With shoplifting crimes increasing at an alarming rate in the country, the state and federal agencies have come up with numerous laws to tackle the problem. The punishment meted out to the individual will depend on the nature of the crime committed, the intention of the crime, the amount of financial losses incurred and the frequency of the crime.
The person’s background and criminal record are checked to decide the course of action. It is a common misconception among many that shoplifting is not a serious crime. These days, shop owners, state and federal agencies are determined to make the guilty pay up for their crimes.
The various shoplifting laws include:
Probable Cases: Here, the shop owners have full rights to detain a person if they find him/her suspicious of committing a shoplifting crime or find him/her capable of committing a crime by observing the person’s movements, his/her actions, expressions, concealment of a certain item, attempting to exit the store without passing through the billing counter, etc. In such cases, if the person is caught red handed, he will be ordered to return the item back and face legal action. He may be barred from entering the shop again.
Larceny: If the item stolen costs more than $500, the person will be charged with grand larceny and punished accordingly. This law is also applicable for regular offenders.
Misdemeanor: If the item stolen costs less than $500, the offence is considered as a petty larceny or misdemeanor.
If convicted and proven guilty in court, the person may have to pay a fine or complete a jail term.
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