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Montana Theft Laws
Montana Theft Laws

 

45-6-301. Theft.

(1) A person commits the offense of theft when the person purposely or knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner and:
      (a) has the purpose of depriving the owner of the property;
      (b) purposely or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or
      (c) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing that the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.
      (2) A person commits the offense of theft when the person purposely or knowingly obtains by threat or deception control over property of the owner and:
      (a) has the purpose of depriving the owner of the property;
      (b) purposely or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or
      (c) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing that the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.
      (3) A person commits the offense of theft when the person purposely or knowingly obtains control over stolen property knowing the property to have been stolen by another and:
      (a) has the purpose of depriving the owner of the property;
      (b) purposely or knowingly uses, conceals, or abandons the property in a manner that deprives the owner of the property; or
      (c) uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing that the use, concealment, or abandonment probably will deprive the owner of the property.
      (4) A person commits the offense of theft when the person purposely or knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over any part of any public assistance provided under Title 52 or 53 by a state or county agency, regardless of the original source of assistance, by means of:
      (a) a knowingly false statement, representation, or impersonation; or
      (b) a fraudulent scheme or device.
      (5) A person commits the offense of theft when the person purposely or knowingly obtains or exerts or helps another obtain or exert unauthorized control over any part of any benefits provided under Title 39, chapter 71, by means of:
      (a) a knowingly false statement, representation, or impersonation; or
      (b) deception or other fraudulent action.
      (6) (a) A person commits the offense of theft when the person purposely or knowingly commits insurance fraud as provided in 33-1-1202 or 33-1-1302 ;
      (b) purposely or knowingly diverts or misappropriates insurance premiums as provided in 33-17-1102 ; or
      (c) purposely or knowingly receives small business health insurance premium incentive payments or premium assistance payments or tax credits under Title 33, chapter 22, part 20, to which the person is not entitled.
      (7) A person commits the offense of theft of property by embezzlement when, with the purpose to deprive the owner of the property, the person:
      (a) purposely or knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the person's employer or over property entrusted to the person; or
      (b) purposely or knowingly obtains by deception control over property of the person's employer or over property entrusted to the person.
      (8) (a) Except as provided in subsection (8)(b), a person convicted of the offense of theft of property not exceeding $1,000 in value shall be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. A person convicted of a second offense shall be fined $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. A person convicted of a third or subsequent offense shall be fined $1,000 and be imprisoned in the county jail for a term of not less than 30 days or more than 6 months.
      (b) Except as provided in subsection (8)(c), a person convicted of the offense of theft of property exceeding $1,000 in value, theft of any commonly domesticated hoofed animal, or theft of any amount of anhydrous ammonia for the purpose of manufacturing dangerous drugs shall be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000 or be imprisoned in a state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years, or both.
      (c) A person convicted of the offense of theft of property exceeding $10,000 in value by embezzlement shall be imprisoned in a state prison for a term of not less than 1 year or more than 10 years and may be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000. The court may, in its discretion, place the person on probation with the requirement that restitution be made under terms set by the court. If the terms are not met, the required prison term may be ordered.
      (9) Amounts involved in thefts committed pursuant to a common scheme or the same transaction, whether from the same person or several persons, may be aggregated in determining the value of the property.

45-6-332. Theft of identity.

(1) A person commits the offense of theft of identity if the person purposely or knowingly obtains personal identifying information of another person and uses that information for any unlawful purpose, including to obtain or attempt to obtain credit, goods, services, financial information, or medical information in the name of the other person without the consent of the other person.
      (2) (a) A person convicted of the offense of theft of identity if no economic benefit was gained or was attempted to be gained or if an economic benefit of less than $1,000 was gained or attempted to be gained shall be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000, imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both.
      (b) A person convicted of the offense of theft of identity if an economic benefit of $1,000 or more was gained or attempted to be gained shall be fined an amount not to exceed $10,000, imprisoned in a state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years, or both.
      (3) As used in this section, "personal identifying information" includes but is not limited to the name, date of birth, address, telephone number, driver's license number, social security number or other federal government identification number, tribal identification card number, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, financial institution account number, credit card number, or similar identifying information relating to a person.
      (4) If restitution is ordered, the court may include, as part of its determination of an amount owed, payment for any costs incurred by the victim, including attorney fees and any costs incurred in clearing the credit history or credit rating of the victim or in connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt, lien, or other obligation of the victim arising as a result of the actions of the defendant.

 

 

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Disclaimer
Please note, the theft law information on this page is provided as a courtesy to help explain theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. There is no guarantee or assurance of reliability or validity. Laws change over time and this page may or may not be current. The code that is provided on this site is an unofficial posting of the State Codes. The files making up this Internet version of the State Codes do not constitute the official text of the State Codes and are intended for informational purposes only. No representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of these sections. While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the statutes available Offender Solutions™ shall not be liable or held responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in these files, they are provided on an "As Is" basis. Use of the information and services are at the sole risk of the user. For official versions of any state's current laws, the user is directed to that states Revised Statutes, all amendments and cumulative supplements thereto published by that state. Please notify the Webmaster if you find any irregularities in the statutes on this web site. The Webmaster will relay the information to appropriate staff to investigate the irregularities. The printed version of the State Codes should be consulted for all matters requiring reliance on the statutory text. If you were involved in a theft or shoplifting incident you are encouraged to consider taking a theft cloass, theft course or shoplifting education class such as the one provided by offender solutions. Research shows theft school and/or theft education can be an effective theft prevention. Offender Solutions™ is an online theft education, shoplifting education class about stealing, it can be very effective if you want to stop stealing. Evan it was a small theft, a petty theft class or petty theft school could be right for you!

 

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SHOPLIFTING  THEFT STEALING

Shoplifting is not a crime, it is a euphemism for the word stealing or theft, and theft is a crime. I'm not sure why our culture allowed the word "theft" to be different for someone who steals from a store, but the effect has been to minimize its seriousness in the mind of the shoplifter, our society and, interestingly, the police. It would seem logical for someone who is shoplifting to minimize the seriousness of this crime by calling it "shoplifting", but for the police to be swayed to this way of thinking is no less sacrilegious than for an American citizen to allow the euphemism, "casualty of war" to replace the word "death", minimizing the sacrifices of our Veterans.

The same point can be made of the term "petty theft". Doesn't the word "petty" conjure up notions of insignificance, unimportance and irrelevance? It almost appears the police and our society have fallen victim to a very successful propaganda campaign intending to minimize the seriousness of theft from a store by calling it "shoplifting". Actually, if you take time to think about it, whether the item is stolen from a store, your employer, or, has great or small value, it is still stealing. It is also a statement about the shoplifters character.

I don't work for a store or retailer and I do not spend my time trying to show retailers how to better protect themselves from shoplifting with cameras, mirrors, electronic tags, security personnel, etc. I spend my time helping theft offenders think through their actions, attitudes, values and beliefs. Working with most people who steal is not all that difficult. What I have discovered through theft offender counseling is that most theft offenders have relatively transparent thinking errors. For example, if you believed 2 + 3 equals 6 you would have a thinking error. Your thinking error would not readily be identified, (How often do you do math out loud or in front of someone, and, to take it even further, how many people are willing to confront you with your math error?). However, once this thinking error is identified, you would be quick to self correct.

There is also such a thing as a "cultural thinking error." One common cultural thinking error occurs when we minimize the impact of shoplifting by buying into the notion that if someone is "shoplifting", he must be a victim. Common cultural thinking errors are that theft offenders are victims of poverty, poor parenting, hunger, alcohol and drugs, ADHD, peer pressure, etc. The fact is, most people who steal from stores are none of the above and, all people who choose to steal from stores have options to stealing. Oh, kleptomania you say?

People who are shoplifting are not all that different from you and I. Simply stated, the primary differences include, 1) an overdose of selfishness, 2) a stronger than normal attraction to the forbidden, 3) thinking errors you and I don't have, and, most of all, 4) they don't self punish the thought of stealing.