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n.1.(Law) The receiving of a man's goods again from a thief, or a compensation for them, by way of composition, with the intent that the thief shall escape punishment.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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In addition to efforts to mandate formation of frankpledge groups, Laster [1970, 76] details a long series of legal changes, such as declaring that the victim was a criminal if he obtained restitution prior to bringing the offender before a king's justice where the king could get his profits, and creation of the crime of "theftbote," making it a misdemeanor for a victim to accept the return of stolen property or to make other arrangements in exchange for an agreement not to prosecute.