Receiving Stolen Property

What is receiving stolen property in Ohio?

  • You can be charged with receiving stolen property in Ohio if you receive, retain, or dispose of property of another knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the property was obtained through a theft offense.
  • Basically, you can’t buy or be given something that you know is stolen or you reasonably believe is stolen.
  • An example we see often is where someone buys an item for much less than the item is actually worth.
      • Someone you know comes to you and says they’re selling a one year old Range Rover. You don’t know cars that well but you figure that the car has to cost at least $80,000. However, your friend says he’ll sell it to you for $5,000.
      • At this point, your immediate reaction should be of concern. There’s really only two reasons they would sell the car that cheap. It’s either defective or it’s stolen. However, you really need a new car so you ask him why they’re selling and why it’s so cheap.
      • The person tells you that it runs like new but they’re hard on cash. They won’t accept anything but cash though. You decide to bury your head in the sand and give the person $5,000.
      • You take the title to the Range Rover and they tell you that the title is fake and that the car is stolen. The police arrive and you tell them that you bought the car from someone for $5,000. They tell you that the car is worth $80,000 and it was reported stolen one week ago.
      • At this point, they will likely charge you with receiving stolen property. You should have reasonably known that this car was stolen. No one would sell a $80,000 car for $5,000.

What are some other examples of receiving stolen property in Ohio?

  • A basic train of thought is, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Here are some other examples to watch out for:
    • Electronics and tools are often easy targets for thieves. These items can be easily moved and sold for small amounts of cash.
      • These items usually have serial numbers so they are easy to identify if you are caught with them. Many electronics have tracking capabilities as well.
    • Stolen credit cards are a major issue these days. Online thieves will often say they have half off coupon codes for a retail store. The way this plays out is that they will purchase something online with a stolen credit card. They will have the item shipped to the physical store. You will go and pick the item up. Once you pick the item up, you transfer money to them using a cash transfer app. The thief is usually in a foreign country so they can’t be tracked. They just turned a stolen credit card into cash and you’re now on the hook for receiving stolen property.
    • A similar situation happens with dating website scammers or other similar situations. Someone in a foreign country will contact a victim through a dating website. The scammer will tell the victim that they live in a nearby city. They will get the victim to trust them and put money into a U.S. bank account. However, the scammer needs a way to transfer that money into a foreign bank. Here’s where you come in. The scammer contacts you and says they will give you $500 if you pull money out of that particular U.S. bank account and wire it to them. You think it’s easy money so you do it. However, the police catch on and find you making one of these withdrawals.

What are the penalties for receiving stolen property in Ohio?

  • Receiving stolen property in Ohio can range from a 1st degree misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony. It depends on the value of the property and/or what kind of property.
    • If the value of the property is less than $1000
      • 1st degree misdemeanor
    • If the value of the property is equal to $1000 and less than $7500
      • 5th degree felony
    • If the value of the property is equal to $7500 and less than $150,000
      • 4th degree felony
    • If the value of the property is $150,000 or more
      • 3rd degree felony
    • If the property is a credit card, check, license plate, a blank form for a motor vehicle title, or a blank for a driver’s license
      • 5th degree felony
    • If the property involved is a motor vehicle
      • 4th degree felony
    • If the property involved is a dangerous drug
      • 4th degree felony
    • If the property involved is a firearm or dangerous ordnance
      • 4th degree felony
    • If the property involved is any of the following: beer kegs, utility service cables, grave markers, guard rails for roads, historical and memorial markers made out of metal, shopping carts, grocery store merchandising carts, railroad material, retailer merchandise containers, burnt wire
      • 5th degree felony

Can I expunge / seal a conviction for receiving stolen property in Ohio?

  • Yes. Since the most serious charge is a 3rd degree felony, all receiving stolen property convictions are eligible for expungement / record sealing in Ohio.
    • Note – It will depend on the person’s prior criminal history.

Can I get diversion for a receiving stolen property charge in Ohio?

  • Numerous courts in Ohio will have diversion programs for theft or receiving stolen property charges. These programs usually involve paying restitution, taking a court mandated theft class, completing community service, and not committing any additional crimes for one to two years.
  • After completion of the diversion program, most courts will dismiss the charge. Some courts will not dismiss the charge but will reduce the charge to a low level misdemeanor.
  • Contact an attorney to find out if the court where your case is has a diversion program. Your attorney can find out if you are eligible for the program. You often cannot have a prior criminal record to qualify for the program.


Call Makridis Law Firm at (330) 394-1587 as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation. We will make sure you are treated fairly and not wrongly accused or punished. We will review the evidence, investigate, explore all defenses, and negotiate a fair resolution in your case.

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