Connecticut law defines theft (called larceny in Connecticut), as occurring when a person wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds someone else's property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, or to appropriate it to a third person. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53a-119.)
Connecticut criminal law statutes give several examples of actions that fall within the definition of larceny. These include:
Theft will be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony under Connecticut law, depending on the dollar value of the property involved in the theft. Let’s look at each level of theft under Connecticut law in detail.
If the value of property or services involved in the theft is $500 or less, the offense constitutes larceny in the sixth degree, which is a class C misdemeanor in Connecticut. Larceny in the sixth degree is the lowest level of theft or larceny under Connecticut law, and is often known as "petty theft" or "petty larceny." The punishment for a class C misdemeanor is a term of imprisonment of no more than three months, and a fine of no more than $500. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53a-125b.)
Theft of property valued at between $500 and $1,000 qualifies as larceny in the fifth degree, which is a class B misdemeanor in Connecticut. Larceny in the fifth degree carries a term of imprisonment of no more than six months, and a fine of no more than $1,000. ( § 53a-125a.)
When the value of property or services stolen is between $1,000 and $2000, theft is deemed larceny in the fourth degree, a class A misdemeanor under Connecticut law. Punishment for a class A misdemeanor is a term of incarceration of no more than one year, and a fine of no more than $2,000. ( § 53a-125.)
A charge of larceny in the third degree, a class D felony in Connecticut, will result when an offense involves theft of 1) property of a value exceeding $2,000 and not more than $10,000, or 2) a motor vehicle valued at less than $10,000, or 3) a public record or instrument. Larceny in the third degree carries a sentence of imprisonment of from one year to five years, and a fine not to exceed $5,000. ( § 53a-124.)
In order to qualify larceny in the second degree, a class C felony in Connecticut, a theft must involve:
A class C felony carries a sentence of imprisonment of from one year to 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $10,000. ( § 53a-123.)
A theft involving property or services valued at more than $20,000 constitutes larceny in the first degree in Connecticut, a class B felony. Punishment for a class B felony includes a term of imprisonment of from one year up to 20 years, and a fine of not more than $15,000. ( § 53a-122.)
A shoplifting offense committed in Connecticut will likely fall under the general theft classification and punishment system discussed in this article. But there are additional considerations to keep in mind when it comes to shoplifting, including the potential for shoplifters to be held civilly liable to store owners. To learn more, see Shoplifting Charges in Connecticut.