If you're looking for a Oregon online shoplifting class, it's important to know your Oregon theft laws. This can help you understand more about your offense.

Please note that the Oregon theft laws displayed on this page are to help you to understand your state Oregon theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. While we have made every attempt to show the latest version of Oregon theft laws, we do not guarantee its accuracy. This page is not a replacement for legal advice from a lawyer. It is in your best interest that you find an appropriate lawyer for more information about Oregon theft laws.

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Oregon law defines theft as the intentional taking, appropriation, or obtaining of another person's property with the intent to deprive the owner of its possession. Theft can be committed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Taking property from an owner without their consent
  • Keeping property that has been lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake
  • Obtaining property by extortion or deception
  • Receiving stolen property


Oregon law consolidates all theft offenses into a single offense, except for theft by extortion. This means that the prosecutor does not need to specify the exact way in which the theft was committed in the indictment or information. All that needs to be proven is that the defendant engaged in conduct that constitutes theft under Oregon law.

164.035 Defenses to theft.

Oregon law recognizes a number of defenses to theft charges, including:

  • Honest claim of right: This defense applies when the defendant mistakenly believed that they were entitled to take, possess, or dispose of the property. The defendant's belief must be reasonable, and they must not have been aware that the property belonged to someone else.

  • Extortion under color of law: This defense applies when the defendant obtained property by threatening the victim with criminal charges, but the defendant reasonably believed that the charges were true and that their sole purpose was to compel the victim to make good on a wrong.

  • Intent to restore property: This defense applies to theft by receiving charges when the defendant received, retained, concealed, or disposed of the property with the intent to return it to the owner.

  • Spousal privilege: This defense applies to theft charges between spouses who are living together as husband and wife.

164.043 Theft in the third degree.

A person commits theft in the third degree if, by means other than extortion, they engage in theft as defined in ORS 164.015, and the total value of the property involved in a single or aggregate transaction is less than $100. This offense is classified as a Class C misdemeanor.

164.045 Theft in the second degree.

The crime of theft in the second degree occurs when a person, by means other than extortion, commits theft as defined in ORS 164.015, and the total value of the property involved in a single or aggregate transaction is $100 or more but less than $1,000. Theft in the second degree is classified as a Class A misdemeanor.

164.055 Theft in the first degree.

The most severe theft offense is theft in the first degree. This offense is committed when a person engages in theft as defined in ORS 164.015, and certain aggravating factors are present. These factors include the total value of the property being $1,000 or more, commission of theft during a riot, fire, explosion, catastrophe, or other emergency, theft involving firearms, explosives, livestock animals, companion animals, wild animals, or precursor substances. Theft in the first degree is classified as a Class C felony.

The definitions provided within the statutes clarify terms such as "companion animal," "explosive," "firearm," "livestock animal," and "precursor substance" for the purpose of interpreting the law.

164.057 Aggravated theft in the first degree.

Aggravated theft in the first degree is committed when a person violates ORS 164.055 regarding property (excluding motor vehicles primarily used for personal rather than commercial transportation), and the value of the property involved in a single or aggregate transaction is $10,000 or more. This offense is classified as a Class B felony.

164.061 Sentence for aggravated theft in the first degree when victim 65 years of age or older.

In cases where a person is convicted of aggravated theft in the first degree under ORS 164.057, the court is mandated to impose a specific term of incarceration, ranging from 16 months to 45 months. The duration of the sentence is determined by the person's criminal history. This requirement comes into effect if two conditions are met: the victim of the theft was 65 years of age or older at the time of the offense, and the value of the property stolen from the elderly victim, in a single or aggregate transaction, is $10,000 or more. This provision aims to address and enhance penalties for aggravated theft when committed against elderly individuals. [2008 c.14 §4]

164.063 Disproportionate impact.

The term "disproportionate impact" in this section refers to specific circumstances in cases of theft in the first degree under ORS 164.055 or aggravated theft in the first degree under ORS 164.057. Two conditions define disproportionate impact: (a) if the offender causes damage to property during the theft, and the cost to restore the damaged property exceeds three times the value of the stolen property, or (b) if the theft creates a hazard to public health, safety, or the environment. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission is tasked with adopting rules that identify disproportionate impact as an aggravating factor. Courts may then consider this factor as a substantial and compelling reason to impose an upward departure from a presumptive sentence under the commission's rules.

164.065 Theft of lost, mislaid property.

This section addresses the offense of theft involving lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered property. A person who comes into possession of another individual's property, knowing or having good reason to believe it was lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake regarding its nature, amount, or the identity of the recipient, commits theft if they fail to take reasonable measures to restore the property to its owner. This provision underscores the importance of ethical behavior and the duty to return property to its rightful owner when it has been mistakenly acquired. [1971 c.743 §126]

164.075 Theft by extortion.

The commission of theft by extortion occurs when a person forces or induces another to surrender property, either to the perpetrator or a third party, by instilling fear of future harm. This harm could include physical injury, property damage, engagement in criminal activities, false accusations leading to criminal charges, exposure of secrets, publicizing facts that may subject someone to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, initiation or continuation of harmful collective actions, manipulation of legal claims or defenses, abuse of a public servant's position, or infliction of any other harm not beneficial to the actor. Theft by extortion is categorized as a Class B felony.

164.085 Theft by deception.

The offense of theft by deception occurs when a person acquires another's property with the intent to defraud. This can involve creating or confirming false impressions about the law, value, intention, or other states of mind; failing to correct previously created false impressions; withholding information relevant to the disposition of the property; transferring property without disclosing legal impediments; or making promises of performance with no intention of fulfilling them. "Deception" excludes falsehoods of no pecuniary significance or representations unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the addressed group. In theft by deception cases involving a bad check, the lack of an account with the drawee or refusal of payment due to insufficient funds serves as prima facie evidence of knowledge. The theft of a companion animal or a captive wild animal is considered a matter of pecuniary significance. [1971 c.743 §127; 1987 c.158 §27; 2007 c.71 §48, 49]

164.095 Theft by receiving.

If a person knowingly receives, retains, conceals, or gets rid of someone else's property, and they either knew or had a good reason to believe that the property was stolen, they can be charged with theft by receiving. If you're in the scrap metal business and you receive or keep metal property, you can use it as a defense if you follow the reporting requirements laid out in the law. "Receiving" in this context means acquiring, controlling, or owning the property.

164.098 Organized retail theft.

A person commits organized retail theft if they work together with someone else to steal merchandise from a store, and the total value of the stolen items within a 90-day period is more than $5,000. "Merchandise" here refers to goods, and a "mercantile establishment" is a place where goods are sold. Organized retail theft is considered a serious offense, classified as a Class B felony. [1971 c.743 §129; 2009 c.811 §9; 2007 c.498 §2]

164.105 Right of possession. Right of possession of property is as follows:

When it comes to who rightfully owns stolen property, the law states that if someone obtains property through theft or other illegal methods, they are considered to have a stronger right to possession than someone else who takes, obtains, or keeps the property through theft. However, joint or common owners of property share an equal right to possession, and if there's no specific agreement stating otherwise, a person lawfully possessing property has a superior right to possession compared to someone with only a security interest, even if the legal title lies with the holder of the security interest.

164.115 Value of property.

Determining the value of property for legal purposes involves different criteria. Generally, it's the market value of the property at the time and place of the crime. If that's not reasonably possible, it can be the cost of replacing the property within a reasonable time after the crime. For certain written instruments, like checks or promissory notes, their value is considered the amount due or collectible. Other instruments affecting legal rights are valued based on the maximum economic loss the owner might reasonably suffer. Gambling chips or similar items are valued at their face value. When the value can't be reasonably determined, it's presumed to be less than $50 for theft and less than $500 for other cases. Additionally, the law allows adding up the values of individual thefts if they occur against multiple victims in a similar manner within 30 days or against the same victim or joint owners within a 180-day period.

164.125 Theft of services.

If you get services that are supposed to be paid for, but you intentionally avoid paying using force, threats, deception, or other methods, you're committing theft of services. This also applies if you control someone else's labor or business-related equipment and use it for your benefit without permission, trying to gain an unfair advantage.

The term "services" covers a wide range, including labor, professional services, toll facilities, transportation, communication services (like phones and cable TV), entertainment, food and lodging in hotels or restaurants, equipment use, and public utility services like gas or electricity.

If you skip out on paying for services immediately, it's seen as evidence that you intended to avoid payment. The law also considers it evidence if you use communication systems or public utility services without paying.

The value of thefts can be added up if they happen in a similar way against multiple victims within 30 days or against the same victim or joint owners within 180 days.

The seriousness of the offense depends on the total value of the services stolen:

  • If it's less than $100, it's a Class C misdemeanor.
  • If it's between $100 and $1,000, it's a Class A misdemeanor.
  • If it's $1,000 or more, it becomes a Class C felony.
  • If it's $10,000 or more, it's a Class B felony.

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