Theft: How to File a Police Report

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Definition of Theft

Theft is the intentional and illegal taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission.  There are various ways of deception, frauds and tricks a thief can use to steal a person’s property, all of which fall under the category of “theft”.

Petty Theft or Grand Theft

A person commits, petty theft, when they intentionally take another person’s property that has a value of less than $400.00 dollars.  Petty Theft is a misdemeanor crime.

A person commits, grand theft, when the property has a value of over $400.00 dollars.  Grand Theft is a felony crime.

How to file the Police report

If you are a victim of theft and want to file a Police report then contact the Police department in the jurisdiction, where the theft took place and find out what reporting options are available to you.

You may be able to file the report on-line, over the phone or in person by going to the Police station.  Some Police departments may send a Patrol car to your location to take a report.

What you need to file the Police report

You will need proper identification to start the report, a complete and full description of the property and its value.  You may provide any pictures, serial numbers, model numbers or identifying marks to help identify the property if or when it is ever located.

If you have any suspect information then provide the Police with as much information as you can get; full description of the suspect, name, date of birth, address and phone number.

Why file a Theft report

You are filing a Theft report for several reasons.  First, a suspect could be caught and your property recovered.

Filing Police reports also help the Police track where crime is occurring so they can put more Police resources in the areas where crime is highest.

You also file a Theft report for insurance reasons.  Your home or renters insurance may cover your loss.

Filing a Theft report can also be a write off as a loss at the end of the year on your income tax.  Ask your taxman if you qualify. 


Filing a Theft report with the Police is a very simple process.  Make sure, once you file a Police report that you always get your Police report case number and either a receipt that you filed a report or an actual copy of the report for your records. 

Article also posted on by Scott Hallock 


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