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Statistics On Theft Arrests In Delaware


The basic definition of theft is taking something that does not belong to you or otherwise misappropriating property, and it is one of the most common offenses across the US. In fact, according to the State of Delaware Crime Publications, law enforcement arrests almost 17,500 people every year for various theft crimes. Offenses range from shoplifting and pickpocketing to auto theft and large scale theft rings, and felony or misdemeanor charges may apply. As such, jail time, fines, and other punishment varies considerably.

However, you can only be sentenced to penalties if you are convicted. The standard for a guilty verdict is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, a much higher burden than what police go by when making an arrest. A Wilmington theft defense lawyer can help with strategy if you are facing charges, but additional data on these crimes is useful.

Statistics on Types of Theft Charges 

A closer look at the data on theft arrests is helpful for understanding the various charges you could face.

  • Almost 1,700 people are charged with motor vehicle theft every year, and 415 of these arrests take place in Wilmington, DE.
  • Theft from a motor vehicle is also a common offense, and officers arrest around 4,500 individuals annually.
  • Almost one-third of all theft offenses is shoplifting. Police charge around 4,700 people for retail theft statewide, and 400 of these arrests take place in Wilmington.

Note that robbery is an offense that involves taking someone else’s property, but it is classified differently by Delaware officials. Robbery is considered a violent crime, in which someone uses force or threats during commission of a theft. The offense is always a felony because of the violence factor. The statistics on robbery arrests is much lower compared to other theft crimes, at around 900 suspects.

 Sentencing for Theft Convictions in Delaware 

Charges and sentencing for theft crimes are based upon the fair market value of the property misappropriated, as well as other factors. For instance:

  • Theft under $1,500 is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year incarceration and a fine up to $2,300.
  • You could be charged with a Class G Felony for theft in excess of $1,500 or if the victim was older than 65 or disabled. A judge could order a maximum of 2 years in prison.
  • Stealing a firearm is a Class F Felony, which carries a potential prison sentence of 3 years.
  • Theft in an amount exceeding $100,000 is a Class B Felony. The mandatory minimum prison sentence is 2 years, but a judge could order a maximum of 25 years’ incarceration. 

Contact a Delaware Theft Defense Attorney About Fighting the Charges

Once you know the sentence you face if convicted for theft crimes in Delaware, you can see the importance of developing a strategy. There may be defense options, plea bargaining opportunities, and other tactics for obtaining a favorable outcome. To learn more, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica by calling 302.600.1262 or visiting our website. We can schedule a consultation at our offices in Wilmington, DE to discuss details.



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