Felony and Misdemeanor Stealing in Missouri

  Stealing and Theft Defense Lawyer

If someone has accused you of stealing or theft, contact a former prosecutor today. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION and SPEAK DIRECTLY WITH AN ATTORNEY.

If your alleged offense occurred prior to 2017, the law on felony stealing has changed drastically due to recent case law.  This may affect your case.  Please call us today for more information about this and to find out how we can help. Missouri Revised Statute 570.030 discusses the elements of the crime of stealing.  Depending on what was allegedly stolen and/or the value of what was stolen, the crime could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

The current Missouri law on stealing states that a person commits the offense of stealing if he or she does any of the following:

1.    Appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion;

2.  Attempts to appropriate anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion; or

3.  For the purpose of depriving the owner of a lawful interest therein, receives, retains or disposes of property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it has been stolen.

A stealing offense may range in classification from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Class A Felony of Stealing

Stealing is a class A  felony if the property appropriated consists of any of the following containing any amount of anhydrous ammonia:  a tank truck, tank trailer, rail tank car, bulk storage tank, field nurse, field tank or field applicator.

Class B Felony of Stealing

Stealing is a class B felony if any of the following is the case:  

1.  The property appropriated or attempted to be appropriated consists of any amount of anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen;

2.  The property consists of any animal considered livestock as the term livestock is defined in section 144.010, or any captive wildlife held under permit issued by the conservation commission, and the value of the animal or animals appropriated exceeds three thousand dollars and that person has previously been found guilty of appropriating any animal considered livestock or captive wildlife held under permit issued by the conservation commission.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, such person shall serve a minimum prison term of not less than eighty percent of his or her sentence before he or she is eligible for probation, parole, conditional release, or other early release by the department of corrections;

3.  A person appropriates property consisting of a motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft, and that person has previously been found guilty of two stealing-related offenses committed on two separate occasions where such offenses occurred within ten years of the date of occurrence of the present offense;

4.  The property appropriated or attempted to be appropriated consists of any animal considered livestock as the term is defined in section 144.010 if the value of the livestock exceeds ten thousand dollars; or

5.  The property appropriated or attempted to be appropriated is owned by or in the custody of a financial institution and the property is taken or attempted to be taken physically from an individual person to deprive the owner or custodian of the property.

Class C Felony of Stealing

Stealing is a class C felony if the value of the property or services appropriated is twenty-five thousand dollars or more.

Class D Felony of Stealing

Stealing is a class D felony if any of the following apply:

1.  The value of the property or services appropriated is seven hundred fifty dollars or more;

2.  The offender physically takes the property appropriated from the person of the victim; or

3.  The property appropriated consists of:

  a.  Any motor vehicle, watercraft or aircraft;

  b.  Any will or unrecorded deed affecting real property;

  c.  Any credit device, debit device or letter of credit;

  d.  Any firearms;

  e.  Any explosive weapon as defined in section 571.010;

  f.  Any United States national flag designed, intended and used for display on buildings or stationary flagstaffs in the open;

  g.  Any original copy of an act, bill or resolution, introduced or acted upon by the legislature of the state of Missouri;

  h.  Any pleading, notice, judgment or any other record or entry of any court of this state, any other state or of the United States;

  i.  Any book of registration or list of voters required by chapter 115;

  j.  Any animal considered livestock as that term is defined in section 144.010;

  k.  Any live fish raised for commercial sale with a value of seventy-five dollars or more;

  l. Any captive wildlife held under permit issued by the conservation commission;

  m.  Any controlled substance as defined by section 195.010;

  n.  Ammonium nitrate;

  o.  Any wire, electrical transformer, or metallic wire associated with transmitting telecommunications, video, internet, or voice over internet protocol service, or any other device or pipe that is associated with conducting electricity or transporting natural gas or other combustible fuels; or

  p.  Any material appropriated with the intent to use such material to manufacture, compound, produce, prepare, test or analyze amphetamine or methamphetamine or any of their analogues.

Class E Felony of Stealing

 Stealing is a class E felony if any of the following apply:

  1.  The property appropriated is an animal; or

  2.  A person has previously been found guilty of three stealing-related offenses committed on three separate occasions where such offenses occurred within ten years of the date of occurrence of the present offense.

Stealing offenses can also be misdemeanor offenses. 

Stealing may be a class D misdemeanor or a class A misdemeanor if the offense is not a felony.

Class D Misdemeanor of Stealing

Stealing is a class D misdemeanor if the property is not of a type listed in subsection 2, 3, 5, or 6 of this section, the property appropriated has a value of less than one hundred fifty dollars, and the person has no previous findings of guilt for a stealing-related offense.

Class A Misdemeanor of Stealing

Stealing is a class A misdemeanor if no other penalty is specified in this section.

Enhanced Punishment for a Stealing Offense

9.  If a violation of this section is subject to enhanced punishment based on prior findings of guilt, such findings of guilt shall be pleaded and proven in the same manner as required by section 558.021.

10.  The appropriation of any property or services of a type listed in subsection 2, 3, 5, or 6 of this section or of a value of seven hundred fifty dollars or more may be considered a separate felony and may be charged in separate counts.

11.  The value of property or services appropriated pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same or several owners and whether at the same or different times, constitutes a single criminal episode and may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, except as set forth in subsection 10 of this section.

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Child Support, Retention of Erroneously Paid Support to be Crime of Stealing, When

Recovery of erroneously paid child support, procedures — penalty. — 1.  Whenever a parent or other person receives support moneys for a child paid to him or her by the family support division under the provisions of chapter 454, and the division subsequently determines that such payment, through no fault of the division, was erroneously made, either in good faith, or due to fraud or receipt of inaccurate information from the recipient of such support, such parent or other person shall be indebted to the division in an amount equal to the amount of the support money received by the parent or other person for that child.  The division may utilize any available administrative or legal process to collect the erroneously paid support to effect recoupment and satisfaction of the debt incurred by reason of the failure of such parent or other person to reimburse the division for such erroneously paid child support.  The division is also authorized to make a setoff to effect satisfaction of the debt by deduction from support moneys for that child in its possession or in the possession of any clerk of the court or other forwarding agent which would otherwise be payable to such parent or other person for the satisfaction of any support reimbursement.  Nothing in this section authorizes the division to make a setoff as to current support paid during the month for which the payment is due and owing.

  2.  A person commits the crime of stealing, as defined by section 570.030, if he or she knowingly retains possession of child support payments which have been erroneously paid by the division through no fault of the division and the division has requested reimbursement of such support paid, if the purpose is to deprive the division of such reimbursement, either without the consent of the division or by means of deceit or coercion.

Case Law that Pertains to Stealing Offenses

(1984) Conviction for “stealing by deceit” requires proof that the victim relied on the defendant’s false pretense or representation; no reliance is shown when store employees are fully aware of acts later sought to be made the basis of a false pretense. State v. Young (Mo.App.), 672 S.W.2d 366.

(1984) One can be found guilty of stealing property to which he has legal title. State v. Smith (Mo.App.), 684 S.W.2d 576.

(1984) Owner of the stolen property need not be experienced in valuating property to express an opinion of its value. The owner’s opinion of the value of the stolen property may be considered substantial evidence of its worth. State v. Reilly (Mo. banc), 674 S.W.2d 530.

(1986) This section does not apply where a debtor uses false information to get an extension on an outstanding debt. State v. Grainger, 721 S.W.2d 237 (Mo.App.).

 

Tim Brown

Law Office of Timothy R. Brown

Tim Brown is a criminal and DWI lawyer in Springfield, MO and former assistant prosecuting attorney at the Greene County Prosecutors’s Office. Tim is listed among the Nation’s Top 1% of Attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Attorney Tim Brown has been recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer in Criminal Defense in Missouri by the National Trial Lawyers and the American Society of Legal Advocates. He has also been given a Superb Rating and rated a Top Attorney in DUI and Criminal Defense by AVVO.

Felony Stealing in Missouri After January 1, 2017

Stealing Offenses Alleged to Have Occurred On or After January 1, 2017 570.030. 1. A person commits the offense of stealing if he or she:
  • (1) Appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion;
  • (2) Attempts to appropriate anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion; or
  • (3) For the purpose of depriving the owner of a lawful interest therein, receives, retains or disposes of property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it has been stolen.
2. The offense of stealing is a class A felony if the property appropriated consists of any of the following containing any amount of anhydrous ammonia: a tank truck, tank trailer, rail tank car, bulk storage tank, field nurse, field tank or field applicator. 3. The offense of stealing is a class B felony if:
  • (1) The property appropriated or attempted to be appropriated consists of any amount of anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen;
  • (2) The property consists of any animal considered livestock as the term livestock is defined in section 144.010, or any captive wildlife held under permit issued by the conservation commission, and the value of the animal or animals appropriated exceeds three thousand dollars and that person has previously been found guilty of appropriating any animal considered livestock or captive wildlife held under permit issued by the conservation commission. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, such person shall serve a minimum prison term of not less than eighty percent of his or her sentence before he or she is eligible for probation, parole, conditional release, or other early release by the department of corrections;
  • (3) A person appropriates property consisting of a motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft, and that person has previously been found guilty of two stealing-related offenses committed on two separate occasions where such offenses occurred within ten years of the date of occurrence of the present offense;
  • (4) The property appropriated or attempted to be appropriated consists of any animal considered livestock as the term is defined in section 144.010 if the value of the livestock exceeds ten thousand dollars; or
  • (5) The property appropriated or attempted to be appropriated is owned by or in the custody of a financial institution and the property is taken or attempted to be taken physically from an individual person to deprive the owner or custodian of the property.
4. The offense of stealing is a class C felony if the value of the property or services appropriated is twenty-five thousand dollars or more. 5. The offense of stealing is a class D felony if:
  • (1) The value of the property or services appropriated is seven hundred fifty dollars or more;
  • (2) The offender physically takes the property appropriated from the person of the victim; or
  • (3) The property appropriated consists of:

(a) Any motor vehicle, watercraft or aircraft;

(b) Any will or unrecorded deed affecting real property;

(c) Any credit device, debit device or letter of credit;

(d) Any firearms;

(e) Any explosive weapon as defined in section 571.010;

(f) Any United States national flag designed, intended and used for display on buildings or stationary flagstaffs in the open;

(g) Any original copy of an act, bill or resolution, introduced or acted upon by the legislature of the state of Missouri;

(h) Any pleading, notice, judgment or any other record or entry of any court of this state, any other state or of the United States;

(i) Any book of registration or list of voters required by chapter 115;

(j) Any animal considered livestock as that term is defined in section 144.010;

(k) Any live fish raised for commercial sale with a value of seventy-five dollars or more;

(l) Any captive wildlife held under permit issued by the conservation commission;

(m) Any controlled substance as defined by section 195.010;

(n) Ammonium nitrate;

(o) Any wire, electrical transformer, or metallic wire associated with transmitting telecommunications, video, internet, or voice over internet protocol service, or any other device or pipe that is associated with conducting electricity or transporting natural gas or other combustible fuels; or

(p) Any material appropriated with the intent to use such material to manufacture, compound, produce, prepare, test or analyze amphetamine or methamphetamine or any of their analogues.

6. The offense of stealing is a class E felony if:
  • (1) The property appropriated is an animal; or
  • (2) A person has previously been found guilty of three stealing-related offenses committed on three separate occasions where such offenses occurred within ten years of the date of occurrence of the present offense.
7. The offense of stealing is a class D misdemeanor if the property is not of a type listed in subsection 2, 3, 5, or 6 of this section, the property appropriated has a value of less than one hundred fifty dollars, and the person has no previous findings of guilt for a stealing-related offense. 8. The offense of stealing is a class A misdemeanor if no other penalty is specified in this section. 9. If a violation of this section is subject to enhanced punishment based on prior findings of guilt, such findings of guilt shall be pleaded and proven in the same manner as required by section 558.021. 10. The appropriation of any property or services of a type listed in subsection 2, 3, 5, or 6 of this section or of a value of seven hundred fifty dollars or more may be considered a separate felony and may be charged in separate counts. 11. The value of property or services appropriated pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same or several owners and whether at the same or different times, constitutes a single criminal episode and may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, except as set forth in subsection 10 of this section.

Felony Stealing in Missouri Before January 1, 2017

For offenses alleged to have occurred prior to 2017 – Missouri Stealing Statutes: 570.030. 1. A person commits the crime of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion. 2. Evidence of the following is admissible in any criminal prosecution pursuant to this section on the issue of the requisite knowledge or belief of the alleged stealer:
  • (1) That he or she failed or refused to pay for property or services of a hotel, restaurant, inn or boardinghouse;
  • (2) That he or she gave in payment for property or services of a hotel, restaurant, inn or boardinghouse a check or negotiable paper on which payment was refused;
  • (3) That he or she left the hotel, restaurant, inn or boardinghouse with the intent to not pay for property or services;
  • (4) That he or she surreptitiously removed or attempted to remove his or her baggage from a hotel, inn or boardinghouse;
  • (5) That he or she, with intent to cheat or defraud a retailer, possesses, uses, utters, transfers, makes, alters, counterfeits, or reproduces a retail sales receipt, price tag, or universal price code label, or possesses with intent to cheat or defraud, the device that manufactures fraudulent receipts or universal price code labels.
3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any offense in which the value of property or services is an element is a class C felony if:
  • (1) The value of the property or services appropriated is five hundred dollars or more but less than twenty-five thousand dollars; or
  • (2) The actor physically takes the property appropriated from the person of the victim; or
  • (3) The property appropriated consists of:

(a) Any motor vehicle, watercraft or aircraft; or

(b) Any will or unrecorded deed affecting real property; or

(c) Any credit card or letter of credit; or

(d) Any firearms; or

(e) Any explosive weapon as defined in section 571.010; or

(f) A United States national flag designed, intended and used for display on buildings or stationary flagstaffs in the open; or

(g) Any original copy of an act, bill or resolution, introduced or acted upon by the legislature of the state of Missouri; or

(h) Any pleading, notice, judgment or any other record or entry of any court of this state, any other state or of the United States; or

(i) Any book of registration or list of voters required by chapter 115; or

(j) Any animal considered livestock as that term is defined in section 144.010; or

(k) Live fish raised for commercial sale with a value of seventy-five dollars; or

(l) Captive wildlife held under permit issued by the conservation commission; or

(m) Any controlled substance as defined by section 195.010; or

(n) Anhydrous ammonia;

(o) Ammonium nitrate; or

(p) Any document of historical significance which has fair market value of five hundred dollars or more.

4. If an actor appropriates any material with a value less than five hundred dollars in violation of this section with the intent to use such material to manufacture, compound, produce, prepare, test or analyze amphetamine or methamphetamine or any of their analogues, then such violation is a class C felony. The theft of any amount of anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen, or any attempt to steal any amount of anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen, is a class B felony. The theft of any amount of anhydrous ammonia by appropriation of a tank truck, tank trailer, rail tank car, bulk storage tank, field (nurse) tank or field applicator is a class A felony. 5. The theft of any item of property or services pursuant to subsection 3 of this section which exceeds five hundred dollars may be considered a separate felony and may be charged in separate counts. 6. Any person with a prior conviction of paragraph* (j) or (l) of subdivision (3) of subsection 3 of this section and who violates the provisions of paragraph* (j) or (l) of subdivision (3) of subsection 3 of this section when the value of the animal or animals stolen exceeds three thousand dollars is guilty of a class B felony. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, such person shall serve a minimum prison term of not less than eighty percent of his or her sentence before he or she is eligible for probation, parole, conditional release, or other early release by the department of corrections. 7. Any offense in which the value of property or services is an element is a class B felony if the value of the property or services equals or exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars. 8. Any violation of this section for which no other penalty is specified in this section is a class A misdemeanor.

Stealing – Third Offense:

570.040. 1. Every person who has previously pled guilty to or been found guilty of two stealing-related offenses committed on two separate occasions where such offenses occurred within ten years of the date of occurrence of the present offense and who subsequently pleads guilty or is found guilty of a stealing-related offense is guilty of a class D felony, unless the subsequent plea or guilty verdict is pursuant to paragraph (a) of subdivision (3) of subsection 3 of section 570.030, in which case the person shall be guilty of a class B felony, and shall be punished accordingly. 2. As used in this section, the term “stealing-related offense” shall include federal and state violations of criminal statutes against stealing, robbery, or buying or receiving stolen property and shall also include municipal ordinances against same if the defendant was either represented by counsel or knowingly waived counsel in writing and the judge accepting the plea or making the findings was a licensed attorney at the time of the court proceedings. 3. Evidence of prior guilty pleas or findings of guilt shall be heard by the court, out of the hearing of the jury, prior to the submission of the case to the jury, and the court shall determine the existence of the prior guilty pleas or findings of guilt. This means that an offense (after pleading guilty or being found guilty of two stealing offenses committed at different times) can be filed as a felony if the two prior offenses occurred within ten years of the new offense.

Identity Theft: 570.223.

1. A person commits the crime of identity theft if he or she knowingly and with the intent to deceive or defraud obtains, possesses, transfers, uses, or attempts to obtain, transfer or use, one or more means of identification not lawfully issued for his or her use. 2. The term “means of identification” as used in this section includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • (1) Social Security numbers;
  • (2) Drivers license numbers;
  • (3) Checking account numbers;
  • (4) Savings account numbers;
  • (5) Credit card numbers;
  • (6) Debit card numbers;
  • (7) Personal identification (PIN) code;
  • (8) Electronic identification numbers;
  • (9) Digital signatures;
  • (10) Any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources;
  • (11) Biometric data;
  • (12) Fingerprints;
  • (13) Passwords;
  • (14) Parent’s legal surname prior to marriage;
  • (15) Passports; or
  • (16) Birth certificates.
3. A person found guilty of identity theft shall be punished as follows:
  • (1) Identity theft or attempted identity theft which does not result in the theft or appropriation of credit, money, goods, services, or other property is a class B misdemeanor;
  • (2) Identity theft which results in the theft or appropriation of credit, money, goods, services, or other property not exceeding five hundred dollars in value is a class A misdemeanor;
  • (3) Identity theft which results in the theft or appropriation of credit, money, goods, services, or other property exceeding five hundred dollars and not exceeding five thousand dollars in value is a class C felony;
  • (4) Identity theft which results in the theft or appropriation of credit, money, goods, services, or other property exceeding five thousand dollars and not exceeding fifty thousand dollars in value is a class B felony;
  • (5) Identity theft which results in the theft or appropriation of credit, money, goods, services, or other property exceeding fifty thousand dollars in value is a class A felony.
4. In addition to the provisions of subsection 3 of this section, the court may order that the defendant make restitution to any victim of the offense. Restitution may include payment for any costs, including attorney fees, incurred by the victim:
  • (1) In clearing the credit history or credit rating of the victim; and
  • (2) In connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt, lien, or other obligation of the victim arising from the actions of the defendant.
5. In addition to the criminal penalties in subsections 3 and 4 of this section, any person who commits an act made unlawful by subsection 1 of this section shall be liable to the person to whom the identifying information belonged for civil damages of up to five thousand dollars for each incident, or three times the amount of actual damages, whichever amount is greater. A person damaged as set forth in subsection 1 of this section may also institute a civil action to enjoin and restrain future acts that would constitute a violation of subsection 1 of this section. The court, in an action brought under this subsection, may award reasonable attorneys’ fees to the plaintiff. 6. If the identifying information of a deceased person is used in a manner made unlawful by subsection 1 of this section, the deceased person’s estate shall have the right to recover damages pursuant to subsection 5 of this section. 7. Civil actions under this section must be brought within five years from the date on which the identity of the wrongdoer was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. 8. Civil action pursuant to this section does not depend on whether a criminal prosecution has been or will be instituted for the acts that are the subject of the civil action. The rights and remedies provided by this section are in addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law. 9. This section and section 570.224 shall not apply to the following activities:
  • (1) A person obtains the identity of another person to misrepresent his or her age for the sole purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages, tobacco, going to a gaming establishment, or another privilege denied to minors. Nothing in this subdivision shall affect the provisions of subsection 10 of this section;
  • (2) A person obtains means of identification or information in the course of a bona fide consumer or commercial transaction;
  • (3) A person exercises, in good faith, a security interest or right of offset by a creditor or financial institution;
  • (4) A person complies, in good faith, with any warrant, court order, levy, garnishment, attachment, or other judicial or administrative order, decree, or directive, when any party is required to do so;
  • (5) A person is otherwise authorized by law to engage in the conduct that is the subject of the prosecution.
10. Any person who obtains, transfers, or uses any means of identification for the purpose of manufacturing and providing or selling a false identification card to a person under the age of twenty-one for the purpose of purchasing or obtaining alcohol shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. 11. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 3 of this section, every person who has previously pled guilty to or been found guilty of identity theft or attempted identity theft, and who subsequently pleads guilty to or is found guilty of identity theft or attempted identity theft of credit, money, goods, services, or other property not exceeding five hundred dollars in value is guilty of a class D felony and shall be punished accordingly. 12. The value of property or services is its highest value by any reasonable standard at the time the identity theft is committed. Any reasonable standard includes, but is not limited to, market value within the community, actual value, or replacement value. 13. If credit, property, or services are obtained by two or more acts from the same person or location, or from different persons by two or more acts which occur in approximately the same location or time period so that the identity thefts are attributable to a single scheme, plan, or conspiracy, the acts may be considered as a single identity theft and the value may be the total value of all credit, property, and services involved. There is a laundry list of items that can cause this statute to come into play.

Recovery of erroneously paid child support, procedures–penalty.

454.531. 1. Whenever a parent or other person receives support moneys for a child paid to him or her by the division of child support enforcement pursuant to the provisions of chapter 454, and the division subsequently determines that such payment, through no fault of the division, was erroneously made, either in good faith, or due to fraud or receipt of inaccurate information from the recipient of such support, such parent or other person shall be indebted to the division in an amount equal to the amount of the support money received by the parent or other person for that child. The division may utilize any available administrative or legal process to collect the erroneously paid support to effect recoupment and satisfaction of the debt incurred by reason of the failure of such parent or other person to reimburse the division for such erroneously paid child support. The division is also authorized to make a setoff to effect satisfaction of the debt by deduction from support moneys for that child in its possession or in the possession of any clerk of the court or other forwarding agent which would otherwise be payable to such parent or other person for the satisfaction of any support reimbursement. Nothing in this section authorizes the division to make a setoff as to current support paid during the month for which the payment is due and owing. 2. A person commits the crime of stealing, as defined by section 570.030, if he or she knowingly retains possession of child support payments which have been erroneously paid by the division through no fault of the division and the division has requested reimbursement of such support paid, if the purpose is to deprive the division of such reimbursement, either without the consent of the division or by means of deceit or coercion.  

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  • Recognized in the Nation’s Top 1% by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, after an exhaustive vetting process.
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