Shoplifters Arrest Records

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Overview of Federal Laws About Shoplifting

Shops, stores, supermarkets, department stores, retail outlets have one thing common about them, namely customers can buy the products of their choices. Most of these shops allow customers to select products of their choice and hand it over at the cash counter, where it would be billed. The bill is prepared based on the prices of the products that are usually displayed on the product as a label. The shopper can take the products home after paying the bill. All these stores have one thing common, which is the problem of shoplifting.

Shoplifters Arrest Records
Shoplifters Arrest Records


Shoplifting is nothing but stealing from stores. This is not theft or burglary, where people gain entry to a shop when it closed and steal things. This is where a shopper shops for a product but does not offer it for billing and instead attempts to take it away without paying money. When it comes to shoplifting, a customer need not actually take the product of the store, the intent to shoplift by stealing the products without paying is enough for it to become an offense.

Some of the common issues related to shoplifting, which are considered offenses:

  • Changing a price tag
  • Removing a price tag or security tag affixed on a product
  • Keeping products in a purse, bag, pocket, or within the clothes with the intent to remove them from the store
  • Opening the packaging of a product and trying to hide it
  • Taking a product away from a store without making payment for it or without the permission of the store owner

Legal aspects of shoplifting

There are two aspects involved in shoplifting – civil and criminal.

  • Civil liability: A person who commits shoplifting has caused damages to the store in terms of loss to owner. He/she is thus liable to the storeowner. If the shoplifter is a minor, then the parent or guardian is liable. The storeowner can sue the offender in a civil court and claim damages. This may include the value of the product stolen, other losses for the store as a result of the theft, court costs and attorney fee, and any other penalty.
  • Criminal liability: Shoplifting is a form of larceny. It is a criminal offense under the law. It is usually treated as a petty theft. The actual classification usually depends on the value of the goods stolen. The storeowner is authorized to make a citizen’s arrest and summon the police who would register a case. The case may be settled out of court or brought before a court, in which case there would be a hearing. On conviction, the offender would be sentenced to imprisonment or fine, as per the prevalent laws.

Shoplifting laws

Shoplifting is an act of larceny or theft and the act occurs in a store in one of the states in the United States. Hence, shoplifting is governed by state laws. Each state has its own laws that outline the provisions related to shoplifting or retail theft (as it is referred to in some places). The laws outline the punishments for the offense committed. The civil laws of the state are applicable for cases related to civil liability.

There is no federal law in the United States that specially deals with shoplifting or theft from retail outlets. There are laws related to theft and embezzlement that specifically refer to theft or property belonging to the United States. However, there are no specific federal laws related to shoplifting. One of the reasons for this is the fact that most shops are in cities and towns that come under the jurisdiction of a state.

Latest Shoplifting Arrests

  • Sullivan Pd - Fta - Stealing / Shoplifting
  • 1) Patrol Charge - Driving While Intoxicated 2) St Charles City Pd - Leaving The Scene Of An Accident X2, Shoplifting X2
  • 812.014 - Retail Theft (Shoplifting)

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