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Associated Press, Published August 09 2010

ND prosecutors: Should a $500 theft be a felony?

BISMARCK, N.D. — Some North Dakota prosecutors are wondering whether a $500 theft should be charged as a felony crime.

North Dakota lawmakers are looking into the issue.

McLean County prosecutor Ladd Erickson says in North Dakota law, the seriousness of several crimes depends on the worth of the affected property. He says the values were set more than 30 years ago and they're worth much more in today's dollars.

Erickson suggests doubling the threshold in some cases. It's now a felony to steal more than $500, and he thinks that minimum should be raised to $1,000.

Larimore state Rep. Chris Griffin says the idea is worthwhile. Griffin is a Grand Forks County prosecutor and chairman of a legislative committee that's studying the issue.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.