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common usage, theft is the taking of another person's property or services without that person's permission or consent, with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. There are several defences that can be used against a theft charge. The prosecution has the burden of proving criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. The amount of the theft will be an important element to consider during sentencing after entering a guilty plea.
Mischief is defined in the Criminal Code as destroying or damaging property, rendering it dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective, obstructing, interruption of interfering with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property, or with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of this property. While the wrongful acts will often involve what is popularly described as vandalism, there can many different forms of criminal mischief.
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take anything of value by force, threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. In common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear.
Breaking and entering
A breaking and entering offence encompasses situations where the accused was or attempted to trespass on private property with an intent to commit an indictable offence (i.e. a non-summary criminal offence). The most typical form of break and enter is a break into a commercial or private residence in order to steal property. The evidence in most of these cases is circumstantial, and so identity is often a key point of litigation. In many cases the accused was found at some time later with stolen items in their possession for which the Crown can use to establish guilt by way of the doctrine of recent possession.
Shoplifting is the act of knowingly taking goods from an establishment in which they are displayed for sale, without paying for them. Shoplifting usually involves concealing items on the person or an accomplice and leaving the store without paying.
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