[uncountable, countable] theft (of something) the crime of stealing something from a person or place car theft Police are investigating the theft of computers from the company's offices. compare burglary, robbery see also identity theft, thief See related entries: Types of crime Word Origin Old English thīefth, thēofth, of Germanic origin; related to thief.Extra examples She admitted the theft of three pairs of shoes. They are accused of theft from a newsagent’s shop. a spate of thefts over the Christmas period the crime of attempted theft the potential victims of identity theft the wholesale theft of copyrighted music A number of thefts have been reported recently. Police are investigating the theft of computers from the company’s offices. There has been a reduction in the number of car thefts.