Dec 23

The Springfield Police Department continues to investigate a series of theft crimes that involved 11 catalytic converters, according to an article by WCIA.

Police reports provided the following details concerning these catalytic converters thefts:

  • Seven thefts occurred in the 600 block of North Sixth Street;
  • Three thefts occurred in the 2500 block of Prairie Crossing Drive; and
  • One theft occurred in the 2900 block of Rochester Road.

Police estimate that the total value of these stolen catalytic converters approximates $28,000. These thefts are part of a nationwide increase in similar crimes since 2019. In this time period, State Farm Insurance reported that catalytic converter thefts had increased by more than 400%. 

While the police investigation into these thefts continues, it seems like an opportune moment to review the Illinois laws and penalties for theft crimes.

Theft Laws in Illinois

The Illinois laws against theft appear at 720 ILCS 5/16-1. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly:

  • Obtain or exert unauthorized control over another person’s property;
  • Obtain control over another person’s property using deception;
  • Obtain control over another person’s property using threat;
  • Obtain control over stolen property, knowing or having a reason to know that the property was stolen; or
  • Obtain or exert unauthorized control over property in the custody of law enforcement if certain other factors are present.

Theft Penalties in Illinois

The Illinois penalties for theft also appear under Section 16-1. But these penalties do change based on certain characteristics, such as the type of theft and property value in question. 

For example, theft crimes can occur “from the person” and “not from the person.” When the crime occurs from the person, it typically refers to pickpocketing or a similar situation. The crime happens directly from or in the presence of the owner. Not from the person theft crimes occur outside the person or presence of the owner. 

When a theft crime happens outside the person or presence of the owner, it is usually punishable as follows:

  • Up to $500 in value — Class A misdemeanor;
  • Between $500 and $10k in value — Class 3 felony;
  • Between $10k and $100k in value — Class 2 felony;
  • Between $100k and $500k in value — Class 1 felony;
  • Between $500k and $1 million in value — Class 1 felony, without the possibility of probation; or
  • More than $1 million in value — Class X felony, without the possibility of probation.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense is, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at, or by completing an online form.