According to Illinois statute (720 ILCS 5/16-25) Sec. 16-25, a person commits retail theft when he or she knowingly does one of the following:
- Takes merchandise offered for sale without paying for the item
- Changing, transfers, or removes a price tag
- Under-rings the price of merchandise
- Removes a shopping cart permanently from a retail establishment
- Trying to exchange unpaid for store merchandise for money, credit, or another item
- Removing, jamming, or shielding anti-theft devices from security sensors
- Failure to return merchandise at the end of its lease, failure to pay the full lease value, or upon written request from merchant
Like many other cities in the state of Illinois, the city of McHenry has it’s share of shoplifting. However, the majority of shoplifters are caught by various means, such as observing theft via security cameras, direct observation by a store employee or detective, or setting off security alarms when exiting the store. Any items hidden in a bag, purse, or under clothes can be presumed to be stolen.
Penalties for Shoplifting
If the total value of the stolen items is:
$300 or less ——–> Class A Misdemeanor, up to 1 year in county jail, fine up to $2500
$300 or more —–> Class 4 Felony, 1-3 years in prison (IL Dept. of Corrections), fine of $25,000
Second offense —> Class 4 Felony, 1-3 years in prison (IL Dept. of Corrections), fine of $25,000
or prior theft-related
offense such as
or home invasion
Emergency exit ——> Class 4 Felony (1st offense), Class 3 Felony (2nd offense)
used to steal items
Do you need a lawyer for a shoplifting charge?
As with all criminal cases, it’s always adviseable to have a lawyer, especially when there is a possibility of jail time attached to a conviction. Your case will NOT be dropped simply by returning stolen merchandise and paying a fine. Shoplifting is a serious crime and will be treated as such by the authorities.
Criminal Defense and Shoplifting Lawyer David B. Franks can defend you or your Juvenile on a charge of shoplifting. Please fill out the form below for a free initial consultation.