Can I get arrested for theft if no property was reported missing or recovered?

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Can I get arrested for theft if no property was reported missing or recovered?

The police said they had photos of me when they showed up at my house but did not arrest me. Why if there were pictures of me?

Asked on July 4, 2014 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be arrested even if no property was reported as missing, though in that case, you'd likely be arrested for some form of trespass or breaking and entering, not theft. If property was taken but has not been recovered, you could be arrested for theft, too, though proving you took it may be much more difficult without the property. As for why they did not arrest you--there are too many possible reasons to speculate; e.g. they are still investigating and building the case, but do not feel ready to act (or that they need to act--i.e. they may not see you as a flight risk); or they are still investigating and do not even know who broke in, but are just contacting all suspects; etc.


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