Theft does not even require that you actually take the property permanently. “Deprive” is defined to mean “(A) to withhold property from the owner permanently or for so extended a period of time that a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property is lost to the owner; (B) to restore property only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or (C) to dispose of property in a manner that makes recovery of the property by the owner unlikely.” If you take a car without permission and wreck it, there is a good chance you could be prosecuted for theft. If you keep a car wrongfully for so long that it depreciates substantially in value, you can be prosecuted for theft even if you return it. So, be VERY careful if you are in the auto towing or repossession business!
If you or someone you know is being investigated or prosecuted for a crime, call Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist Micah Belden at 903-744-4252.