Alabama's Law on Theft of Property in the 3rd Degree

••• dollars bills within old case image by Roman Sigaev from

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A person commits theft of property in Alabama in one of four ways: if she knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of his or her property; obtains by deception control over the property of another with the intent to deprive; obtains or exerts control over property in the custody of a law enforcement agency which was explicitly represented as being stolen; or obtains or exerts unauthorized control over any donated item left on the property of a charitable organization or in a drop box or trailer. Among other factors, the offense is graded based on the value of the property taken.


Alabama Statutes, Section 13A-8-5 define "Theft of property in the third degree" as the theft of property which does not exceed $500 in value and which is not taken from the person of another. Theft of property in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor.


In 2003 the Alabama legislature amended the theft statute to increase the threshold dollar amounts which pertain to the various grading levels of the crime. The dollar amount of property that qualified a crime as a theft of property of the third degree was changed from $250 to $500 or less. The changes were effective Sept. 1, 2003.

Fun Fact

In 2002, a Montgomery man was charged with burglary and third degree theft after being arrested inside the Governor's mansion. According to The Tuscaloosa Times, Tommy Killingswroth, 49, was arrested inside the mansion about 10 p.m. June 10 after police report he stole about $5 worth of food. The governor and his family were away at the time.


About the Author

Siobhan Egan has edited newspapers and news websites at the Jersey Shore since 1999 and been an attorney since 1994. Her writing has won five statewide awards from the New Jersey Press Association. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Bucknell University and a Juris Doctor from Temple University.

Photo Credits

  • dollars bills within old case image by Roman Sigaev from