Features of qualification of mobile phone theft

Prices for criminal lawyer services
Mobile phone is the most popular means of communication, which is used by every inhabitant of the planet and allows you to keep in touch with the right people and make business transactions simpler. According to investigation statistics, cell phone theft is considered one of the most common types of crimes. However, not many people know that this type of criminal act is punishable by criminal penalties and a term of several years in prison or detention.

The theft of a smartphone, tablet or other personal communication device in the modern Criminal Code of the Russian Federation considers the criminal secret and gratuitous seizure of a technical device from its rightful owner. In the event of a crime, theft in all cases is carried out in the presence of direct personal intent, a selfish motive.

Such a criminal act is considered committed immediately from the moment the cell phone is actually confiscated from its owner. In criminal law there is also the concept of theft, which differs from theft. Theft is considered as a certain set of actions, which consists of the criminal seizure of a device and its conversion for one’s own benefit or for the benefit of strangers.

Attention! Need a lawyer's protection? in the form, go to the questions for lawyers , go, free !

Punishment for phone theft: article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

Each of the parts of Art. 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provides for several types of punishment for theft. The concept is interpreted as the secret theft of someone else's property. Type of punishment for the offender:

  • fine;
  • compulsory, corrective or forced labor for various periods;
  • restriction and imprisonment.

These actions can be applied either individually or in combination, depending on the amount of damage caused, the circumstances of the crime and the presence of accomplices.

A phone stolen from clothing is punishable under paragraph 2 of Article 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - pickpocketing. It provides penalties:

  • a fine of 200 thousand rubles or in accordance with the salary of the convicted person for a period of 1.5 years;
  • 480 hours of compulsory work;
  • two years of forced labor;
  • forced labor for up to 5 years with the possibility of restriction of freedom for one year;
  • imprisonment for a term of 5 years with a limit of up to 1 year.

An aggravating circumstance may be the presence of a group with a criminal conspiracy, illegal entry into the premises, or theft of a high-value device.


If the phone was stolen, among other things, from a personal apartment or other type of private property, then this is already clause 3 of Art. 158. It is classified as grand theft with illegal entry into a home. Major damage is considered to be at least 250 thousand rubles.

The penalties provided for in this paragraph are:

  • a fine in the range from 100 to 500 thousand rubles or in the form of the total income of the offender for a period of one to three years;
  • up to five years of forced labor with restriction of freedom for one and a half years;
  • imprisonment for up to six years with a possible fine of 80,000 rubles or the total income of the offender for six months and restriction of freedom for up to one and a half years.

Is there a preventive measure in the law for this crime?

The Criminal Code does not focus specifically on phone theft. To seriously punish a criminal, it is enough to establish that he has suffered significant damage. The legislator considered that there was no need to separately spell out the word “telephone” in the law.

Thus, the theft of a “mobile phone” will be considered in accordance with Art. 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, as theft.

Difference from robbery

It is very important to understand these differences, since the punishment depends on this and what exactly the attacker faces.

Theft, according to Art. 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - committed secretly. That is, the owner of the property, during the commission of the crime, does not suspect that his phone was stolen and discovers the loss later. Or, he immediately discovers that there is no “mobile phone”, but does not know who committed the crime.

Robbery (Article 161 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) is open theft. The victim sees the criminal and the crime being committed, but cannot stop him.

Example: a man on the street is talking on the phone, an attacker runs up to him, snatches the phone from the owner’s hands and runs away.

Difference between theft and discovery

It is important to distinguish these two things from each other. After all, if a person stole a phone, then he is recognized as a criminal, and the penalties established by the Criminal Code are applied to him. If someone found a phone, then such an act cannot be classified as a crime. But the line is very thin.

According to the norms of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, in particular, Art. 227, who has found some thing must notify the owner of this fact. If this was not done, then we can say that theft was committed.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation proposes to focus on the subjective side of the act. Namely:

  1. It is necessary to determine for what purpose the person took someone else’s phone. If this was done in order to transfer the property to the owner, then there can be no question of theft.
  2. It is necessary to establish whether there was a mercenary motive: whether the person accused of committing a crime wanted to keep the mobile phone for himself or sell it, for example. If self-interest took place, then it is worth talking about theft.

It is important to pay attention to the objective side. Firstly, theft, according to the RF Armed Forces, is not necessarily some kind of active action aimed at removing an item from the owner’s possession.
It is not necessary to become a criminal by reaching into the victim’s pocket and pulling out the phone. If, for example, an item is lost by the owner somewhere in a shopping center, then the person who picks it up and keeps it for himself becomes a thief. The thing is that a telephone is an object whose owner is quite easy to identify. You just need to call several numbers available in the “Contacts” section of the device.

If, for example, a watch without any “identification marks” is found in the forest, then that’s a different matter. Although here you can advertise the find. A telephone or a car are things whose owner is easy to find.

Thus, in order to differentiate the theft of a cell phone from its discovery, it is necessary:

  1. Find out what the intention of the person who found the “mobile phone” was, and how he wanted to dispose of the property.
  2. Analyze what actions were performed by the person who found the phone.

This will allow us to draw clear conclusions.

Recommendations for detecting a phone are as follows:

  1. Don't touch the thing. Of course, there is a risk that then someone else will see it and appropriate it for themselves.
  2. Report the discovery to the police or, at a minimum, to the administration of the institution where the phone was found.
  3. Try to contact the owner.

That is, to exclude those signs that theft has, in particular, theft.

What to do if your phone is stolen

To report a missing phone, you must contact the police department closest to the scene of the crime. It must be submitted as soon as the theft is discovered. The duty officer is obliged to accept applications or provide legal reasons for refusal. In case of an unmotivated refusal, you can write a complaint to the prosecutor's office, having previously specified the name of the duty officer and the department. In the document, indicate the possible location of the crime, the suspect, if any.

In addition to the police, you need to contact your mobile operator. Try to block the SIM card, especially if there is a large amount of money on it. If you have an ID card, contact the operator's service center and ask for a printout of outgoing calls.

To apply, it is important to find out the IMEI number of the phone. It is usually indicated on the box of the mobile phone. This is a unique number, individual for each phone. The application must be signed and dated, and also indicate that you are familiar with the liability for giving false testimony, in accordance with Article 306 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. A police officer has no right to refuse to accept a statement. Otherwise, he violates the duties of law enforcement officials and the rights of citizens of the Russian Federation. The document must include contact information so that you can report on the progress of the investigation.

Distinguishing theft from related crimes

It is worth remembering that theft is a non-violent crime, but the secret appropriation of property that does not belong to the thief for the purpose of profit and enrichment. And fraud is theft by deception or abuse of trust.
In case of theft, secret appropriation occurs without the consent of the victim. In fraud, the victim voluntarily transfers his property or the right to it.

If appropriation occurs from an incapacitated person, even with his voluntary consent, but fraudulently, then this is theft.

Discrimination from embezzlement and embezzlement - in this case, everything depends on the subject of the crime. If the subject is a person who is legally entrusted with property and the perpetrator uses it for personal gain, then this is embezzlement or misappropriation. In case of theft, a person has access to the property, but has nothing to do with it.

The distinction from robbery - it all depends on the method of theft. When the seizure is unnoticeable, secret, it is theft. If the crime is completely open, it is robbery.

The ultimate goal of theft is to enrich the criminal, i.e. he pursues selfish goals. Theft is the taking of property without a selfish goal, and even if it is present, it is satisfied in a completely different way than theft.

Filing a police report

There is no sample application approved by the legislation of the Russian Federation. It is written in free form by hand or printed electronically. When describing events, you need to follow the following plan:

  1. At the beginning, it is indicated to whom the application is being submitted: the police department on duty, the head of the police department with the last name, the police department investigator.
  2. Contact details of the victim: last name, first name, patronymic in full, year of birth and registration address; to clarify details and notify about the progress of the investigation, enter a mobile phone number.
  3. In free form, indicating clear facts, describe the offense committed: a description of the crime scene and the possible offender. The time interval of the crime must be indicated. Detailed description of the mobile phone model: color, model. presence of scratches and chips, case, protective film.
  4. IMEI is a fifteen-digit telephone identification number. It is marked on the packaging box. If the outcome of the case is positive, it can be used to verify that the item belongs to the victim. Attach to the application. Available purchase documents: receipt, warranty card, technical passport. The mobile operator can accurately track the location of the criminal using IMEI.
  5. Legal section. When submitting an application, use clause 1 of Art. 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation on the need to make a decision on the fact of the application and notify the injured party, as well as clause 1 of Art. 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, according to which the time for making a decision on an application is regulated.

The application must be submitted in two copies. One remains with the duty officer, the second, with a registration number, remains with the victim.

Mobile robbery causing moderate or minor harm

An attacker who stole someone else's property and caused harm of moderate or minor severity can avoid severe punishment in the form of serving a sentence in a colony. However, when making a determination, the court will take into account all possible circumstances and signs of the illegal act committed.

According to Part 1 of Art. 161 of the Criminal Code, such punishment can be for an adult: arrest for 4-6 months or correctional labor for 1-2 years, or placement in a maximum security colony for up to 4 years.

An unconvicted thief will be able to avoid criminal punishment (Article 76 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), that is, only correctional labor awaits him.

A minor Russian in case of such a crime will escape punishment, but will be registered in juvenile affairs.

And a convicted criminal faces not only the same term behind bars, but also the addition of the remainder of the unserved, past sentence.

How to prosecute for attempted theft?

The procedure for bringing someone to justice for theft or attempted theft is quite simple.

Every detected case of theft or attempted theft must be reported to law enforcement agencies , and in particular to the nearest territorial police department. The message can be made in any way convenient for you: telephone, fax, message on the website, personal visit to the police.

After the message, the owner must write a statement in which he indicates when, where and who tried to steal your property, whether you have a suspect, and indicate without fail what damage was caused to you.

If you attempt to steal from a retail outlet, confirm the possible damage with documents (results of a documentary audit, a certificate of the value of the goods), ensure that security and store personnel are interviewed, and provide video surveillance recordings during the attempt.

Briefly about everything

  • According to modern legislation, theft of up to 1000 rubles is a special violation of an administrative nature and is characterized as a fact of petty theft.
  • The main penalties for administrative violations are set out in Article 27 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation “Petty theft”.
  • Security company employees and private individuals can only detain a possible intruder in the premises and wait for the police to arrive.
  • For this form of violation of the law, administrative liability or a simple apology is provided.

Decoding concepts

Attempted theft is regarded under Article 158 of the Criminal Code of Russia only if the following signs of a crime are present:

  • selfish purpose, i.e. the crime must have the intent to obtain benefits from the theft of property;
  • gratuitous in nature, i.e. for the secretly seized property its cost will not be paid, no other property of equal value will be provided for it, or the cost will not be fully covered;
  • the presence of material damage, i.e., if a crime were committed, the owner of the property would suffer damage. The amount of damage affects the measure of restraint. It is calculated from the value of the property at the time of the theft attempt or based on the conclusion of an expert commission.

The concept of theft, and, accordingly, attempted theft, includes only those acts that are aimed at secretly confiscating property that does not belong to the criminal, as well as property to which he does not have an alleged right.

The presumptive right to own property refers to the debt the victim owes to the offender. Accordingly, secret theft or its attempt is carried out to cover the debt. In this case, the crime will be regarded as arbitrariness and will fall under Article 330 of the Criminal Code of Russia.

You should know:

  • the seizure of property is usually understood as the actual transfer of property from the owner to the criminal or other persons in whose favor the crime is committed;
  • preparation of theft is considered to be thinking over the details of committing a crime, drawing up plans, searching for accomplices, preparing related tools and other signs of an offense that provide conditions for the possibility of committing a crime;
  • attempted theft is considered to be intentional actions aimed at committing an illegal act that is not completed for any reason dependent or independent of the offender.

If the offender can (has the potential) to complete the crime, but does not complete it, then the court may qualify this as a refusal to commit the crime.

In this case, the following factors are taken into account when making a decision:

  • voluntary refusal to commit a crime;
  • no attempts to commit this illegal act a second time;
  • refusal of a crime due to its illegality, i.e. a crime is not committed due to the fact that criminal liability is provided for it. This rule is regulated by Article 31 of the Criminal Code of Russia.

Amount of damage

The minimum amount of damage for theft and attempted theft is recognized to be an amount equal to 1 minimum wage as of the beginning of 2006, namely 1,100 rubles.

If the amount is less than the minimum, the offense is considered not criminal, but administrative. It is controlled by Article 7.21 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Russia.

In punitive measures there are various concepts of damage, on which the choice of liability depends. These include:

  • significant damage - from 5,000 rubles;
  • major damage – from RUB 250,000;
  • especially large damage – from RUB 1,000,000.

What is considered attempted theft?

A crime such as theft is considered completed after the thief has not only received the property, but can also freely dispose of it, for example, sell, donate, use it himself, etc.

Helpful information

Attempted fraud (if proven) is criminally punishable only if the purpose of the crime was property on a large or especially large scale (over 250 thousand rubles).

The attempted theft is described in Article 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Attempt is understood as a situation where the criminal really intended to commit theft and had already taken certain actions in this direction, but did not complete the matter due to circumstances beyond his control. The most striking example is shoplifting, when the thief put the goods in his pocket, and at the checkout (or even already at the door of the store) was stopped by security officers.

An attempted theft can occur even when, in fact, the thief has not yet managed to take anything; for example, an attacker entered a house to steal, but did not have time to steal anything and was caught by the owners of the home.

Another option for an assassination attempt is a mistake in the subject of the theft. For example, a criminal took a thick envelope from a passenger’s pocket on a bus, assuming that it contained money, but it contained receipts for payment.

( 2 ratings, average 4.5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]