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What's a 'Retail Theft' in PA?

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Retail theft is as serious crime in PA that requires counsel to adequately deal with the ramifications

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Retail Theft Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

Retail theft in PA means that one has taken or concealed an item offered for retail sale with the intent of depriving the owner of the merchandise.  The statute in PA provides specific definition as follows:

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3929, Retail theft (a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of a retail theft if he:

  1. "...carries away...merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession;
  2. Alters, transfers or removes any label, price tag marking...;
  3. Transfers any merchandise from one container to another; or
  4. Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise.
  5. Destroys, removes, renders inoperative or deactivates any inventory control tag...;

Retail theft is a 'recidivist offense' in PA.  This means that the penalties increase in severity with the amount taken or the number of times the offense is committed.  Penalties can range from 90 days in jail and a $300 fine to 7 years in jail and a $15,000 fine.  Most summary retail thefts can be expunged from your record, however.

If you've been charged with a retail theft, you should seek the assistance of counsel.  You may call Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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