Theft charges in Ohio are often the result of obviously inappropriate conduct. People leave the store without paying for items or take property that they know belongs to other people. If they get caught in the act or located by law enforcement authorities later, individuals who take assets that belong to other people might eventually face criminal prosecution.
Other times, individuals who believe they have engaged in completely appropriate behavior find themselves accused of involvement in theft offenses and facing significant criminal penalties. Agreeing to store property for a friend or coworker sometimes puts people at risk of criminal prosecution. So could the decision to purchase items from unknown sellers online.
It is a crime to possess stolen property
Those involved in organized shoplifting or burglary might understand how risky it is to keep what they have stolen in their own homes or in a rental storage unit in their own names. Having informal storage arrangements with someone they know socially may seem like a safer option for an individual involved in property crime.
Unfortunately, the party storing those assets could eventually face legal scrutiny and potentially be at risk of criminal prosecution. The same could potentially be true for those who purchase valuable items on the internet. Those who steal may attempt to resell items on digital platforms as a way of monetizing property they have taken from others.
Unlike pawn shops, which are subject to legal restrictions about tracking who sells certain items, online resale marketplaces have very minimal oversight. Buyers could eventually discover that an offer that seemed too good to be true in fact too good to be true when they get arrested for the possession of stolen property.
Receiving stolen property is a first-degree misdemeanor offense in Ohio. However, if the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000, then the person who possessed it could be at risk of felony charges. Typically, the state must show that someone was aware that the items in their possession were stolen goods. If a reasonable person might suspect the price set for items or the conduct of an acquaintance allegedly in need of storage space, then the state could choose to pursue charges against someone.
Understanding how seemingly innocent actions might lead to an arrest may benefit those hoping to fight back against pending criminal charges in Ohio.