Theft is governed by Chapter 714 of the Code of Iowa. There are several ways to commit a theft under Iowa law, the most well known is taking possession or control of the property of another or property in the possession of another with the intent to permanently deprive them of the property. A theft can also be committed by obtaining goods or services by deception or writing a check you know will bounce and then fail to make it good.
The penalties for theft depend on the degree of them committed. Iowa's scheme for degrees of theft depends primarily on the amount of money involved or the value of the goods or property involved. 5th degree theft is a simple misdemeanor and is any theft involving values of less than $200. 4th degree theft involves values between $200 and $500 and is a serious misdemeanor. If the values are between $500.00 and $1000.00 it is 3rd degree theft and is an aggravated misdemeanor. Over $1000.00 but less than $10,000.00 is 2nd degree theft and is a Class D felony. Finally, any theft of value exceeding $10,000.00 is theft in the 1st degree and is a Class C felony.
There are some exceptions to the idea that value dictates the degree of the crime. For example, theft of a motor vehicle is a Class D felony no matter the value of the vehicle. So, if the car is a $100.00 junker, it is still a Class D felony. This exception does not mean the degree of theft involving a car cannot rely on value - so, if a $100,000.00 luxury car is stolen, it can be theft in the 1st degree. So the exception is more of a floor to the degree of theft and not a ceiling.
Values for the purposes of the degree of theft can be added together if there are multiple thefts from the same person, same place, or it can be shown the thefts were part of a common theme or plan. So, if I steal $100.00 from my boss daily for a year it will be theft in the 1st degree even though each individual act was nothing more than the simple misdemeanor theft in the 5th degree.