TITLE 11
Criminal Offenses

CHAPTER 11-41
Theft, Embezzlement, False Pretenses, and Misappropriation

SECTION 11-41-20


§ 11-41-20 Shoplifting.

(a) For the purpose of this section:

(1) "Conceal" means to place merchandise in such a manner that it is not visible through ordinary observation.

(2) "Full retail value" means the merchant's stated price of the merchandise.

(3) "Merchandise" means any items of tangible personal property offered for sale within a retail mercantile establishment.

(4) "Merchant" means an owner or operator of any retail mercantile establishment or any agent, employee, lessee, officer, or director of the owner or operator.

(5) "Premises of a retail mercantile establishment" includes the retail mercantile establishment, and common use areas in shopping centers, and all parking areas set aside by a merchant or on behalf of a merchant for the parking of vehicles for the convenience of the patrons of the retail mercantile establishment.

(6) "Retail mercantile establishment" means any place where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or offered for sale to the public.

(7) "Shopping cart" means those push carts of the type or types which are commonly provided by grocery stores, drug stores, or other retail mercantile establishments for the use of the public in transporting commodities on or from the premises of the retail mercantile establishment.

(b) Whoever shall engage in the following shall be guilty of the crime of shoplifting:

(1) Take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale by a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or any part of the full retail value of the merchandise;

(2) Alter, transfer, or remove a label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment and attempt to purchase or purchase the merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or any part of the full retail value of such merchandise;

(3) Transfer any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from one container to another in an attempt to purchase or purchase the merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or any part of the full retail value of the merchandise; or

(4) Remove a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of the removal with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use, or benefit of the cart.

(c) The fact that a person conceals upon his person, among his or her belongings, or upon the person or among the belongings of another merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment, for which he or she has not paid the full retail value, and the merchandise has been taken beyond the area within the retail mercantile establishment where payment for it is to be made, shall be prima facie evidence that the person has possessed, carried away, or transferred the merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or part of the full retail value of the merchandise without paying the full retail value of the merchandise.

(d) Any person convicted of the crime of shoplifting shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) or two times the full retail value of the merchandise, whichever is greater, but not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both; provided, any person convicted of the crime of shoplifting merchandise with a retail value of over one hundred dollars ($100) who has previously been convicted of shoplifting shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, or both.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1959, ch. 133, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 255, § 1; P.L. 1971, ch. 176, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 396, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 208, §§ 1, 2.)