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Archive for the ‘Theft’ Category

Illinois Retail Theft Ring Broken Up

July 13th, 2018 at 7:20 am

Illinois theft charges, retail theft ring, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft crimes, retail theft chargesretail theft ring made up of six individuals has been broken up and resulted in charges being filed for all six individuals involved, according to The Times. Thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen by six people throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Both Illinois and Indiana police departments were investigating a string of retail theft instances. The suspects were found after detectives identified the individuals on surveillance tapes.

Additionally, detectives were able to use an informant to gain more information about the six suspects. The theft ring was targeting more high-end items, like electronics and handbags. Two of the suspects are in custody, with warrants out for the other four individuals. The investigation is ongoing as the detectives on the case are looking for additional evidence or thefts committed by the ring.

Retail Theft in Illinois

Retail theft, or shoplifting, is a serious problem throughout Illinois. As such, there are harsh penalties that can be imposed on individuals who are caught stealing from retail stores. An Illinois statute defines retail theft and the various ways in which one might commit retail theft. Retail theft is committed anytime a person knowingly takes possession of merchandise at a store that is offered for sale in a retail establishment. The person must have the intent to permanently deprive the merchant of the item or the benefits of the item.

There are various ways in which retail theft can be committed and include:

  • Taking items from a store without paying – This is one of the most common types of retail theft. This is what people most commonly think of when they think of retail theft;
  • Changing a price tag – It can also be retail theft if an individual alters a price tag on an item in an attempt to purchase it with the new price. Most often, people will try to change the tag to a lower-priced item;
  • Unwarranted discounts – Employees at retail stores can also be guilty of retail theft. Failure to ring up all items at the cash register, or to apply unlawful discounts, is also considered retail theft.
  • Use of a jamming device – In many stores, anti-theft tags are attached to items to alert the store if a person attempts to remove the item without paying. The use of a jamming device so that the merchandise can go through security without sounding the alarm is retail theft.

Contact an Aggressive Theft Defense Attorney for Help

If you have been charged with retail theft, you need an attorney who knows the law well. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is ready and waiting to defend you. Attorney Cosley uses every applicable defense to get you the best result possible given the circumstances. With the vast amount of theft crimes, you need an attorney who understands the differences in crimes and can adequately represent you. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Sources:

https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/police-bust-retail-theft-ring-operating-in-nwi-and-illinois/article_e7903fd2-37df-5e92-99e1-4dcfe803c553.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

Illinois Football Players Charged with Theft

June 25th, 2018 at 3:10 pm

charged with theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft charges, theft crimes, stolen propertyTwo University of Illinois football players are currently in the news for more than their football skills. The two linebackers for the Illini stole a deer sculpture from a local park. The pair is being charged with theft with a value between $500 and $10,000.

The two allegedly saw the sculpture on the ground when they were walking home, according to CBS Sports. The deer, named “Startled,” is estimated to be worth $5,000. After taking the sculpture from the park, the two football players placed the deer on their rooftop. The park district director says that steps and measures have been taken so that the deer cannot be placed on any other rooftops throughout the city.

Theft in Illinois

Overall, a theft charge is a serious offense that must be treated as such. Illinois law defines theft as when a person knowingly:

  1. Takes control of the property of another without proper authorization;
  2. Uses deception to obtain control of another’s property;
  3. Uses threat to obtain control over another’s property
  4. Takes control of property knowing that it has been stolen or should have known that the property was stolen given the circumstances; or
  5. Takes control of property that is in the possession or custody of law enforcement, a person who is acting on behalf of law enforcement that informs the person that the property was stolen or makes it known that the property was stolen.

To determine the seriousness of the theft, the statute points to two factors that are considered. These are:

  1. From where the property was taken; and
  2. The value of the property.

Property stolen from a person’s physical person is generally given a harsher penalty. However, property that is stolen from land or the property of another, while still serious, has the lesser of penalties.

The higher the value of property stolen, the harsher the classification and sentence a theft charge carries. A theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. According to the Illinois statute, a theft of items that are worth more than $500, but less than $10,000, is a Class 3 felony. The above deer theft carries a penalty ranging anywhere from probation to five years in prison.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a theft crime in Illinois, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help you. The dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office will provide you with insight, guidance, and advice on how to proceed in your case. Contact us today for a consultation; we are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.

Sources:

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/two-illinois-football-players-charged-with-theft-for-stealing-a-deer-statue/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

Defenses to Theft

April 3rd, 2018 at 10:45 am

defenses to theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft, Illinois theft, theft crimesThe crime of theft is common in Illinois. Moreover, there are several different types of theft with which an individual can be charged. If you have been charged with any type of theft in the state, it is imperative that you reach out to a talented attorney for help with your case.

Definition of Theft in Illinois

Under Illinois law, a person commits theft when he or she knowingly:

  • Takes unauthorized control over another’s property;
  • Deceives another to gain possession of their property;
  • Threatens another to gain possession of their property;
  • Has possession over stolen property with knowledge it was stolen, or should have known that the property was stolen; or
  • Exerts control over property of law enforcement, or someone acting on behalf of law enforcement, who inform the individual it was stolen property. Or, law enforcement/a person acting on behalf of law enforcement leads the individual to believe the property was stolen.

Common types of theft include retail theft, identity theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary, and online theft.

Defense to Theft Crimes

If you have been charged with a theft crime, there are a number of defenses that may be available under Illinois law.

  • Entrapment is “the act of government agents or officials that induces a person to commit a crime he or she is not previously disposed to commit.”  When entrapment is a factor, it is when an individual is induced to commit an act that he or she otherwise would not have. In a theft case, entrapment is used as a defense when there is evidence that the intent to steal came from the person who ‘entrapped’ the defendant, convincing them to commit the crime. The defendant is tricked into committing the theft to apprehend and prosecute the individual.
  • A defendant can claim right or ownership of property. If the defendant can show that he or she truly believed that the property was his or her own, or he or she had a valid claim to the property, it can be a defense to theft. There must be more than the defendant saying “I think it is mine.” There will need to be corroborating evidence that the defendant owned, or had a right to ownership.
  • Return of property is a tricky defense. Generally, giving back stolen property does not negate the theft. A defendant that intended to return the property might be able to use this as a defense by asserting that the property was “borrowed.”

Whatever the theft charge, an experienced attorney can make an enormous difference in your case. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have years of experience defending clients from petty to felony theft. Christopher Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who is prepared to explore and utilize every possible defense. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-606

When Juveniles Commit a Theft That Turns Into Residential Burglary

April 28th, 2017 at 1:42 pm

residential burglary, Rolling Meadows Juvenile Crime LawyerAs the weather begins to warm up, many homeowners in the area will open their doors and garages to allow the sunshine in and to air out their homes after a long, cold winter. In suburbia, it is not uncommon for people to leave their garage doors open during the daytime, and to even leave them open without supervision.

While normally such behavior should be safe, open doors can be inviting, especially to juveniles. Take, for example, a group of teenagers who see an open and apparently unguarded garage and enter in search for beer. One teen in the group might dare another to go steal the beer or something else from the open garage. Under pressure from his or her friends, the unfortunate teen will enter the garage and commit the theft.

When Theft Turns Into Residential Burglary

The teen who steals the beer from the garage, however, has done more than merely commit a theft. Because the teen entered the garage of another without permission, and with the intent to steal the beer, the criminal charges the teen can face will likely be upgraded to residential burglary. Why is the upcharge so bad for a teen? Residential burglary is a felony level offense, even if the offender is only a juvenile.

While someone who is under 18 years of age will likely face juvenile charges for his or her theft of the beer from someone’s garage, it is still a serious matter. When it comes to juveniles who commit offenses, the courts have a lot of discretion in terms of how the juvenile offender should be punished. The potential punishments that a convicted juvenile delinquent could face include:

  • Having to pay a fine;
  • Having to pay restitutions to the victim of the residential burglary;
  • Having to attend mandatory counseling sessions or therapy sessions;
  • Being put on probation, which means that the juvenile avoids detention (the juvenile equivalent of jail), but is required to comply with a number of terms, i.e., rules, that are part of his or her probation;
  • Being placed in juvenile detention, weekend detentions, or mandatory community service-type work programs.

Juveniles sometimes make poor decisions and exercise bad judgement. They also can make mistakes about the criminality of the things they do. First time juvenile delinquents are often treated with more leniency by the court than repeat offenders. Any young person facing theft of burglary charges needs to consult with a juvenile offenses lawyer immediately.

Juvenile Delinquents Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

A juvenile charged with a crime needs a strong criminal defense lawyer fighting for his or her rights. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile crime lawyer for assistance with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-3

Retail Theft: Long Term Impacts of a Conviction for a Crime of Moral Turpitude

March 8th, 2017 at 10:43 am

retail theft-Rolling MeadowsThere are certain types crimes in Illinois that are considered crimes of moral turpitude. This means that the actions involved in committing the crime run counter to society’s sense of morals. Generally speaking, crimes of moral turpitude involve acts of deception or deceit, and reflect poorly on one’s character or trustworthiness. Examples of crimes that are considered crimes of moral turpitude in Illinois include:

  • Retail theft;
  • Assault;
  • Aggravated battery;
  • Stalking;
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol; and
  • Burglary.

Many people who commit forms of retail theft often do not think very deeply about the potential consequences they could face if caught and prosecuted under the law. Since no one is physically harmed by the crime of retail theft, many do not think of it as a serious offense or that a conviction could have a long-term impact on their life.  

What Are Some of the Consequences of a Conviction for a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

If you are convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, you will face a number of additional consequences above and beyond the jail time and fine associated with your criminal conviction.

  • You Could Face Deportation. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude can have very serious impacts on someone who is not a United States citizen. A criminal conviction can mean that you will be deported and barred from reentering the country in the future. Similarly, lawful permanent residents can also be deported if they are convicted of a crime while in the U.S.
  • You Could Have Trouble Securing a Job. If you have a criminal record that lists a crime of moral turpitude, it is likely that prospective employers might think twice before hiring you. It might be very hard to secure employment in certain industries, such as banking.
  • You May Face Challenges Getting into School or Getting Licensure. A criminal conviction for a crime of moral turpitude tarnishes your image and can make it difficult to get into certain educational or vocational programs. Furthermore, there are several professional licensing agencies and boards that might refrain from granting you licensure, despite your qualifications because you have a criminal history for a crime involving moral turpitude.

Your best chance of getting through the aftermath of an arrest for retail theft is to work closely with an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer to build your strongest possible defense. If you and your lawyer can get the charges dropped or reduced, you will not be convicted and you can avoid deportation, jail time, hefty fines, and other long-term impacts of criminal convictions.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

Retail theft is a serious offense despite the fact that no one suffers any physical harm as a result of the crime. But when you steal something it is an act of dishonesty and a crime of moral turpitude. If you are facing retail theft charges, you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows retail theft lawyer.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39200000&SeqEnd=39700000

Theft Crimes in Illinois Require Knowledge and Intent

January 25th, 2017 at 9:12 am

theft crimes, Rolling Meadows Theft AttorneyTheft is one of the most commonly committed crimes in Illinois. Theft in the broadest sense involves someone knowingly taking property that belongs to another without permission and with no intention of giving the stolen property back to its proper owner. There are a number of criminal offenses that stem from theft, including:

  • Petty theft. Petty theft is also known as misdemeanor theft. Petty theft occurs when the item that was stolen has a value of $500 or less.
  • Shoplifting or retail theft. Shoplifting occurs when a person knowingly takes an item from a merchant without paying full price for the stolen item.
  • Receipt of stolen property. Receipt of stolen property occurs when someone knowingly accepts property that he or she knows to be stolen.
  • Stealing a motor vehicle. Stealing a motor vehicle arises when a person takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission.
  • Robbery. Robbery occurs when a person takes property belonging to someone else by the use of force. Robbery can become aggravated robbery if a weapon was used as the threat of force.
  • Burglary. Burglary occurs when a person knowingly breaks into a building belonging to another without permission to be there with the intention of committing theft of some other felony offense.

In many theft scenarios, law enforcement arrests whomever stands accused of committing the theft crime, and then the state prosecutor presses charges against the accused. Oftentimes, the state prosecutor will look at the evidence surrounding the alleged crime and will bring charges for every crime that might have been committed. To be sure, criminal defendants often face multiple charges for a single alleged crime.

Each theft-related crime has its own unique elements that must be proven by the prosecution in order to obtain a conviction. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will demand that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the theft crime with which he or she has been charged.

You deserve fair treatment under the law and fair trial, and your criminal defense attorney should fight for your rights and on your behalf.

Knowledge and Intent Are Key Elements of Theft Crimes

A common thread shared by all theft-related crimes is that knowledge and intent are key elements to establish that the crime was committed.

  • Knowledge means that the person who allegedly committed the crime knowingly did so.
  • Intent means that the person who allegedly committed the crime has no intention of returning the property that he or she has taken from the rightful owner without permission.

The elements of knowledge and intent are often the prosecution’s weakest arguments, and a seasoned criminal defense attorney knows this. Many criminal cases turn on whether the criminal defendant had knowledge that he or she was stealing or whether the criminal defendant had no intention of returning the property that he or she had taken.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Anyone who is facing theft-related criminal charges needs to consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows theft attorney immediately. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for professional help with your case.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=61900000&SeqEnd=62600000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Stolen Retail Items During the Holidays Could Result in Felony Charges

December 7th, 2016 at 8:57 am

holiday shoplifting, Stolen Retail Items, felony charges, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyDuring the holiday season there is a noticeable spike in the instances of retail theft. For whatever reason, people are more likely to shoplift in November and December than at any other time of the year. A higher rate of foot traffic in stores around the holidays makes it easier to commit retail theft. Moreover, there are a lot of pressures placed on people this time of the year, which can drive them to committing an act of shoplifting.

According to MarketWatch, the most commonly stolen items around the holidays in the United States include:

  • Electronics and electronics accessories, such as  cell phone cases, headphones, etc.;
  • Winter or leather clothing;
  • Meat, seafood, alcohol and chocolates;
  • Children’s toys; and
  • Perfume or cologne.

Ultimately, many of these items, such as electronics and electronic accessories, leather clothing, and some children’s toys, can be greatly valued. It is not uncommon for electronics to cost hundreds of dollars, which might be part of the reason why someone would steal these items from a store in the first place.

What is Felony Retail Theft in Illinois?

In regards to retail theft in Illinois, the severity of the crime depends on the value of the item, or collection of items, that is stolen. According to 720 ILCS 5/16-25, stealing an item from a store that is valued at more than $300 puts you at risk of being charged and convicted of felony retail theft. Simply stealing a cell phone, a handheld video gaming device, or an Apple product, would be valued high enough to charge you with a felony level offense.

The Consequences

Shoplifting can result in serious consequences. You will face jail time, be charged with a fine, and will have a criminal record that will follow you around for many years—a record in which future employers and landlords will likely find in a background check. Moreover, the consequences of getting caught shoplifting will also affect your family and loved ones, since they will need to help you through your arrest, trial, and possibly your jail sentence. The consequences extend even further than that as well. In order to make up for losses resulting from retail theft, retailers often markup the cost of items that they sell, which means that all customers have to pay higher prices.

Contact Us for Help with Your Case

Getting caught shoplifting can ruin your holidays. Not only will you be arrested and charged with a crime, but your family will also have to deal with the consequences of your actions, which can really dampen the holiday spirit. If you are facing shoplifting charges this holiday season, then you need to get in touch with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Source:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-bizarre-things-americans-steal-during-the-holidays-2016-10-31

Businesses Up Their Security and Theft Monitoring at the End of the Year

November 23rd, 2016 at 9:22 am

security and theft monitoring, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerThe most booming time of year for retailers is the end of the calendar year. With all of the shopping that goes along with the holiday season, retailers pull out all the stops and offer great sales to draw in customers. Retailers also engage in gimmicks to draw in business, such as two-for-one deals or Black Friday sales. Whatever retailers can do to get customers into their stores and spend money is all that matters this time of year. However, the end of the calendar year is also a time when retailers increase their store security efforts and monitor most closely for instances of retail theft.

With more customers in their stores, there is an increased likelihood that theft will occur more frequently. Customers might try and hide unsold merchandise in shopping bags they are carrying from other stores, and may try to simply walk out of the store without paying. Theft is a serious problem for retailers, so it makes sense that retailers would take extra precautions this time of year to catch people in the act.

Charged With Retail Theft

Retail theft is a serious crime in Illinois. Generally speaking, retail theft occurs when someone knowingly takes a piece of merchandise without paying the full price for the item. Under Illinois law, retail theft can take many different forms. For instance, it is retail theft if you:

  • Take an item off the shelf and then conceal it in a bag or on your person, so that you can leave without paying for the item;
  • Swap the price tags of a lower cost item and a higher cost item so that you can get the item for less than full price;
  • Work with the cashier to under-ring up the item you are trying to get for less than full price;
  • Modify the price tag on an item so that you can get it for a cheaper price;
  • Lie to store employees to claim that a piece of merchandise is actually your personal belonging; or
  • Use a theft detection shielding device to smuggle an item out of a store without paying.

When store security catches you stealing merchandise, they have a right to hold you and call the police. Once the police arrive, it is likely that you will be arrested and charged with retail theft. You do not have to speak to the police—speaking with them will only serve to incriminate you. You can instead request to speak to your lawyer.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Being charged with retail theft charges can be frightening. If you have been arrested for retail theft, or any other form of theft, you need to speak with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We are here to help you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39200000&SeqEnd=39700000

Identity Theft is a Theft Crime

November 9th, 2016 at 11:46 am

identity theft, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyCommitting Identity Theft

When most people think of identity theft they think of cyber hacking. However, identity theft is not just a crime that is committed by high-tech cyber thieves. Identity theft can occur when a person uses another individual’s personal identification information, such as one’s name, Social Security number, driver’s license, passport, credit card number, or other financial information, without permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

Moreover, identity theft can be committed by stealing an individual’s mail and then completing credit card applications in the name of the victim. An identity thief may even open a new bank or a credit card account in a victim’s name or may change the mailing address of a victim’s existing account so he or she can use the account without the victim’s knowledge. When a thief uses an account without paying the bills, the delinquent accounts are noted on a victim’s credit report.

Additionally, there are many high-tech ways to commit identity theft. For instance, it is very common for an identity thief to hack into a victim’s email account or other online account to gain access to personal identifying information, which can be used for financial gain as well. It is also possible to purchase the personal identifying information of victims online through nefarious websites.

Potential Identify Theft Defenses

Identity theft is a serious criminal charge. It is a felony offense that carries lengthy jail time and substantial fines. Due to the seriousness of the consequences of being convicted for identity theft, it is important that, if you have been charged with identity theft, you fight the charges that are pressed against you. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you identify any potential defenses that you might have when you are charged with identity theft.

Accused of Being an Identity Thief? Get a Lawyer

Identity theft is a felony. Therefore, if you have been accused of identity theft, it is essential that you contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and your options. Please call 847-394-3200 to schedule your consultation today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-30

http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/identity-theft-state-statutes.aspx

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/idtheft.html

Retail Theft Can be a Felony Offense

November 4th, 2016 at 7:00 am

retail theft, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyShoplifting is one of the most frequently committed theft crimes in Illinois. Shoplifting involves knowingly taking merchandise from a store without the intention of paying retail price for the item that is stolen. Shoplifting can take many forms, including taking physical possession of a retail item and removing it from a store without payment, altering or swapping out labels or price tags to get a desired retail item at a cheaper price, and swapping a retail item’s packaging for the packaging of another, less expensive item. If you have been charged with retail theft, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, you need to get in touch with an experienced retail theft criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

When Retail Theft Rises to the Level of a Felony

Many people who engage in retail theft do not think that the charges associated with their offense will be very serious. But this is a misconception. Even as a first-time offender, stealing something from a store that has a full retail value of more than $300 can result in a class 3 felony charge for retail theft.

Stealing something that is expensive, but small, leads to a felony level retail theft charge. It does not matter if the item is a phone, other electronics, jewelry, a watch, or designer sunglasses. If it costs more than $300, you will face felony level charges if you are caught stealing.

Felony Level Charges for Those With a Record of Theft-Related Offenses

Illinois law is stricter on those who commit retail theft and have already previously been convicted of any other form of theft. For instance, if someone who has been convicted of a theft crime in the past steals an item from a merchant that has a retail value of less than $300, he or she can be charged with felony retail theft, under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2). Similarly, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by using a theft detection shielding device can be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(1). Or, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by darting out an emergency exit door can  be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2).

Individuals who have a criminal history involving theft-related offenses, or who presently face retail theft charges, need to consult with an experienced attorney. Second-time theft offenders face a tough road when they are charged with retail theft and should not go down that road alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure that you are treated fairly under the law.

Let Us Help You With Your Retail Theft Charges

Retail theft charges are serious. Please do not delay and contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39200000&SeqEnd=39700000

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