Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Police on Hunt for Man Who Stole iPad From Tioga Church

Here’s another Holiday Grinch story, although this offender isn’t making his way down chimneys and stealing holiday presents. Police are on the hunt for a man in Tioga after he was caught on camera stealing an iPad and a wallet in a church.

Surveillance cameras caught the man entering the Triumph Baptist Church on Hunting Park Avenue. He was seen in the video surveillance walking into an office on the second floor, where he took an iPad and a wallet containing ID and cash.

He then left the church on foot, according to ABC News. It might seem like petty theft, but Pennsylvania's theft laws aren't petty.

Theft, also known as larceny in many states, is the unlawful taking of an item by a person. Essentially, it's the taking of something that doesn't belong to you. Pennsylvania has tiered theft laws depending on the value of the stolen property. The penalties for theft in Pennsylvania focus on the amount that was taken.

On the lowest rung of the ladder, theft can be a summary offense. This is the case when the value of the stolen property is under $50. In the middle, stolen amounts between $50 and $200 equal a third degree misdemeanor. But moving to the highest end of the ladder, amounts stolen in excess of $2,000 constitute a second degree felony.

An iPad and a wallet with $350 can lead to a first degree misdemeanor. That's enough to go on a criminal record and also might come with some jail time, or potentially a fine.

The man in the recent church theft is being described as a black male in his 30's with a stocky build. He was wearing a dark colored waist length coat with fur on the hood.

Again, let this be a lesson to all wannabe thieves out there -- beware the surveillance cameras -- they are everywhere.

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