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"Family resemblance" is an important aspect of law. In law, a crime, such as theft, may actually be composed of many different forms of theft, none of which have anything in common altogether, but individually they do. In a family, each member may resemble their predecessor, but not all of the other family members. It is also this way with families of crimes in law. For example:

    2) A, who is B's trustee, secretly sells B"s land to a third person and keeps the money.
    3) O, an oil prospector, persuades P to sell him a valuable oil property for a pittance by telling him (falsely) that a soon-to-be built highway will lower its value dramatically.

In the first and second cases, the theft is completed through stealthy means, by disguising true intent from observation. The second and third cases are such that the transfer of property takes place willingly, although through false information. In the first and third cases, physical property is taken. As a whole, none of these three thefts have any single unifying property, but they are all considered to be forms of theft. They cannot be defined as dishonest appropriation of another's property, as the term 'dishonest' is not an absolute, precise value. Just as family members are interconnected and related through one another and resemble one another through one another's traits, different forms of crime are grouped into families through different intrinsic aspects of each. If crimes were not grouped into families prosecuting crimes would be much more difficult. In the present American court system one can be convicted of theft without the specific form of theft needing to be identified. It is enough to prove the crime committed belongs into the family of theft.

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