The Washington State Legislature is considering a change to the definition of “Theft” as defined in RCW 9A.56.020. Currently, Theft means
- To wrongfully obtain or exert unauthorized control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services; or
- 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 or her of such property or services; or
- To appropriate lost or misdelivered property or services of another, or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services.
In Washington, a person has to physically leave the store before the intervention can take place. This has put many loss prevention and security officers at risk attempting to contact suspects outside of the retail location.
Therefore, the Legislature is considering amending the definition of “theft” for purposes of theft-related offenses to include concealing the property of another intending to deprive the other person of its use or benefit.
When House Bill 1159 was considered last year, there were concerns about inclusion of the phrase “permanently deprive,” which could make theft offenses crimes of moral turpitude. That phrase has been removed in the current version of the bill.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Centralia and Olympia
Althauser Rayan Abbarno has been representing individuals and businesses in our community for more than 70 years. For a FREE Criminal Defense Consultation with our attorneys in Centralia or Olympia, Call (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com