Grand Theft

Penal Code 487 PC.2 defines grand theft (larceny) is the unlawful taking of someone else’s property when:

  • the property is valued more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) OR
  • the property is a car or a firearm OR
  • the property is a certain type of animal OR
  • The property was forcibly removed from its owner (i.e. mugging)

Some kinds of property can result a grand theft charge in California if they are worth more than $250. These include farm crops (fruits, vegetables, etc.) and ocean produce such as fish or seaweed.

Grand theft can be committed by larceny, which involves intentional and unauthorized taking and removal of someone else’s property. There is also grand theft by false pretense, which happens when a person knowingly and intentionally deceives somebody by telling them something that persuades them to let the defendant take possession of their property. A third category is grand theft by trick, which is when someone intentionally uses fraud or deceit to take possession of someone else’s property, either permanently or long enough to deprive them of much of its value or enjoyment.