Theft is one of the most common crimes in Illinois and across the United States. From grocery stores to museums to apartments and homes, anything of value is a potential target for thieves. Despite elaborate security systems and other devices, property owners always have to worry about theft. That is why Illinois law employs a broad definition of theft crimes as well as a severe punishment scheme.
Definition of Theft in Illinois
The Illinois definition of theft appears in 720 ILCS 5/16-1. There are several different types of this offense, which revolve around possession and unauthorized control. A person commits theft in Illinois if they intentionally:
Obtain another person’s property without authorization;
Exert unauthorized control over another person’s property;
Use deception to gain unauthorized control over another person’s property;
Employ threats to gain unauthorized control over another person’s property; or
Take possession of stolen property, despite knowing or having