With the abundance of young adults and parties that can occur around college campuses, alcohol-related offenses might be your first guess as to the most common crimes committed. But public intoxication and driving under the influence do not top the list of crimes committed at the University of Georgia.

What is theft by taking?

According to the University of Georgia Police Department, the majority of reported crimes they experience involve the theft of personal property. Most of these tend to be crimes of opportunity, where the property is left unattended in a public place.

Theft by taking is Georgia’s term for larceny. Theft by taking occurs when someone unlawfully takes the property of another, with the intention of depriving the other person of that property. The manner in which the property is taken does not matter.

Additionally, the crime can be committed by appropriating the property of another, with the intent to deprive them of the property. This can occur when someone rightfully possesses another’s property but fails to return it to the owner when the right to possess it ends.

In Georgia, whether a theft by taking is considered a misdemeanor or a felony is determined by the dollar amount of the property taken. If the value is $500 or less, it is a misdemeanor. If the value exceeds $500, it is a felony.

Being accused of theft by taking, or any other crime, is not the same thing as being convicted of that crime. Witnesses can make mistakes and evidence can be insufficient to prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone has the right to defend themselves against any such allegation.