i bought an advance pay cell phone for my boyfriend using my bank card but they had to activate the phone using his name because of my credit. now he has moved out and left the phone behind and sent me a message saying he was gonna press charges against me for theft, but the receipt shows i paid for the phone, can he do that? Is it possible for me to get arrested over a phone that only cost $9.99?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The fact that you paid for the phone does not immunize you from a theft charge. The phone became your boyfriend's property when you gave it to him. Taking someone else's property without permission is theft. The person who made a gift has no more right to take the item than anyone else.
It also doesn't matter that the phone was inexpensive. Thieves have no right to take something just because it didn't cost much. Besides, the phone's value is probably much higher than the purchase price, since the $9.99 price tag must have reflected a discount for activating a new account.
Whether you actually committed theft is another question. I can't answer it since I don't know how you ended up with the phone. But the fact that it was a gift from you and didn't cost much will not protect you.