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  • Top Items Taken by Shoplifters and Home Burglars

    Posted on by JACK MKHITARIAN

    police holding handcuffs, shopping cartLarceny, burglary, and petty theft all have one thing in common: one person takes something that does not belong to them.

    Some people steal out of greed, others necessity. Regardless for the reasons why, some items tend to be the centerfold of theft. These items are the most common items taken from homes and shoplifted at local stores, and some of them might surprise you.

    If you have been accused of shoplifting or burglary, it is imperative you speak with an attorney. Petty theft or misdemeanor larceny is still a serious charge that can result in jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record following you for the rest of your life.

    Most Common Items Stolen in Albuquerque

    Some of these items are minor, and you might not think of it as a crime. But you are stealing if you take them. Others are more obvious items where, if you were to pick up and put in your purse or pocket at the store without paying for, you have committed a crime.

    Drink Glasses from Restaurants

    When you order a drink from a restaurant or a pint of beer, it might come in a decorative glass that is so unique you just want to take it home with you. The only issue is that you paid for the drink; not the glass. Bringing it home means you just committed a crime. While a misdemeanor, it is still worth noting that, if the manager caught you and called the police, you could be arrested for the theft.

    Street Signs

    Another commonly stolen item that can result in serious prison time is the theft of street signs. Most commonly committed by teens performing impractical jokes or out having a good time, street sign theft is a criminal offense. The city sees it as a crime of theft. And if, for some reason, an accident occurs because of the stolen sign, you could face additional penalties such as manslaughter. Bottom line, a street sign might look great in your room or finish off a man cave, but it is a criminal offense and one that can be extremely serious.

    A Neighbor’s Wi-Fi Connection

    These days, most homes use routers and Wi-Fi rather than hardwire connections, which means they have their wireless network out for the using. Most have passwords to protect others from using them. But if you were to take the time to hack in or even use their Wi-Fi that is not password protected, you are still committing a crime. The odds of being arrested and convicted, however, are relatively narrow.

    Baby Formula

    A commonly shoplifted item from grocery stores is baby formula, and most parents stealing it are not doing so with evil intentions. Instead, they cannot afford the food their child needs. Therefore, they shoplift it in hopes that they can get by that month without paying hundreds for formula.

    Regardless, if caught, a parent can still face petty theft and larceny charges. The penalties for the theft would depend on the retail value (and how much) formula was stolen.


    The reason more retail stores have security theft devices on every piece of clothing is because that is the most common item to steal. It is easy enough to go to the dressing room, try on an outfit, and walk out wearing it without anyone noticing. Other times, customers stuff these items into bags, pockets, and purses. As a way to deter further theft, the anti-theft devices typically release ink or set off an alarm if an employee does not remove them.

    Mobile Phones

    Mobile phones are more commonly stolen from other people than retail stores. Stores have the actual phones under lock and key, making it only possible for inner-office theft (employee theft). Never leave your phone unattended, because someone is likely to swipe it up and use it for themselves. After all, with the retail cost of a new phone today, it is not surprising to see that people are willing to sacrifice the risk of jail time to get the latest iPhone or Android.

    Jewelry and Watches

    Jewelry and watches are stolen, not only from stores, but also homes. They are easy to take and still worth money, even if they are fenced or traded in for store credit. Also, they are inconspicuous for thieves because they can stuff them away in a pocket and walk out the door without being obvious.

    Jewelry often has a higher retail value, however, so the chances of jumping into a higher penalty bracket increase with each piece of jewelry or watch stolen.

    Purses, Wallets, and Money

    Cash is a common item stolen, but only after someone has already picked up another person’s purse or wallet. Sometimes, these are physically snatched from the victim. While other times, they are picked up after being left behind or unattended.

    Fewer consumers carry cash today, and with most carrying credit cards that can instantly lock the moment they go missing, the numbers for purse and wallet theft most likely will decline over the coming years.

    Lawn Furniture and Equipment

    Most people keep lawn ornaments, equipment, and furniture outside without thinking much about it. After all, would someone really drive up and steal a set of patio furniture? Yes, they would. It is exposed and at risk for theft. And when there is an opportunity, someone will take advantage.

    Packages on the Doorstep

    A new trend, especially during holidays, is the theft of packages on doorsteps. People drive around neighborhoods looking for unattended packages and run up to take them while the recipients are not home. More homeowners are installing exterior cameras that capture license plates and the faces of these individuals, making it easier for law enforcement to find them.

    Accused of Larceny or Petty Theft? You Still Need a Lawyer

    If you were accused of stealing one of these common items or something else, do not discount the penalties of a crime labeled as “petty theft.” It is still a misdemeanor that includes jail time, fines, and a possible civil lawsuit from the victim.

    You cannot risk the consequences of a criminal record. Instead, speak with an attorney ready to fight for you. Call New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today at 505-200-2982 or request your free case evaluation online.