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Stealing

Robbery Offences – WA

Welcome to the WA Stealing article page. Everything you need to know about Stealing according to WA Law.

What the Law states according to WA Law for Stealing

According to WA Law for the charge of Stealing:

Section 378: Any person who steals anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a crime.

“Capable of being stolen” is defined under the Criminal Code to mean any property which belongs to a person and which is moveable. Property is capable of being stolen even if it has to be made moveable in order to be stolen. Any animal, whether wild or tame, which belongs to a person, is capable of being stolen.

“Stealing” is defined under the Criminal Code to mean fraudulently taking something capable of being stolen or fraudulently converting something for his/her own use. A person who takes or converts property capable of being stolen is said to have done so fraudulently if:

(1) They intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property or any part of the property;
(2) They intend to permanently deprive any person who has special property of all or part of that special property;
(3) They intend to use the property as a pledge or security;
(4) They intend to part with it on a condition as to its return which the person taking or converting may be unable to perform;
(5) They intend to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be returned in the condition in which it was at the time of the taking or conversion; or
(6) In the case of money, they intend to use it at the will of the person who takes or converts it although he may intend to afterwards repay the amount to the owner.

The Maximum Penalty – Stealing

According to WA Law for the charge of Stealing:

For most stealing offences, the maximum penalty in 7 years imprisonment. However, there are many exceptions to this:

(1) If the thing stolen is a testamentary instrument (a ‘will’), the maximum penalty it 10 years.
(2) If the thing stolen is a motor vehicle and the offender drives the vehicle dangerously or recklessly, the maximum penalty is 8 years.
(3) If the thing stolen is an aircraft, the maximum penalty is 10 years.
(4) If the offender is a clerk or servant (eg. An employee) and the thing stolen is from the employer, the maximum penalty is 10 years.
(5) If the offender is a director or an officer of a corporation and the thing stolen was property of the corporation, the maximum penalty is 10 years.
(6) If the thing stolen was stolen under any of the following circumstances, the maximum penalty is 14 years:
(a) If the thing is stolen from the person of another;
(b) If the thing is stolen from a dwelling and the property’s value is over $10,000;
(c) If the thing is stolen from a vessel or vehicle or place of deposit used for the conveyance or custody of goods in transit from one place to another;
(d) If the thing is stolen from a vessel which is in distress or wrecked or stranded;
(e) If the thing is stolen from a public office in which it is deposited or kept; or
(f) If the offender, in order to commit the offence, opens any locked room, box, or other receptacle by means of a key or other instrument.

In certain circumstances, the matter may be able to be tried summarily in the Magistrate’s Court. Where this is able to occur, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000.

What the Police must prove according to WA Law for Stealing

(1) That the accused took something capable of being stolen;
(2) That the goods belong to another person;
(3) That the accused took the thing fraudulently; and
(4) That the accused intended to steal the thing and permanently deprive the owner of its use.

Possible Defences under WA Law – Stealing

(a) Duress;
(b) Mistake of fact;
(c) Honest claim of right, the goods were abandoned;
(d) There was consent to take the property; and
(e) There was no intention to permanently deprive the owner of use or convert the goods.

In WA which court will hear the matter – Stealing

The matter will be heard in the District Court or the Magistrate’s Court if it is being dealt with summarily.

Stealing is an ‘either-way’ offence. If the matter is able to be dealt with summarily it will probably by heard in the Magistrate’s Court. However, if the matter is particularly serious, or if the accused is also facing charges which are being dealt with in the District Court, the Prosecution may make an application to have the stealing charge also heard in the District Court.

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