What is Grand Larceny?

Grand larceny is a crime defined by theft of another person’s property, in which the property is considered to be of high value. Since legal terminology can be difficult to understand, it helps to break the definition down and touch upon the distinctions between grand larceny and other forms of theft.

Theft of another person’s property

In order to be charged with larceny, a theft of property must occur. The property can be any valuable item such as a vehicle, computer, jewelry, or money.

High Value

Grand larceny is distinguished from other forms of theft by the value placed on the items stolen. The higher the value, the greater chance grand larceny can be charged. The theft of items that are of small value is known as petit larceny.

Most jurisdictions will have a set dollar amount on what can be classified as grand larceny. For example, South Carolina determines that theft of items worth $500 or more constitutes grand larceny.

Courts will also look at the intent of the person committing the crime. The person must have intent to steal. For example, if a college student takes his roommate’s car for a drive and returns it, he cannot be charged with grand larceny because his intent was to borrow the car, not steal it.

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