PA 10-177—sHB 5223

General Law Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT

SUMMARY: This act establishes two new crimes, organized retail theft and accessory to organized retail theft. A person commits organized retail theft when, for financial gain, he or she works with at least one other person to shoplift retail property that has an aggregate value of more than $2,000 and (1) does it during a 180-day period or (2) sells, delivers, or otherwise transfers it to a retail property fence.

A person commits accessory to organized theft if he or she receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or otherwise disposes of the stolen property intending to (1) distribute the proceeds or (2) promote, manage, carry on, or facilitate organized retail theft. A claim that the property was not stolen is not a defense if the property was explicitly represented as being obtained through the commission of organized retail theft.

The act defines “retail property fence” as a person who buys retail property that he or she knows or should know is stolen with the intent to (1) unlawfully distribute or (2) promote, manage, carry on, or facilitate the crime of organized retail theft. Retail property is any new article, product, commodity, item, or component intended to be sold in retail commerce.

The penalty is the same for both crimes. Violators are guilty of a class C felony if the financial benefit is $10,000 or more and a class D felony if the benefit is less than $10,000 (see Table on Penalties).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

BACKGROUND

Shoplifting

By law, shoplifting is a type of larceny which a person commits by intentionally taking any goods, wares, or merchandise offered or exposed for sale by a mercantile establishment without paying for it. The penalty for shoplifting depends on the value of the property taken. Second-degree larceny, a class C felony, is the taking of property or services over $10,000. Third-degree larceny, a class D felony, is the taking of property or services over $2,000.

OLR Tracking: DC: VR: PF: DF