Shoplifting: a common crime

There are many reasons why a person may commit an offense such as shoplifting: poverty, psychological reward and peer pressure are among the most common influences. While shoplifting may never completely cease to occur, there are legal details individuals should know when facing shoplifting consequences. South Carolina is hardly exempt from such crimes, and has experienced an influx in cases in recent months. The causes may be difficult to determine, but what are the penalties and types of prevention plans? 

Live 5 News reports that South Carolina's King Street has seen a spike in shoplifting this year. A creative hub hosting tourist attractions, art galleries, food and gifts, King Street has lately become known for its high volume of shoplifters. What, many may ask, are shop owners doing to stop this trend? Many are turning to social media for help, posting what available photos they have to followers who can potentially point them toward clues on how to find shoplifters. According to Live 5, these shoplifters are not simply stealing one small item; some are taking thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in single outings. Shoplifting has occurred among both chain stores and small businesses alike.

 

Shoplifting is a common crime, but what are the exact legal consequences of such an offense? The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention clarifies the penalties of shoplifting, stating the following acts constitute as a crime:

  • Altering, transferring or removing any label which aid in determining the value of an item 
  • Taking possession of or transferring an item from one person to another, with intention of depriving the merchant of possession of the merchandise
  • Transferring merchandise from display containers to another container with intent to deprive the merchant of full retail value   

These acts can result in penalties ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. The list above is a brief summary of the types of shoplifting; those who are facing shoplifting cases may wish to seek further legal details. 

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