Thefts of Food and Essential Items Make Up Majority of 3,100 Cases in the Supreme Court

There was an advance in cases of the so-called principle of insignificance in the Covid pandemic

São Paulo

The piece of bacon and face cream were the "luxury items" among the products caught on camera at a supermarket in Joinville (SC) with a couple in May 2019.

They also tried to take a child's clothes, a soap, a package of noodles and a slipper. Everything added up to R$ 155.88. They were arrested for theft, and each were sentenced to four months' imprisonment.

The case, whose conviction was overturned a year ago by justice Cármen Lúcia, is one of more than 3,100 cases involving appeals for the application of the principle of insignificance, passed 2010 by the Supreme Court.

For the Supreme Court, these are cases in which there is no actual or potential damage to the victim's property.

The list of petty thefts that generate convictions and go to higher courts includes pans, shampoo and food, from milk to picanha.

Unemployment and the economic crisis, aggravated by the Covid pandemic, have caused an increase in cases of crimes motivated by hunger, such as food theft, public defenders point out.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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