Theft cannot have a frustrated stage, according to the Supreme Court in a recent case. Theft can only be attempted or consummated.
According to the SC, unlawful taking is deemed complete from the moment the offender gains possession of the thing, even if he has no opportunity to dispose of the same. Unlawful taking, which is the deprivation of oneâ€™s personal property, is the element which produces the felony in its consummated stage. At the same time, without unlawful taking as an act of execution, the offense could only be attempted theft, if at all. Thus, under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, theft cannot have a frustrated stage. Theft can only be attempted or consummated.
In that case, the accused were sighted outside the Super Sale Club, a supermarket in SM-North EDSA, by a security guard who was then manning his post at the open parking area. The accused were able to bring the merchandise outside the supermarket and boarded a taxicab at the open parking area. They were apprehended before leaving the parking area. The accused were convicted by the lower court with the crime of consummated theft, but they argued that they should only be charged with frustrated theft, as they didn’t have the opportunity to dispose of the merchandise.
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