What Constitutes Thefts and Property Crimes in Chicago     

The property crime rate for Chicago is 46.3, nearly 10% higher than the national average. As per recent statistics, the city registered over 121k cases, with neighborhoods like Hyde Park witnessing a 25% increase in property crime volume.

Typically, in a theft and property crime case, the prosecution focuses on proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, when you get charged for such offenses, it is best to explore your legal options. An experienced criminal lawyer Chicago strategizes a strong defense for you, ensuring the best outcome possible. 

Here’s what constitutes theft and property crimes in Chicago, where a criminal attorney can help you with their legal expertise.


Out of the total 1,500 property crimes reported per 100k population in Chicago, 200 were burglary. It is a severe criminal offense in Chicago that can result in up to 10 years of jail time. 

While Illinois law defines the criminal offense of burglary under 720 ILCS 5/19-1, residential burglary comes under 720 ILCS 5/19-3. An adept attorney will review your case for the section under which it got filed and decide the correct legal course of action to get you acquitted from the allegations.

Retail Theft

In 2019, Chicago ranked fourth among U.S. cities in retail thefts, with 31% of the 63 companies surveyed picking Mud City. 

Retail theft offense comes under 720 ILCS 5/16-25. The section covers actions, like taking an item without payment and not returning property after lease expiration, that mount to retail theft.

The penalties for retail theft vary from one to 5 years of jail term, with fines of up to $25k. A top criminal lawyer in Chicago first checks the action for which the charges got leveled against you. They look for proofs, such as surveillance evidence and witness testimonials, to highlight the weaknesses in the other party’s case, thus helping you get a reduced sentence.

Identity Theft

Using another person’s ID to fraudulently make money and producing other’s personal ID information without lawful authority are a few forms of identity theft. 

In Chicago, 720 ILCS 5/16-30 defines these thefts, with penalties ranging from 1 to 30 years of prison time and fines of over $100k, depending on the crime severity.

The criminal lawyers evaluate your case to see if the other party is disabled, aged or your action was a part of the activities of an organized gang. And based on the degree of your case, the legal team will focus on winning the least possible punishment.

Property Theft

Among all the property crimes in Chicago, larceny-theft accounts for the majority of cases reported per 100k population, about 73%.

Under 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a), scenarios such as exerting unauthorized control over other’s property or obtaining a stolen property count as thefts. The attorneys build a strong defense against such charges; otherwise, you could end up spending 1 to 30 years behind bars and paying fines of up to $25k.

Final Thoughts

While Chicago is safer than 8% of U.S. cities, one in 33 residents here has a chance of becoming a victim of theft and property crime.

If any of these victims accuse you of a property crime, hire a criminal attorney. Rest assured, you will be at peace with your case in the right hands, securing you a confirmed acquittal from all charges.