On this page:

  • What is Stealing?
  • What is Stealing from the Person?
  • What is Larceny (Stealing) by Finding?
  • What is Larceny as a Bailee?

What is Stealing?

Stealing is the taking and carrying away (asportation) of property, belonging to another, without consent or claim of right, with an intention to permanently deprive the true owner of the goods.

What is a Claim of Right?

A claim of right is an honestly held belief that a person is legally entitled to the property and not some moral entitlement. A person with such a claim of right over property has a defence to an allegation of stealing.

What is Stealing From The Person?

This offence is similar to robbery and found within the same section of the Crimes Act – however it is not necessary to prove the same elements. It is more serious than a mere ‘stealing’ as it involves taking property from the person or from the presence of the person, but might not involve putting the person in fear. An example of this would be a bag snatch or pickpocket type offences.

This type of offence may be dealt with in the Local Court if no election is made for the matter to be dealt with in the District Court.

What is Larceny (Stealing) by Finding?

Stealing by Finding occurs when a person finds property and believes that the true owner can be located upon reasonable inquiry but decides to keep or appropriate the property for themselves. A person finding property must consider whether the owner of goods could be found. For example, finding a $10 note on the side of the road is an entirely different situation to finding a wallet with identification in it.

What is Larceny As a Bailee?

Larceny as a Bailee occurs where there is bailment of property to a person – such as a hire or lease of goods agreement, or a loan of property, and the ‘bailee’ decides to keep the goods or dispose of them – thus treating the goods as though they were or are the true owner.