The prosecution has to prove that the person appropriated the property without the consent of the owner with the intention to deprive the owner of his property by appropriating it. So appropriation is unlawful if it is without the consent of the owner, or if the property is stolen and the person knows it is stolen by another person. Basically, the state has to prove that the person appropriated property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property, and it is unlawful because it was without the owner’s consent.
There is also a lesser known type of theft called theft of trade secrets. This involves a person, without the owner’s effective consent, stealing a trade secret or making a copy of an article revealing that trade secret or communicating or transmitting that trade secret. This impacts corporations or the IT world where someone steals proprietary knowledge or software.
There is also a specific sort of theft that only deals with cars, and that is an offense a person commits when they operate another person’s boat, airplane or car without the owner’s consent. That’s also a felony offense. So it may be that the person wasn’t stealing the car but operated it with somebody else’s consent, such as borrowing somebody’s car but keeping beyond the period for which they had permission and getting arrested for unauthorized use. This frequently happens when somebody rents a car but keeps it beyond the rental period, or they borrow somebody’s car and don’t return it when they are supposed to. They say, “Officer, I have permission to use the car,” but they kept it beyond the period of time where they had permission; even though they still may be intending to return it, they’ve committed a felony offense of unauthorized use of a vehicle.