Illinois Retail Theft

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/16-25

A person commits retail theft when he or she knowingly:

  1. Takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise; or

  2. Alters, transfers, or removes any 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 attempts to purchase such merchandise at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or

  3. Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or

  4. Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise; or

  5. Removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such cart; or

  6. Represents to a merchant that he, she, or another is the lawful owner of property, knowing that such representation is false, and conveys or attempts to convey that property to a merchant who is the owner of the property in exchange for money, merchandise credit or other property of the merchant; or

  7. Uses or possesses any theft detection shielding device or theft detection device remover with the intention of using such device to deprive the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment without paying the full retail value of such merchandise; or

  8. Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner and thereby intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner, or if the lessee fails to pay the full retail value of such property to the lessor in satisfaction of any contractual provision requiring such, within 10 days after written demand from the owner for its return. A notice in writing, given after the expiration of the leasing agreement, by registered mail, to the lessee at the address given by the lessee and shown on the leasing agreement shall constitute proper demand.

  9. Theft by emergency exit. A person commits theft by emergency exit when he or she commits a retail theft as defined in subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(8) of this Section and to facilitate the theft he or she leaves the retail mercantile establishment by use of a designated emergency exit.

The offense of Retail Theft can comprise many different actions. It is not only that the person takes property and tries to walk out with it. A person does not have to actually leave the store to be found guilty – they only need to have gone past the last payment point. One of the key elements is that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the act was done “knowingly”. We have represented people over the years charged with retail theft, who had innocently put something in a cart or pocket, but had no intention of stealing it. That is why the law requires the act to be “knowing”. The value of the merchandise is also an element of the offense that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt when the offense of theft of property “in excess of $300” is charged.

SENTENCE

WHERE THE FULL RETAIL VALUE OF THE PROPERTY DOES NOT EXCEED $300, IT IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR TO VIOLATE THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS:

  • (a)1
  • (a)2
  • (a)3
  • (a)4
  • (a)5
  • (a)6
  • (a)8

364 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL

PROBATION POSSIBLE – YES

SUPERVISION POSSIBLE - YES

WHERE THE FULL RETAIL VALUE OF THE PROPERTY EXCEEDS $300, IT IS A CLASS 3 FELONY TO VIOLATE THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS:

  • (a)1
  • (a)2
  • (a)3
  • (a)4
  • (a)5
  • (a)6
  • (a)8

2-5 YEARS

PROBATION POSSIBLE – YES

SUPERVISION POSSIBLE - NO

WHERE THE FULL RETAIL VALUE OF THE PROPERTY DOES NOT EXCEED $300, A PERSON CONVICTED OF A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION OF SECTIONS:

  • (a)1
  • (a)2
  • (a)3
  • (a)4
  • (a)5
  • (a)6
  • (a)8

or WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • ANY TYPE THEFT
  • ROBBERY
  • ARMED ROBBERY
  • BURGLARY
  • RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY
  • POSSESSION OF BURGLARY TOOLS
  • HOME INVASION
  • UNLAWFUL USE OF CREDIT CARD, or
  • FORGERY

CLASS 4 FELONY – 1-3 YEARS
PROBATION POSSIBLE - YES

SECTION (a) 7

IT IS A CLASS A MIDEMEANOR TO VIOLATE

SECTION: (a)7

THE FIRST TIME
AND A CLASS 4 FELONY TO VIOLATE
SECTION: (a)7
A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT TIME

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR - 364 DAYS IN COUNTY JAIL

PROBATION POSSIBLE – YES

SUPERVISION POSSIBLE - YES

CLASS 4 FELONY

2-5 YEARS IN PRISON

PROBATION POSSIBLE - YES

 

THEFT BY EMERGENCY EXIT - SECTION (b)

WHERE THE FULL RETAIL VALUE OF THE PROPERTY DOES NOT EXCEED $300…

  • FIRST CONVICTION – CLASS 4 FELONY – 1-3 YEARS – PROBATION ABAILABLE -YES
  • IF THE PERSON HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
    • ANY TYPE THEFT
    • ROBBERY
    • ARMED ROBBERY
    • BURGLARY
    • RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY
    • POSSESSION OF BURGLARY TOOLS
    • HOME INVASION
    • UNLAWFUL USE OF CREDIT CARD, or
    • FORGERY

CLASS 3 FELONY – 2-5 YEARS – PROBATION AVAILABLE – YES

WHERE THE FULL RETAIL VALUE OF THE PROPERTY EXCEEDS $300…

CLASS 2 FELONY – 3-7 YEARS – PROBATION AVAILABLE – YES

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005