What is shoplifting?
Under the law, shoplifting is under the category of retail theft. In the state of Pennsylvania, there are five crimes that are considered retail theft. A person is guilty of retail theft if he/she:
- Takes possession of or carries away any piece of merchandise from an establishment without paying the full retail value
- Changes or removes any price tag in an attempt to purchase or help another person purchase an item at a price less than the full retail value
- Moves merchandise into a new container with the intent to deprive the merchant of some or all of the retail value of an object
- Manipulates a cash register to “under-ring” an item, or to charge the consumer less than intended by the merchant
- Removes or tampers with any security device in an attempt to deprive the merchant of some or all of the retail value of the object
What are the penalties for shoplifting in Pennsylvania?
Penalties for a first offense with the theft involving merchandise costing less than $150
- Summary offense
- Up to 90 days in jail
- $300 maximum fine
Penalties for a second offense with the theft involving merchandise costing less than $150
- Second-degree misdemeanor
- Up to 2 years in jail
- $5,000 maximum fine
Penalties for a first or second offense with the theft involving merchandise costing more than $150
- First-degree misdemeanor
- Up to 5 years in jail
- $10,000 maximum fine
Penalties for theft with two prior convictions regardless of the retail value of the merchandise
- Third-degree felony
- Up to 7 years in jail
- $15,000 maximum fine
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What should I do?
The first step after you or a loved one is charged with a crime concerning shoplifting or retail theft in the areas surrounding Chester County is to contact a reliable law team who can help defend you and protect your interests. The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to help you through this process. Please contact us with any questions about retail theft.