Having a crime happen to you or a loved one can be very upsetting and disruptive, and sometimes the effects may be felt for a long time after the crime occurs.
What is theft?
Theft occurs when someone takes your property without your permission and with the intention of not giving it back. This can also be called stealing.
It includes crimes such as:
In some cases, theft can happen as part of a larger pattern of criminal behaviours such as:
If you have had money or personal information taken through deceptive or dishonest behaviour, you may find information about fraud and scams useful.
Charges related to theft
There are a range of offences related to theft. They include:
What can I do?
In Victoria, there are a range of services and agencies that assist victims of different crimes.
If someone takes your property without your permission, you can:
Report the theft to the police
If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime is currently occurring, please call police on Triple Zero (000). You can also go to your local police station to report a crime.
If there is no danger, you can report to police by:
- calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444
- calling or going to your local police station
- using Victoria Police’s online reporting tool (for items up to $5000)
- confidentially report crime to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
What will happen if a theft is reported?
When a crime such as a theft is reported to police, they can:
- take a statement from you about what happened and what property was taken
- attend the scene, if that is necessary
- collect evidence and investigate what happened
- try to find the person who did the theft and/or locate your missing property.
If someone is charged
If an accused person is found by the police, they may be charged and the justice process will start.
This website explains the justice process in Victoria. You can learn about:
- police investigations
- how charges are laid
- what happens when a case goes to court
- what you need to do if you have to go to court.
Seek compensation/return of your property
The Victorian government does not provide financial assistance for property lost because of theft.
You may be able to:
If you have an insurance policy covering your property, you may be able to make a claim for the cost of replacing or repairing it. You may need a copy of the crime report from the police to do this. Contact your insurance company for more information.
Seek the return of your property or compensation directly from the offender
If a person is charged with taking your possessions and/or damaging your property, you may be able to apply for a court order to make the offender:
- return your stolen possessions
- pay you for what any lost, damaged or sold property is worth.
You can learn more about seeking compensation from an offender.
Learn more about protecting your property from theft
You can take steps to make your property more secure and protect your possessions. Find out more from:
Understanding the traumatic effects of crime
Experiencing a theft can be an upsetting and worrying experience. Everyone’s response is different, but it can be helpful to understand the common feelings and physical reactions people have and what to expect.
On this website, you can learn more about:
- common emotional and physical reactions to stressful events like crimes
- suggestions to help you with recovery
- how to best support a family member or friend
- how to help a child who has been affected by crime.
Counselling and crisis support services
24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Mental health care plan – see your General Practitioner
If you need assistance, you can see a General Practitioner and discuss your situation. You may be eligible for a mental health care plan that will assist with the cost of counselling.
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Legal Aid’s (VLA) Legal Help service provides free general legal information over the phone and by chat online.