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Archive for the ‘employee theft’ tag

What to Know About Retail Theft

February 19th, 2018 at 11:41 am

retail theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, shoplifting, stolen merchandise, employee theftShoplifting is considered theft of an item for sale at a place of business. It is a major problem for retailers across the United States. Seemingly minor shoplifting habits, such as taking a candy bar or a pack of gum from a store without paying, can result in major legal trouble. Moreover, depending on the value of the stolen items, felony charges could result.

In 2016, loss of inventory cost U.S. retailers nearly $49 billion. It is not just outsiders stealing goods. Employee theft accounted for 30 percent of inventory loss.

Retail theft can occur in many ways. Even ringing up an item at a lower price is considered theft.  The laws and penalties vary from state to state. Therefore, it is important to understand the laws that apply should you ever be charged with retail theft in Illinois.

Illinois Retail Theft Laws

Under 720 ILCS 5/16-25, shoplifting occurs when a person does the following:

  • Takes possession of an item for sale in a store without paying for it;
  • Alters or removes a price tag or label from an item to avoid paying for it;
  • Transfers an item from one container into another to avoid paying the full retail price;
  • Intentionally under-rings the item to avoid paying the full price;
  • Removes a theft detection device from an item using a device remover for shielding device;
  • Steals the item and then attempts to return it for cash or merchandise credit; and
  • Permanently removes a shopping cart from the premises of the retail establishment in an effort to deprive the shop owner.

Criminal charges depend on the value of the stolen item. When the value of the stolen items is under $300, the person is typically charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious type of misdemeanor, and is just one step below a felony. It is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail.

When the value of the merchandise exceeds $300, the charge is elevated to a Class 3 felony. The penalties are much harsher than a misdemeanor. The person can face 2-5 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. If a person has prior retail theft charges on his or her criminal record, the penalties are often enhanced further.

Let Us Assist You with Your Case

While theft is typically not a violent crime, it is still punished severely. You could face fines, prison time, and other penalties.

If you are facing theft charges, you need solid legal defense. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has defended many criminal cases in the area and may be able to assist you as well. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for help.


Theft Committed by an Employee is Shoplifting

February 11th, 2016 at 7:00 am

shoplifting, employee theft, Rolling Meadows Shoplifting AttorneyThere are so many employees who have taken things from their place of business, and think nothing of it. According to Fortune, retail workers in particular have a tendency to take things from their place of employment without permission. Similarly, thousands of office workers have taken office supplies home on an occasion or two—maybe some ink pens, printer paper, or ink cartridges. These are all forms of employee theft, and an employer could choose to press theft charges against the employee who stole items from work.

Why Do Employees Take Steal From Work?

There are a number of different reasons why workers steal from their job. Some workers feel mistreated by their bosses or management. They might feel like they deserved a promotion or raise and did not receive one when they should have. They might feel undercompensated for the work that they do, and thus feel entitled to a little something extra. They might take office supplies home for personal use, damaged merchandise that should be considered a loss, or products that could otherwise be sold to paying customers. Employees could also steal from the cash register—but this is a more blatant form of theft and the employee is more likely to get caught than if the employee steals other items that are less easily accounted. Shrinkage, or the mysterious disappearance of merchandise due to theft and damage, happens in every business, making it easier for workers to hide their theft.

When Employee Theft Occurs in Retail, It is a Form of Shoplifting

When retail employees steal merchandise from their place of employment, it is a form of shoplifting, or retail theft, for which they can be held accountable. Employees are well-equipped to commit such crimes since they know in detail the layout of the storefront, where security cameras are, how to circumvent security devices, etc. This knowledge makes it more difficult to catch the employee in the act, or to gather evidence that the theft has occurred and which employee did it.

However, employees do not necessarily just steal merchandise from their job for themselves. Some employees work in cahoots with a friend, partner, or colleague to commit retail theft. The employee could assist the partner in committing retail theft by:

  • Informing the partner about how to avoid detection, i.e., where security cameras are, when security takes a break, how to remove a security device, etc.;
  • Removing security tags on a particular piece of merchandise and hiding it in the store, so that the partner can steal the item;
  • Ringing up an item for less than its retail value;
  • Entering a fake price for an item; or
  • Providing a refund that is not valid, or for an item that the store does not carry.

Employers work hard to identify sources of theft and fraud in their business, and when employees are responsible, employers will terminate the employee and likely press charges.

Let Us Assist You

Employees are just as likely as customers to be accused of retail theft. If you are facing shoplifting charges from your employer, or former employer, you need the help of an experienced retail theft lawyer. Please contact a Rolling Meadows shoplifting attorney immediately. Our attorneys are happy to help you today.


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