Grand theft isn’t just about stealing cars. While automobiles are common property stolen in grand theft cases, grand theft is defined by the value of the property. There are plenty of items worth large amounts of money that could lead to grand theft charges if stolen. And the penalties can be harsh.

If you steal a large quantity of smaller items, for example, you could be charged with grand theft.

Cell phone thefts

In a recent example, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a group for creating a sophisticated fraud system to steal cell phones. The suspects made fake IDs based off stolen identities to buy cell phones, and resold the phones.

The group has stolen or tried to steal more than $125,000 worth of cell phones. This is more than enough value to qualify for grand theft, and the suspects face the added charges of identity theft and fraud. It’s a combination of serious charges that could lead to long prison sentences if they are convicted.

Grand theft penalties

Grand theft is a felony, and you could be charged if property stolen is worth $300 or more. The penalties range based on the value and type of property stolen, and the maximum penalty for first degree grand theft is up to 30 years in prison.

Grand theft is a serious crime, but there are defenses against charges. It’s important to remember that grand theft is about value, meaning something that may seem like a small crime, like stealing a cell phone, could be a major problem.