Is this theft criminal or civil matter if your employer took your tools?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is this theft criminal or civil matter if your employer took your tools?

I am sole proprietor of a pole barn construction company. My jobsite foreman quit and took home

my 3x3x5′ work box full of my tools and refuses to return them. About $2,000 in power tools. Is this a criminal offence or a civil court matter?

Asked on January 21, 2017 under Business Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is both: deliberately or intentionally taking another's property is a crime--something you could face prosecution for--and also an intentional civil tort--something you could be sued over. You could file a police report and also look to press charges, and also sue (e.g. in small claims court) for the value of the tools).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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