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Stagecoach Hijacking (1787) by Francisco Goya
Stagecoach Hijacking (1787) by Francisco Goya

"They say that he was once scourging a slave whom he had detected in theft; and when he said to him, “It was fated that I should steal;” he rejoined, “Yes, and that you should be beaten.” " --Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (third century AD) by Diogenes Laërtius

Still from The Great Train Robbery (1903)
Still from The Great Train Robbery (1903)

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In the criminal law, theft (also known as stealing) is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent. As a term, it is used as shorthand for all major crimes against property, encompassing offences such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, trespassing, shoplifting, intrusion, fraud (theft by deception) and sometimes criminal conversion. In some jurisdictions, theft is considered to be synonymous with larceny; in others, theft has replaced larceny.

Someone who carries out an act of or makes a career of theft is known as a "thief".

See also

pickpocket, petty crime, Robin Hood, gentleman thief, brigandage, pirate, property is theft!

Specific forms of theft and other related offences

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Theft" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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