Shoplifting / Theft Charges
Shoplifting and other theft offenses provide escalating penalties – depending
on the dollar value involved and the number of prior offenses.
Shoplifting (or retail theft) includes taking, carrying away,
transferring or causing merchandise to be carried away or
transferred with the intention of depriving the merchant of
the benefit and full value of the merchandise. There is a
presumption that when merchandise is intentionally concealed
(either inside or outside the premises of the retailer) it
has been concealed with the intention of depriving the merchant
of the benefit and full value of the merchandise. Retail theft
includes removing, altering or destroying an inventory control
tag or security control device.
Retailers or their agents who have probable cause to believe
a retail theft has occurred or is occurring may detain the
suspect in a reasonable manner for a reasonable time and to
ascertain the identity, determine if the merchandise is on
his/her possession and to recover such merchandise, and inform
a police officer or institute criminal proceedings against
Retail theft is graded a summary offense if it is a first
offense and the value of the merchandise is less than $150.00.
If the retail theft is a second offense and its value is less
than $150.00 it is graded a misdemeanor of the second degree.
If the retail theft is a first of second offense and the value
of the merchandise is $150.00 or more, the offense is graded
a misdemeanor of the first degree. A third offense, regardless
of the dollar value, is graded a felony of the third degree.
If the amount involved is in excess of $2,000.00, the retail
theft is graded a felony of the third degree.
Shoplifters will be fingerprinted and a record of the arrest
will be provided to the Pennsylvania State Repository. Any
future arrest will include a check for the fingerprint records
and the offense will be graded accordingly.
Shoplifting can involve compulsive and addictive behaviors.
A good source of information on the causes of and solutions
for shoplifting can be obtained at www.shopliftingprevention.org.
Theft, other than retail theft, involving a dollar value
in excess of $2,000.00 or property such as a car, motorcycle
or other motor-propelled vehicle is graded a felony of the
third degree. Theft of items with dollar values between $200.00
and $2,000.00 are graded a misdemeanor of the first degree;
dollar values between $50.00 and $200.00 are graded a misdemeanor
of the second degree; dollar values below $50.00 are graded
a misdemeanor of the third degree.
It is important to contact Attorney Carole Hendrick as soon as you
are arrested to ensure your rights will be protected. Call 610-489-0295 or click here.