Shoplifting is a crime that involves larceny, which is the wrongful obtaining of property of another. The crimes listed below are the types of shoplifting that our clients generally come to the Minick Law Firm with. Each crime shows all the elements that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. The punishments are also listed according to the North Carolina General Statute’s sentencing provisions.

James K. Minick

James K. Minick

Generally, a person is only charged with one act of shoplifting, even if multiple items of property are taken, as long as the shoplifting is committed in a single transaction. An individual can be charged with shoplifting even if they don’t necessarily intend to remove the property from the premises of the store, just as long as the individual intends to deprive the owner of possession of the property. An individual who employs a device that is lead-lined or aluminum-lined in an attempt to prevent detection by anti-shoplifting devices elevates the severity of their crime to Class H Felony under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-72.1(d1).

Generally, a merchant or security guard employed by a merchant shall not be held civilly liable for detaining an individual if they had

  • Probable cause to believe that the individual had committed the offense
  • The detention was on the store premises or a reasonable proximity to the store
  • The detention was for a reasonable amount of time

Shoplifting – Concealing Merchandise

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Willfully conceal goods or merchandise of a store
  2. Without authority
  3. Without having purchased the goods or merchandise
  4. While still on the premises of the store

Punishment

The punishment for Shoplifting by Concealing Merchandise under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-72.1(e) is:

  • 1st conviction – Class 3 misdemeanor – Term of imprisonment may be suspended on condition that the defendant perform 24 hours of community service
  • 2nd conviction within three years – Class 2 misdemeanor – Term of imprisonment may be suspended on condition that the defendant be imprisoned for 72 hours, perform 72 hours of community service, or both.
  • 3rd conviction within five years – Class 1 misdemeanor – term of imprisonment may be suspended on condition that the defendant serve at least 11 days of imprisonment

Shoplifting – Substitution of Prices

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

1. (a) Willfully transfer a price tag from goods or merchandise to other goods or merchandise having a higher selling price; or
(b) Willfully mark goods or merchandise at a lower price; or
(c) Willfully place a false price tag on goods or merchandise
2. Without authority and
3. Then present the goods for purchase

Punishment

The punishment for Shoplifting by Concealing Merchandise under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-72.1(e) is:

  • 1st conviction – Class 3 misdemeanor – Term of imprisonment may be suspended on condition that the defendant perform 24 hours of community service
  • 2nd conviction within three years – Class 2 misdemeanor – Term of imprisonment may be suspended on condition that the defendant be imprisoned for 72 hours, perform 72 hours of community service, or both.
  • 3rd conviction within five years – Class 1 misdemeanor – term of imprisonment may be suspended on condition that the defendant serve at least 11 days of imprisonment

Share This

Share this post with your friends!