Theft Crimes on the Rise in Calgary, especially theft under $5,000

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Calgary police say the number of break-ins are up dramatically in Calgary this year, and so are thefts.

Said Calgary judge Sean Dunnigan, “To have a 30 per cent increase is significant, and it’s really concerning. I can tell you myself and my colleagues have been seeing it and feeling it at work. The courts are swamped. “

The biggest increase in Calgary crime is break and enter, up 39 per cent.  Robberies, car theft, and theft under $5,000 are all significantly up.

(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/dunnigan-calgary-crime-poverty-column-1.3899085)

If you are accused of theft

If you have been accused of theft, it’s important that you contact a criminal defence lawyer.  When you are arrested you must be told by the police the reason for your arrest and that you have the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. You should phone a lawyer immediately to get legal advice.

It’s not theft if it’s your own property

If a person accused of theft of under $5,000 honestly believed that he had a legal right to take the property, then he cannot be found guilty of theft. This defence does not apply where the accused honestly believed he deserved to have the property or where the accused thinks that it is fair that he get the property.

 It’s not theft if you forgot you had taken possession of something

To be guilty of the offence of theft the person who has been accused must have known that he did not own something and have intended to take that thing or move it away from the true owner. For example, if a person honestly forgot to pay for an item, and didn’t intend to leave the store without paying for it, this person did not have the intent to steal and has a defence to the charge. However, people are generally assumed to intend their actions and if a person leaves a store without paying, it may be difficult for a judge to believe the person intended to pay for the item.

Contact a Criminal Defence Lawyer

Theft and fraud related offences can involve intricate aspects of criminal law. In defending these types of cases, it is imperative that the defence be thoroughly prepared.  Maureen McConaghy is a Calgary criminal defence lawyer with experience in cases of theft and will ensure that you receive the best possible defence.

A conviction on your record for theft or fraud can have a serious impact on your current and future employment. The consequences can be devastating. Do not wait to seek legal advice. Call Maureen McConaghy so she can start working on your case at its earliest stage.