by any law-enforcement officer upon process issued by any district or superior court having original jurisdiction over the offense except that seizure without such process may be made when:

(1)       The seizure is incident to an arrest or subject to a search under a search warrant; or

(2)       The property subject to seizure has been the subject of a prior judgment in favor of the State in a criminal injunction or forfeiture proceeding under this section.

(c)       The conveyance shall be deemed to be in custody of the law-enforcement agency seizing it. The law-enforcement agency may remove the property to a place designated by it or request that the North Carolina Department of Justice or Department of Crime Control and Public Safety take custody of the property and remove it to an appropriate location for disposition in accordance with law; provided, the conveyance shall be returned to the owner upon execution by him of a good and valid bond, with sufficient sureties, in a sum double the value of the property, which said bond shall be approved by an officer of the agency seizing the conveyance and shall be conditioned upon the return of said property to the custody of said officer on the day of trial to abide the judgment of the court.

(d)       Whenever a conveyance is forfeited under this section, the law-enforcement agency having custody of it may:

(1)       Retain the conveyance for official use; or

(2)       Transfer the conveyance which was forfeited under the provisions of this section to the North Carolina Department of Justice or to the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety when, in the discretion of the presiding judge and upon application of the North Carolina Department of Justice or the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said conveyance may be of official use to the North Carolina Department of Justice or the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety; or

(3)       Upon determination by the director of any law-enforcement agency that a conveyance transferred pursuant to the provisions of this section is of no further use to said agency, such conveyance may be sold as surplus property in the same manner as other conveyances owned by the law-enforcement agency. The proceeds from such sale, after deducting the cost thereof, shall be paid to the school fund of the county in which said conveyance was seized. Any conveyance transferred to any law-enforcement agency under the provisions of this section which has been modified or especially equipped from its original manufactured condition so as to increase its speed shall be used in the performance of official duties only. Such conveyance shall not be resold, transferred or disposed of other than as junk unless the special equipment or modification has been removed and destroyed, and the vehicle restored to its original manufactured condition.

(e)       All conveyances subject to forfeiture under the provisions of this section shall be forfeited pursuant to the procedures for forfeiture of conveyances used to conceal, convey, or transport intoxicating beverages found in G.S. 18B-504. Provided, nothing in this section or G.S. 18B-504 shall be construed to require a conveyance to be sold when it can be used in the performance of official duties of the law-enforcement agency. (1979, c. 592; 1983, c. 74; c. 768, s. 2; 1991, c. 523, s. 4; 2007-178, s. 2.)

Article 16A.

Organized Retail Theft.

§ 14 86.5.  Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1)       "Retail property." - Any new article, product, commodity, item, or component intended to be sold in retail commerce.

(2)       "Retail property fence." - A person or business that buys retail property knowing or believing that retail property is stolen.

(3)       "Theft." - To take possession of, carry away, transfer, or cause to be carried away the retail property of another with the intent to steal the retail property.

(4)       "Value." - The retail value of an item as advertised by the affected retail establishment, to include all applicable taxes. (2007-373, s. 3.)

§ 14 86.6.  Organized retail theft.

(a)       A person is guilty of a Class H felony if the person:

(1)       Conspires with another person to commit theft of retail property from a retail establishment, with a value exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) aggregated over a 90-day period, with the intent to sell that retail property for monetary or other gain, and who takes or causes that retail property to be placed in the control of a retail property fence or other person in exchange for consideration.

(2)       Receives or possesses any retail property that has been taken or stolen in violation of subdivision (1) of this subsection while knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe the property is stolen.

(b)       Any interest a person has acquired or maintained in violation of this section shall be subject to forfeiture pursuant to the procedures for forfeiture set out in G.S. 18B-504. (2007-373, s. 3.)

 

Identity Theft      
State State Code Statute Title Statute, penalties and restitution

North Carolina

14-113.20 to 14-113.23

Identity Theft





Trafficking in stolen identities
Restitution

Punishable as a Class G felony, except it is punishable as a Class F felony if: (i) the victim suffers arrest, detention, or conviction as a proximate result of the offense, or (ii) the person is in possession of the identifying information pertaining to three or more separate persons
Punishable as a Class E felony

The court may order a person convicted under G.S. 14-113.20 or G.S. 14-113.20A to pay restitution pursuant to Article 81C of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes for financial loss caused by the violation to any person. Financial loss included under this subsection may include, in addition to actual losses, lost wages, attorneys' fees, and other costs incurred by the victim in correcting his or her credit history or credit rating, or in connection with any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding brought against the victim resulting from the misappropriation of the victim's identifying information.

 

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Please note, the theft law information on this page is provided as a courtesy to help explain theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. There is no guarantee or assurance of reliability or validity. Laws change over time and this page may or may not be current. The code that is provided on this site is an unofficial posting of the State Codes. The files making up this Internet version of the State Codes do not constitute the official text of the State Codes and are intended for informational purposes only. No representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of these sections. While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the statutes available Offender SolutionsT shall not be liable or held responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in these files, they are provided on an "As Is" basis. Use of the information and services are at the sole risk of the user. For official versions of any state's current laws, the user is directed to that states Revised Statutes, all amendments and cumulative supplements thereto published by that state. Please notify the Webmaster if you find any irregularities in the statutes on this web site. The Webmaster will relay the information to appropriate staff to investigate the irregularities. The printed version of the State Codes should be consulted for all matters requiring reliance on the statutory text. If you were involved in a theft or shoplifting incident you are encouraged to consider taking a theft cloass, theft course or shoplifting education class such as the one provided by offender solutions. Research shows theft school and/or theft education can be an effective theft prevention. Offender Solutions™ is an online theft education, shoplifting education class about stealing, it can be very effective if you want to stop stealing. Evan it was a small theft, a petty theft class or petty theft school could be right for you!



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