A N A C T
RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES -- THEFT DETECTION SHIELDING DEVICES
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 11 of the General Laws entitled "Criminal Offenses" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
USE OF THEFT DETECTION DEVICES
11-63-1. Unlawful use and/or removal of theft detection shielding devices. -- (a) A person commits unlawful use of a theft detection shielding device when he knowingly manufactures, sells, offers for sale or distributes in any way a laminated or coated bag or device peculiar to and marketed for shielding and intended to shield merchandise from detection by an electronic or magnetic theft alarm sensor.
(b) A person commits unlawful possession of a theft detection shielding device when he knowingly possesses any laminated or coated bag or device peculiar to and designed for shielding and intended to shield merchandise from detection by an electronic or magnetic theft alarm sensor, with the intent to commit theft or retail theft.
(c) A person commits unlawful possession of a theft detection device remover when he knowingly possesses any tool or device designed to allow the removal of any theft detection device from any merchandise with the intent to use such tool to remove any theft detection device from any merchandise without the permission of the merchant or person owning or holding said merchandise.
(d) A person commits unlawful removal of a theft detection device when he intentionally removes the device from merchandise prior to purchase.
11-63-2. Detention of persons suspected of unlawful use and/or removal of theft detection devices - Reasonable cause. - (a) The activation of an antishoplifting or inventory control device as a result of a person exiting the establishment or a protected area within the establishment shall constitute reasonable cause for the detention of the person so exiting by the owner or operator of the establishment or by an agent or employee of the owner or operator, provided sufficient notice has been posted to advise the patrons that such a device is being utilized. Each such detention shall be made only in a reasonable manner and only for a reasonable period of time sufficient for any inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the activation of the device or for the recovery of goods.
(b) Such taking into custody and detention by a law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant's employee, if done in compliance with all the requirements of this subsection, shall not render such law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant's employee criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.
11-63-3. Penalties for violation. - Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or shall be imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.