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What Is Retail Theft under Illinois Law?

November 5th, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Illinois shoplifting lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerMany people do not realize that the crime of retail theft takes multiple different forms. For instance, retail theft under 720 ILCS 5/16-25 occurs whenever someone in Illinois knowingly:

  1. Takes something from a retailer without paying. The most typical form of retail theft involves taking an item from a retail establishment where the item was for sale, with the intent to keep the item, and thus deprive the store of the item, without paying for it.
  2. Changes or removes the price tag. Altering the price tag or labeling of an item so that it appears that the item costs less than it actually does, and then taking advantage of the misrepresentation to obtain the item for less than it costs, is a form of retail theft.
  3. Swaps Packaging. Taking one item out of its packaging, and placing it in the packaging of another, cheaper item, in order to pay the lower price, is a form of retail theft because the seller loses out on the full retail value of that mispackaged item.
  4. Under-rings an item. Some retailers allow customers to ring up their own items at checkout. If a person falsely rings up an item for a lower price than the retail value, it is a form of retail theft.
  5. Misrepresents that an item is his or her own property. If a person is confronted by store management or security for suspected shoplifting, and if the person misrepresents to their confronter that the item is actually theirs, when it is not, it is a form of retail theft. This includes misrepresentations such as returning an item for store credit that was never paid for in the first place.
  6. Removes an anti-theft device from an item, or uses a theft detection shielding device. It is impermissible to remove an anti-theft device or use a shielding device in order to remove an item from a retailer’s property without paying for it.
  7. Steals a shopping cart. Shopping carts belong to the retailer, and people are permitted to use them so long as they are not taken from the property.
  8. Takes possession of leased property but does not pay the rental value/full retail value for it. When you rent a place to live, the living space is often furnished with appliances, such as refrigerators, microwaves, etc. Taking these items upon move out, without paying for them is a form of retail theft because the rental property is a business.

Defending against Retail Theft Charges

What is important to note about retail theft crimes is that the person must commit the theft knowingly. There are a number of instances where a person might not know or realize that they are taking the property of another, or from a retailer. For instance, an item might accidentally fall into an open purse, or a child might playfully hide an item in a purse or jacket, not realizing or understanding that the item might not get paid for. There are instances where an item is placed in a compartment under the shopping cart and that item is forgotten during checkout. A person could also mistakenly ring up an item incorrectly by mistakenly entering a UPC code or bar code.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you stand accused of retail theft and have been formally charged, you should contact an experienced theft attorney immediately. Please contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for assistance.



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Written by Staff Writer

November 5th, 2015 at 8:49 pm

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