Theft/Fraud in Virginia

While most jurisdictions have consolidated theft offenses into a single statute, Virginia maintains the common law distinctions between grand and petit larceny, embezzlement, and larceny by false pretenses.

Also included among theft crimes in Virginia are receiving stolen goods; unauthorized use of an animal, aircraft, vehicle or boat; bad checks; credit card theft; theft of computer services; and welfare fraud.

Which theft offense is ultimately charged depends on:

  1. The value of the property taken (was it $200 or more?);
  2. The nature of the property (was it a handgun, shotgun or rifle?);
  3. The intent of the suspect and the timeframe for that intent (did the suspect have the intent to steal the property at the time of the taking or did the criminal intent come later?); and
  4. The nature of the taking (was the taking directly from the owner’s possession?).

Theft is only one element of the more serious offenses of robbery, extortion, and blackmail.  Combining the elements of theft and assault, these offenses are dealt with elsewhere on this website.

For further information on specific theft offenses, including information on the elements of the offenses and penalties, please click through the links below:

For further information on theft and fraud crimes in D.C. and Virginia, please click here.