Definition of Theft
Theft refers to crimes that involves the taking of another’s property without his or her permission. Theft has a broad legal meaning and encompasses several categories as well as multiple criminal degrees. The most common definition of theft refers to it as the deliberate and unauthorized taking of property from another person with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. Theft is a widely covered phenomenon in social sciences especially in criminology as well as law (Ackerman, 2015).
Those who deal with the offenders across the world have always seen criminological theory has irrelevant. Some attributing factors amount to irrelevance, and they include psychological, genetic variance and the practices that involve child rearing. Behaviour of an individual in the criminology theory can be due to the interaction of that person and the environment. Paying attention to both an individual and the setting to avoid the question as to why certain people might be more or less criminally inclined. Consideration of the context is likely to translate the perceived inclinations into deeds.
By doing the analysis of theft criminology, one can come to terms with the fact that settings provide more crime opportunities compared to others. Similarly, some critics have refuted opportunities as the correct result of the offense. It is clear that no crime can take place without the real opportunities to commit the act or offense. Whatever criminal, an intention of a perpetrator of a crime without subduing the physical requirements is always impossible. The objective of this paper, therefore, is to analyze theft in criminological theory (Andresen, 2015).
Prevalence of theft; Theft is a criminal behavior that has become one of the main social problems in today’s society. Types of theft; There are various types of theft crimes which differ in their degree of seriousness and the legal implications. They include petty theft, grand theft, identity theft, robbery, larceny, and fraud. Some of these may not be directly designated as theft, but only becomes so on the basis of their legal implications. Identity if the newest type of theft that is also gaining popularity across the globe. There are so many sources of individual personal information which can be accessed easily, and this explains why it is increasing.
Petty theft; Petty theft occurs when someone takes another’s property below a particular value specified by the law. The value varies from jurisdiction to the other. Petty theft is under the category of misdemeanor crimes. It is the most common of theft and also among the most common crimes generally (Boivin, 2014).
Grand theft; Grand theft involves stealing another person’s property that is worth more than the specified limit for petty theft. It can include stealing items of value such as a motor vehicle. Grand theft is classified under felonies across the world. It is not as common as petty theft. Identity theft; Theft is termed as identity theft when someone uses another’s name, credit card, bank account or any other personal information without the owner’s permission. This criminal behavior is predominantly damaging because in given cases the actions personal information is used to accomplish may result in huge loses. Identity theft is currently considered to be a federal criminal offence. In some instances, it is punishable by long jail sentences as well as forfeiture of all the property acquired with the stolen money.
Robbery; Robbery is theft performed with the added aspect of threat or actual use of violence. In many jurisdictions, robbery is considered a criminal behavior in its own respect and not categorized under theft. Robbery is a felony offence and is punished heavily in all jurisdictions. It is also one of the most common felonies (Fielding, 2012).
Fraud; Taking of someone else’s property that involves deceiving the person to willingly hand over his or her property under false pretence at the expense of violence is referred as fraud. it can have many varieties depending on the nature of deception. Fraud is a white collar crime since it involves no violence and is perpetrated through business settings. Fraud is most common in financial institutions, businesses as well as other field involving money.
Overview of Criminal Behavior
The approach assumes that for theft to occur there must be a junction in time and some three elements. There must be the offender, a target that is suitable and absence of guardian against crime who is capable. The guardian is not necessarily a police officer but anybody who is capable of discouraging the crime from taking place. When a tutor is absent, a target is likely to be a subject of the risk of stealing or criminal attack. In the approach, the term target is mostly used over the victim who there is the high probability of being absent in the criminal scene. It can be explained by taking into account the circumstance when the owner of a given item such as laptop or television is away the moment the burglar comes in to make it. In this case, the Television or the laptop is the target and absence of the owner make the item readily available by the thief. Targets of crime are likely to be an individual or an item whose position puts it in a perilous state and prone to criminal attack (Fors, 2014).
Thieves are likely to be interested in targets they feel some value for whatever motive. For instance, if a burglar seems that the laptop is more valuable than the television, he will certainly go for the laptop. The mobility of an item also plays a part in contributing to the vulnerability of the target. Most electronic products are easily stolen because they are light and can be carried around easily. Bulky products need to be transported hence making them challenging targets. Similarly, visibility of the target to the thief makes it easy and accessible. For ordinary criminals to occur, an offender must find a suitable target in the absence of the owner. It, therefore, indicates that the rate of crime can increase if there are fewer criminals and more targets. Also, if the offenders can get to targets with no guardians present. It, therefore, means that community can produce more opportunities for the crime without the development of any motivation of criminal act (Groff, 2007).
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