Theft As Part of an Overall Plan

Nam Q. Doan

The prosecutor can charge multiple thefts as one of an overall plan to get up to the threshold property value of $950.00 to charge you with a felony grand theft.

For example, you can be accused of stealing 2 items at different times both worth $500.00.  Each item charged by itself would not have enough value to be charged as a grand theft.  The law allows the prosecutor to prove that as an overall plan, the two items stolen should be added together to charge you with a felony grand theft instead of two misdemeanor petty thefts.  The difference would be in the punishment as a felony is much more severe than two misdemeanors.


The following is what the prosecutor must prove and the instructions that the Jury will read in determining whether or not the theft was part of an overall plan.



If you conclude that the defendant committed more than one theft, you must then decide if the defendant committed multiple petty thefts or a single grand theft. To prove that the defendant is guilty of a single grand theft, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant committed theft of property from the same owner or possessor on more than one occasion;
  2. The combined value of the property was over $950.00 AND
  3. The defendant obtained the property as part of a single, overall plan or objective.


If you conclude that the People have failed to prove grand theft, any multiple thefts you have found proven are petty thefts.


Call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan | OC Legal Defense today at (714)248-DOAN(3626) if you’re facing shoplifting or theft crime charges.  I will fight to get your case dismissed.