Pennsylvania Auto Theft Laws

Pennsylvania has several categories of theft including (but are not limited to): theft by deception, theft by extortion, theft of services, and retail theft. The grading and subsequent sentencing of theft offenses will depend on the circumstances surrounding the theft, and the value and characteristics of the stolen property. For example, it’s a felony of the second degree if the property stolen is:

  • a firearm;
  • anhydrous ammonia;
  • valued between $100,000 and $500,000; or
  • taken during a natural, war-caused, or man-made disaster.


Theft of an automobile can fall under two different statutes depending on the circumstances:

  • Robbery of motor vehicle (§ 3702): Stealing or taking a motor vehicle from another person in the presence of that person or any other person in lawful possession of the motor vehicle (first degree felony).
  • Theft by unlawful taking or disposition (§ 3921): Unlawfully taking, or exercising unlawful control over, movable property of another with intent to deprive thereof. It is a third degree felony to steal an automobile.


Conviction under Pennsylvania’s laws relating to auto theft can result in imprisonment and fines.

  • Violation of § 3702 can result in a prison term up to 20 years and an imposition of fines up to $25,000*.
  • Violation of § 3921 can result in a prison term up to 7 years and an imposition of fines up to $15,000.

*Additionally, violation of § 3702 can result in sentencing enhancement pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A § 2154.

Questions about Pennsylvania Auto Theft Law? Contact Atty. Munley directly at 570-420-0620 or ask him a question by using the form below.