What Are Considered Theft and Larceny Crimes in Virginia?

The Virginia Code specifically describes numerous theft and larceny offenses.

Specifically, in Virginia, theft and larceny type offenses include:

  • Larceny of bank notes, checks, etc., or any book of accounts (Va. Code 18.2-98):  If any person in Virginia steals any bank note, check, or other writing or paper of value, or any book of accounts, for or concerning money or goods due or to be delivered, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny, and receive the same punishment, according to the value of the thing stolen, prescribed for the punishment of the larceny of goods.
  • Unauthorized use of a vehicle, animal, aircraft, or boat (Va. Code 18.2-102): Any person who takes, drives, or uses any animal, aircraft, vehicle, boat, or vessel, that is not his own, without the consent of the owner and in the absence of the owner, and with intent temporarily to deprive the owner of his possession, without intent to steal, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, with up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 if the value of such animal, aircraft, vehicle, boat or vessel is $200 or more. If the value is less than $200, the person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, resulting in up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Concealing or taking possession of merchandise, altering price tags, transferring goods from one container to another (Va. Code 18.2-103): In Virginia, if a person has the intention of converting goods or merchandise to his own use and (i) willfully conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or; (ii) alters the price tag or other price marking on such goods or merchandise, or transfers the goods from one container to another or; (iii) counsels, assists, aids, or abets another in the performance of these acts, the person will he guilty of larceny. If the value of goods involved in the offense is $200 or more, the offense is a felony. It's important to note that the merchandise does not need to be taken out of the store to commit this crime.
  • Petit Larceny third or subsequent offense (Va. Code 18.2-104): When a person is convicted of an offense of larceny or any offense deemed to be or punished as larceny, and he or she has previously been convicted or two or more larceny crimes, the individual shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Petit Larceny second or subsequent offense is punishable up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, with a minimum sentence of 30 days. Note: crimes such as credit card theft and false pretenses count as prior offenses because they are punished as larceny.
  • Manufacture, sale, etc., of devices to shield against electronic detection of shoplifting (Va. Code 18.2-105.2): It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, distribute, or possess any specially-coated or laminated bag or other device primarily designed and intended to shield shoplifted merchandise from detection by an anti-theft electronic alarm sensor, with the intention that the same be used to aid in the shoplifting of merchandise. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Receiving stolen goods (Va. Code 18.2-108): If any person buys or receives, or aids in concealing, any stolen goods or other thing, knowing the items to have been stolen, he shall be guilty of larceny.
  • Larceny with intent to sell or distribute; sale of stolen property (Va. Code 18.2-108.01): Any person who commits larceny of property with a value of $200 or more with the intent to sell or distribute such property is guilty of a felony punishable by confinement in prison for not less than two years or more than 20 years. Also, a person who sells, attempts to sell, or possesses with intent to sell or distribute any stolen property with an aggregate value of $200 or more where he knew or should have known that the property was stolen is guilty of a Class 5 felony, punishable with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
  • Receipt of stolen firearm (Va. Code 18.2-108.1): Any person who buys or receives a firearm from another person or aids in concealing a firearm, knowing that the firearm was stolen, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Receipt or transfer of possession of stolen vehicle, aircraft, or boat (Va. Code 18.2-109): It's illegal for any person who, with intent to procure or pass title to a vehicle, aircraft, boat, or vessel, which he knows or has reason to believe has been stolen, to receive or transfer possession of such vehicle, aircraft, boat or vessel. A violation of this law is a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Failure of bailee to return animal, aircraft, vehicle, or boat (Va. Code 18.2-117): If any person comes into the possession as bailee of any animal, aircraft, vehicle, boat or vessel (such as with a rental car arrangement), and fails to return the same in accordance with the bailment agreement, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny and receive the same punishment according to the value of vehicle. Va. Code 18.2-118 applies a similar law to leased property.
  • Credit card theft (Va. Code 18.2-192):  A person is guilty of credit card or credit card number theft when: (a) the person obtains or withholds a credit card or credit card number from someone else without the cardholder’s consent or has knowledge that a credit card or credit card number was so taken and receives the card or card number with intent to use it, sell it, or transfer it to someone other than the cardholder or; (b) when the person receives the credit card or credit card number that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered and  retains the card or card number with intent to use, sell, or transfer to someone other than the cardholder or; (c) the person, not being the issuer, sells a credit card or credit card number of buys a card or card number from a person other than the issuer or; (d) the person, not being the issuer, during any 12-month period receives credit cards or card numbers issued in the names of two or more people which he has reason to know were taken or retained in violation of 18.2-194 and subdivision (1) (c) of this section. A violation of this section is grand larceny and is punishable as provided in 18.2-95.

To speak with a Virginia larceny criminal defense attorney about a theft charge in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Arlington County, Loudoun County, Alexandria, or elsewhere in Northern Virginia, contact Manikas Law, LLC by phone or email to schedule an appointment.