It’s The Season For Stealing at Local Malls
Among the various theft offenses, retail theft is the most common in Pennsylvania.
In Montgomery County, the incidence of retail theft at the King of Prussia Mall, and other prominent malls such the Plymouth Meeting Mall and the Montgomery Mall increases particularly as the holiday season approaches.
Why does Retail Theft Occur?
There is no single reason that can explain why some people indulge in shoplifting – lack of religion in their life, lack of education, poor home life, the list just continues. But what is interesting is that, according to research, as many as three out of four shoplifters say they did not enter a mall or store with a plan to steal.
Only a small percentage of those who commit the crime of retail theft may fit the stereotypical profile of a thief. These are professionals who steal with an intention to resell the product for cash.
Retail theft at the King of Prussia Mall and other malls or stores in Montgomery County, PA primarily occurs for one of the following five reasons:
- Uncontrolled desire to own a particular item, but not having the money to purchase it.
- Emotional weakness, which could cause an individual to seek a temporary thrill or a false sense of achievement by beating the system and stealing successfully.
- A mistaken belief that retail theft involves low risk, and people rarely get caught for this crime.
- Peer pressure, which could compel an individual to demonstrate bravado to their peers or prove loyalty.
- Kleptomania, which is a psychological disorder that leads a person to compulsive stealing.
People should be aware that retail theft at the King of Prussia Mall and various other malls in Montgomery, PA is a risky proposition because the mall managements as well as individual stores seriously look out for potential shoplifters, particularly during the holiday season.
Advanced CCTV technology has made it easier to identify and catch those who attempt to indulge in retail theft.
However, if a person is arrested for shoplifting, their best chance to fight back is to get in touch with a skilled and dedicated retail theft attorney in Montgomery County for legal advice.
What Constitutes Retail Theft?
According to the Pennsylvania Retail Theft statute, it is a crime to:
- Possess, transfer or carry merchandise with the intent to deprive the retailer of the merchandise without paying for it.
- Remove, alter, or transfer price tags or labels and then attempt to buy the product at less than its actual retail price.
- Transfer a retail product from its actual container to a different container with an intention to deprive the retailer of the full value of the product.
- Remove, deactivate or destroy the security strip or control tag on a retail product with an intention to deprive the retailer of the full value of the product.
Shoplifting at the King of Prussia Mall or another mall or store in Montgomery County, PA will be treated as a summary offense if it is a first offense and the stolen merchandise value is below $150.
This could result in imprisonment for up to 90 days and a maximum fine of $300. If it is a second offense while the merchandise value is below $150, it could result in imprisonment of up to two years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
If as a first or second offense, the merchandise value exceeds $150, the charge is a misdemeanor of the first degree, where a person could face jail time of up to five years and a maximum fine of $10,000. For a third or subsequent offense, irrespective of the stolen merchandise value, retail theft is a felony of the third degree.
The person could face up to 7 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $15,000. The same charge applies if the amount involved exceeds $1,000 or the stolen merchandise is a motor vehicle or a firearm.
Contact a Retail Theft Attorney
For anyone arrested for retail theft in Montgomery County, PA, it is important to get in touch with an accomplished retail theft lawyer who can help to protect their legal rights.