Theft

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Theft

Under the first paragraph of Article 308 the essential elements of theft are: (1) the taking of personal property; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking away was done with intent of gain; (4) the taking away was done without the consent of the owner; and (5) the taking away is accomplished without violence or intimidation against person or force upon things.[1]

Under the second paragraph of Article 308, theft is likewise committed by:

  • 1. Any person who, having found lost property, shall fail to deliver the same to the local authorities or to its owner;
  • 2. Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of another, shall remove or make use of the fruits or object of the damage caused by him; and
  • 3. Any person who shall enter an inclosed estate or a field where trespass is forbidden or which belongs to another and, without the consent of its owner, shall hunt or fish upon the same or shall gather fruits, cereals, or other forest or farm products.

Paragraph 2, subparagraph (1) of Article 308

Under paragraph 2, subparagraph (1), the elements are: (1) the finding of lost property; and (2) the failure of the finder to deliver the same to the local authorities or to its owner. In this kind of theft intent of gain is inferred from the deliberate failure to deliver the lost property to the proper person, the finder knowing that the property does not belong to him.

In a complaint that alleges a "stolen horse", which is different from the first element of a "lost property", the Supreme Court held that the word "lost" is generic in nature, and embraces loss by stealing or by any act of a person other than the owner, as well as by the act of the owner himself or through some casual occurrence.[2] It constitutes theft of large cattle defined in Article 310, in relation to Article 308, paragraph 2, subparagraph 1, of the Revised Penal Code.[3]


Qualified theft

The elements of the crime of qualified theft defined under Article 308, in relation to Article 310, both of the Revised Penal Code: (1) the taking of personal property; (2) said property belongs to another; (3) the taking was done with intent to gain; (4) it was done without the owner’s consent; (5) it was accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against persons, nor of force upon things; and (6) it was done with grave abuse of confidence.[4]


References

  1. People vs. Rodrigo, G.R. No. L-18507, 31 March 1966, citing U.S. vs. De Vera, 43 Phil. 1000
  2. People vs. Rodrigo, G.R. No. L-18507, 31 March 1966
  3. People vs. Rodrigo, G.R. No. L-18507, 31 March 1966
  4. Jacinto vs. People, G.R. No. 162540, 13 July 2009
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