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Theft Crimes

Law enforcement officers in Pasco County, FL, aggressively pursue felony and misdemeanor theft charges. Officers that investigate these types of charges include officers with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the Dade City Police Department, the Land O’Lakes Police Department, and the New Port Richey Police Department.

The State Attorney’s Office at the courthouse in New Port Richey and Dade City, FL, also aggressively prosecuted theft crimes when the charges are supported by sufficient evidence. You also need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can aggressively defend you against the accusation and make sure your rights are protected at every stage of the case.

Florida law provides that a person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently:

  • Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property; or
  • Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.

The most commonly prosecuted theft crimes include petit theft, retail theft / shoplifting, grand theft, and scheme to defraud.

Attorneys for Theft Crimes in Pasco County, FL

If you are under investigation or charges with a theft crime, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Our attorneys are experienced fighting a wide variety of property crimes in Pasco County, FL, including grand theft, scheme to defraud, retail theft and petit theft.

Our main offices are located in Tampa, FL. Our second office is conveniently located in New Port Richey in Pasco County, across from the courthouse at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

Contact us to find out about your charges, potential defense, and the best ways to fight the case.

Call (813) 250-0500 today.


Penalties for Theft Crimes in Florida

Under Section 812.014, F.S., Florida law categorizes thefts into misdemeanor or felony criminal violations. To determine whether a theft is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, a variety of factors must be considered including:

  • the value of the property taken;
  • the offender’s history of theft convictions; or
  • the type of property taken.

The thresholds for classifying theft crimes depending on the value of the property include:

Property Value

Offense Level

≥ $100,000

First Degree Felony

≥ $20,000, but < $100,000

Second Degree Felony

≥ $10,000, but < $20,000

Third Degree Felony5

≥ $5,000, but < $10,000

Third Degree Felony

≥ $300, but < $5,000

Third Degree Felony

≥ $100, but < $300

if taken from a dwelling or

unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling

Third Degree Felony

≥ $100, but < $300

First Degree Misdemeanor

< $100

Second Degree Misdemeanor


Penalties for Theft Crimes with Prior Convictions

Florida’s theft statute in Section 812.014, F.S., also increases the severity of a petit theft offense if a person has one or more prior convictions include:

  • A person who has previously been convicted of any theft, who commits petit theft, commits a first degree misdemeanor as provided in Section 812.014(3)(b), F.S.;
  • A person who has been previously convicted of theft two or more times, who commits a petit theft, commits a third degree felony as provided in Section 812.014(3)(c), F.S.

Retail Theft and Shoplifting Crimes in Pasco County, FL

The biggest retail establishments in Pasco County, FL, include:

  • Grove at Wesley Chapel;
  • The Shops at Wiregrass;
  • Shoppes at Sunlake Centre; and
  • Northgate Square;
  • Cypress Creek;
  • Tampa Premium Outlets.

Retail theft in Pasco County, FL, can also occur at stores like Walmart and Target, Home Depot or Lowe’s, a pharmacy like Walgreens or CVS, or even the grocery store like Publix.

A person commits retail theft when he or she, with the intent to deprive a merchant of possession, use, benefit, or full retail value of property, by doing any of the following:

  • taking possession of or carrying away merchandise, property, money or negotiable documents;
  • altering or removing a label, universal product code, or price tag;
  • transferring merchandise from one container to another; or
  • removing a shopping cart, with intent to deprive the merchant of possession, use, benefit, or full retail value.

Created in 2001, Florida law provides for certain thresholds for third degree felony retail theft. The crime of retail theft or shoplifting is charged as a third degree felony, if the property stolen is valued at $300 or more, and the person:

  • individually, or with one or more other persons, coordinates the activities of one or more individuals in committing the offense, in which case the amount of each individual theft is aggregated to determine the value of the property stolen;
  • commits theft from more than one location within a 48-hour period, in which case the amount of each individual theft is aggregated to determine the value of the property stolen;
  • acts in concert with one or more other individuals within one or more establishments to distract the merchant, merchant’s employee, or law enforcement officer in order to carry out the offense, or acts in other ways to coordinate efforts to carry out the offense; or
  • commits the offense through the purchase of merchandise in a package or box that contains merchandise other than, or in addition to, the merchandise purported to be contained in the package or box.

Retail theft is charged as a second degree felony when:

  • A person has previously been convicted of third degree felony retail theft; or
  • Individually, or in concert with one or more other persons, coordinates the activities of one or more persons in committing the offense of retail theft where the stolen property has a value in excess of $3,000.

This article was last updated on Friday, March 1, 2019.

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