Oregon Petty Theft and Other Theft Laws

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Defining Theft Under Oregon Law 

Theft is committed under Oregon law if, with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of his or her property, the offender:

  • takes, appropriates, obtains or withholds the property from the owner
  • takes possession of lost property, or property that has been delivered by mistake
  • commits theft by extortion 
  • commits theft by deception, or
  • knowingly receives property that has been stolen. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 164.015.)

Classification of Theft Offenses and Penalties in Oregon

Like most other states, Oregon classifies theft offenses according to the value of the property taken -- and sometimes by the circumstances surrounding the theft. Let’s take a closer look at each level of theft in Oregon.

Theft in the Third Degree. Oregon law classifies the lowest-level theft offense in Oregon as "theft in the third degree," which is a class C misdemeanor. This level of theft also may be referred to as petty theft. The total value of the property stolen must be less than $100 in order for the offense to qualify as theft in the third degree in Oregon. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 164.043.) The punishment for theft in the third degree in Oregon is a maximum of 30 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,250. (§ 161.615, § 161.635.) 

Theft in the Second Degree. If the total value of the property stolen is more than $100 but less than $1,000, Oregon law designates a theft offense as "theft in the second degree," which is a class A misdemeanor. (§ 164.045.) The punishment for theft in the second degree in Oregon is a maximum of one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $6,250. (§ 161.615, § 161.635.)

Theft in the First Degree. Oregon law classifies a theft offense as “theft in the first degree” when the total value of the property stolen is $1,000 or more. Theft in the first degree is a class C felony in Oregon. Other theft offenses that qualify as theft in the first degree in Oregon include:

  • theft that occurs during a riot or catastrophe
  • theft of a firearm or explosive
  • theft of livestock, a companion animal, or wild animal, and
  • theft of a "precursor substance" that can be used to manufacture synthetic drugs.          (§ 164.055.)

The punishment for theft in the first degree in Oregon is a maximum of five years in state prison and a fine not to exceed $125,000. (§ 161.605, § 161.625.)

Aggravated Theft in the First Degree. If the total value of the property stolen is $10,000 or more, other than a non-commercial motor vehicle, Oregon law designates a theft offense as "aggravated theft in the first degree," which is a class B felony. (§ 164.057.) The punishment for aggravated theft in the first degree in Oregon is a maximum of 10 years in Oregon state prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000.  Furthermore, if the victim of the theft was age 65 or older at the time of the offense, Oregon law requires that the offender receive a term of incarceration ranging from 16 months to 45 months. (§ 161.605, § 161.625, § 164.061.)

Civil Penalties for Theft in Oregon

In addition to any criminal penalties, a person who commits shoplifting in Oregon may be civilly liable to the storeowner for:

  • the actual damages caused by the shoplifting incident
  • a penalty in the amount of the retail value of the item stolen, not to exceed $500 (and not more than $250 if the parent or legal guardian of a juvenile shoplifter is paying), and
  • an additional penalty to the owner of not less than $100 and not more than $250. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 30.875.)

by: , J.D.

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