qualified theft

Qualified Theft

Theft is qualified if
1. It is committed by a domestic servant, or
2. Committed with grave abuse of confidence,or
3. The property stolen is a:
      a. motor vehicle,
      b. mail matter,
      c. large cattle,
      d. coconut from the premises of a plantation,
      e. fish from a fishpond or fishery, or
4. Committed on the occasion of calamities, vehicular accident and civil disturbance.

Grave abuse of confidence - necessitates a high degree of confidence between the offender and the offended party. (Ex. guests). Hence, when there is no confidence b/w the parties,
the crime is not qualified theft.

Theft is qualified if it is committed by one who has access to the place where stolen property is kept. (Ex. security guards, tellers)

Novation theory (i.e. the victim’s acceptance of payment converted the offender’s liability to a civil obligation) applies only if there is a contractual relationship b/w the accused and the complainant.

When the accused treated the deed of sale as sham and he had intent to gain, his absconding with the object of the sale is qualified theft

When a PUV in “boundary” system entrusted tothe offender is sold to another, the crime is theft. On the other hand, if the motor vehicle is not used for public utility in “boundary” system but under contract of lease, the crime is estafa.

The penalty for qualified theft is 2 degrees higher.

Theft by domestic servant is always qualified. There’s no need to prove grave abuse of discretion.

The abuse of confidence must be grave. There must be allegation in the information and proof of a relation, by reason of dependence, guardianship or vigilance, between the accused and the offended
party, that has created a high degree of confidence between them, which the accused abused.

Theft of any material, spare part, product or article by employees and laborers is heavily punished under PD 133.

Motor vehicle: all vehicles propelled by power, other than muscular power.

When the purpose of taking the car is to destroy by burning it, the crime is arson.

If a private individual took a letter containing postal money order it is qualified theft. If it was the postmaster, to whom the letter was delivered, the crime would be infidelity in the custody of

Bar Exam Question (2002)

Theft; Qualified Theft (2002)

A fire broke out in a department store, A, taking advantage of the confusion, entered the store and carried away goods which he later sold. What crime, if any, did he commit? Why? 

Suggested Answer:

A committed the crime of qualified theft because he took the goods on the occasion of and taking advantage of the fire which broke out in the department store. The occasion of a calamity such as fire, when the theft was committed, qualifies the crime under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

Bar Exam Question (2002)

Theft; Qualified Theft (2002)

A vehicular accident occurred on the national highway in Bulacan. Among the first to arrive at the scene of the accident was A, who found one of the victims already dead and the others unconscious. Before rescuers could come, A, taking advantage of the helpless condition of the victims, took their wallets and jewelry. However, the police, who responded to the report of the accident, caught A. What crime or crimes did A commit? Why?

Suggested Answer:

A committed the crime of qualified theft because he took the wallets and jewelry of the victims with evident intent to gain and on the occasion of a vehicular accident wherein he took advantage of the helpless condition of the victims. But only one crime of qualified theft was committed although there were more than one victim divested of their valuables, because all the taking of the valuables were made on one and the same occasion, thus constituting a continued crime.

Bar Exam Question (2006)

Theft; Qualified Theft (2006)

1. Forest Ranger Jay Velasco was patrolling the Balara Watershed and Reservoir when he noticed a big pile of cut logs outside the gate of the watershed. Curious, he scouted around and after a few minutes, he saw Rene and Dante coming out of the gate with some more newly-cut logs. He apprehended and charged them with the proper offense. What is that offense? Explain.

Suggested Answer:

The offense is Qualified Theft under Sec. 68 of P.D. 705, amending P.D. No. 330, which penalizes any person who directly or indirectly cuts, gathers, removes, or smuggles timber, or other forest products from any of the public forest. The Balara Watershed is protected by the cited laws.

2. During the preliminary investigation and up to the trial proper, Rene and Dante contended that if they were to be held liable, their liability should be limited only to the newly-cut logs found in their possession but not to those found outside the gate. If you were the judge, what will be your ruling? 

Suggested Answer:

The contention is untenable, the presence of the newly cut logs outside the gate is circumstantial evidence, which, if unrebutted, establishes that they are the offenders who gathered the same.