Chapter 9.20THEFT


Definition – Defense.
Violation – Penalty.

A person acts with intent or intentionally when he acts with the objective or purpose to accomplish a result which constitutes a violation of this chapter.

(Ord. 731 § 1, 1978)


The following definitions are applicable unless the context otherwise requires:

A. “Appropriate lost or misdelivered property or services” means obtaining or exerting control over the property or services of another which the actor knows to have been lost or mislaid, or to have been delivered under a mistake as to identity of the recipient or as to the nature or amount of the property.

B. “By color or aid of deception” means that the deception operated to bring about the obtaining of the property or services; it is not necessary that deception be the sole means of obtaining the property or services.

C. “Credit card” means any instrument or device, whether incomplete, revoked, or expired, whether known as a credit card, credit plate, charge plate, courtesy card, or by any other name, issued with or without fee for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services, or anything else of value, including satisfaction of a debt or the payment of a check drawn by a cardholder, either on credit or in consideration of an undertaking or guarantee by the issuer.

D. “Deception” occurs when an actor knowingly:

1. Creates or confirms another’s false impression which the actor knows to be false; or

2. Fails to correct another’s impression which the actor previously has created or confirmed; or

3. Prevents another from acquiring information material to the disposition of the property involved; or

4. Transfers or encumbers property without disclosing a lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether that impediment is or is not valid, or is or is not a matter of official records; or

5. Promises performance which the actor does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed.

E. “Deprive” means to make unauthorized use of an unauthorized copy of records, information, data, trade secrets, or computer programs; provided, that the aforementioned are of a private proprietary nature.

F. “Obtain control over” means:

1. In relation to property, to bring about a transfer or purported transfer to the obtainer or another of a legally recognized interest in the property; or

2. In relation to labor or service, to secure performance thereof for the benefits of the obtainer or another.

G. “Wrongfully obtains” or “exerts unauthorized control,” means:

1. To take the property or services of another; or

2. Having any property or services in one’s possession, custody or control as bailee, factor, pledgee, servant, attorney, agent, employee, trustee, executor, administration, guardian, or officer of any person, estate, association, or corporation, or as a public officer, or person authorized by agreement or competent authority to take or hold such possession, custody, or control, to secrete, withhold, or appropriate the same to his own use or to the use of any person other than the true owner or person entitled thereto.

H. “Owner” means a person, other than the actor, who has possession of or any other interest in the property or services involved, and without whose consent the actor has no authority to exert control over the property or services.

I. “Receive” includes, but is not limited to, acquiring title, possession, control, or a security interest, or any other interest in the property.

J. “Services” includes, but is not limited to, labor, professional services, transportation services, electronic computer services, the supplying of hotel accommodations, restaurant services, entertainment, the use of equipment for use, and the use supplying of commodities of a public utility nature such as gas, electricity, steam, and water.

K. Value:

1. “Value” means the market value of the property or services at the time and in the approximate area of the criminal act.

2. Whether or not they have been issued or delivered, written instruments, except those having a readily ascertained market value, shall be evaluated as follows:

a. The value of an instrument constituting an evidence of debt, such as a check, draft, or promissory note, shall be deemed the amount due or collectible thereon or thereby, that figure ordinarily being the face amount of the indebtedness less any portion thereof which has been satisfied.

b. The value of a ticket or equivalent instrument which evidences a right to receive transportation, entertainment, or other service shall be deemed the price stated thereon, if any; and if no price is stated thereon, the value shall be deemed the price of the ticket or equivalent instrument which the issuer charged the general public.

c. The value of any other instrument that creates, releases, discharges, or otherwise affects any valuable legal right, privilege, or obligation shall be deemed the greatest amount of economic loss which the owner of the instrument might reasonably suffer by virtue of the loss of the instrument.

3. Property or services having value that cannot be ascertained pursuant to the standards set forth above shall be deemed to be of a value not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars.

(Ord. 731 § 4, 1978)

9.20.030Definition – Defense.

A. “Theft” means:

1. To wrongfully obtain or exert unauthorized control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him of such property or services; or

2. By color or aid of deception to obtain control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him of such property or services; or

3. To appropriate lost or misdelivered property or services of another, or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him of such property or services.

B. In any prosecution for theft, it is a sufficient defense that the property or service was appropriated openly and avowedly under a claim of title preferred in good faith, even though the claim be untenable.

(Ord. 731 § 5, 1978)


A person is guilty of theft if he commits theft of property or services which does not exceed two hundred fifty dollars in value or which does not amount to a felony theft.

(Ord. 731 § 6, 1978)


A person knows or acts knowingly or with knowledge when:

A. He is aware of a fact, facts, or circumstances or result described by this chapter; or

B. He has information which would lead a reasonable man in the same situation to believe that facts exist which facts are described in this chapter.

(Ord. 731 § 2, 1978)


A. A person is guilty of violation of this chapter if the acts which constitute the violation are committed by the conduct of another person for which said person is legally accountable.

B. A person is legally accountable for the conduct of another person when:

1. Acting with the kind of culpability that is sufficient for the commission of the offense described in this chapter, he causes an innocent or irresponsible person to engage in such conduct; or

2. He is an accomplice of such other person in the commission of the violation of this chapter.

C. A person is an accomplice of another person in the violation of this chapter if, with knowledge that it will promote or facilitate the commission of the violation of this chapter, he:

1. Solicits, commands, encourages, or requests such other person to commit it; or

2. Aids or agrees to aid such other person in planning or committing it.

D. Unless otherwise provided, a person is not an accomplice in the violation of this chapter committed by another person if:

1. He is a victim of the violation; or

2. He terminates the complicity prior to the commission of the violation of this chapter, and either gives timely warning to the law enforcement authorities or otherwise makes a good faith effort to prevent the commission of the violation of this chapter.

E. A person legally accountable for the conduct of another person may be convicted on proof of the commission of the violation of this chapter and of his complicity therein, though the person claimed to have committed the violation of this chapter has not been prosecuted or convicted or has been convicted of a violation of a different ordinance or has an immunity to prosecution or conviction or has been acquitted.

(Ord. 731 § 3, 1978)

9.20.070Violation – Penalty.

Any person found guilty of theft as defined in this chapter shall be fined in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars.