The terms you list would fit in to the definition of theft in that a theft occurs when one takes control of the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property.
Please understand that answering this doesnâ€™t create an attorney/client relationship between us, and as hard as I try to answer your question well, it isnâ€™t legal advice. No matter how much information you put into a question, the answers you are going to get are still going to be vague. It is in your interest to contact a lawyer, most of whom will do a free consultation. Even 15 minutes with a lawyer is going to produce a more specific answer to your problem.
It sounds like he is being accused of taking steps towards committing a theft, as opposed to getting caught in the act. Taking a substantial step towards the commission of an offense generally carries the same penalties as the actual offense.
I hope that my response was helpful and informative. However, my answer should not be considered or relied upon as a legal opinion, and no attorney-client relationship has been established. If you are interested in retaining an attorney for your matter, please contact me to discuss your situation further at www.MacNeilFirm.com
Exerting unauthorized "Control" (over the property of another) with the "intent" to permanently deprive the owner of the property is "Theft" under Illinois law. Being charged with theft does not necessarily mean he is lying about the circumstances leading to that charge. He needs an experienced criminal defense attorney now.