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Retail theft - 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3929

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     § 3929.  Retail theft.
        (a)  Offense defined.--A person is guilty of a retail theft
     if he:
            (1)  takes possession of, carries away, transfers or
        causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise
        displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or
        other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of
        depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of
        such merchandise without paying the full retail value
        thereof;
            (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 store or other retail
        mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such
        merchandise personally or in consort with another at less
        than the full retail value with the intention of depriving
        the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise;
            (3)  transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or
        offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile
        establishment from the container in or on which the same
        shall be displayed to any other container with intent to
        deprive the merchant of all or some part of the full retail
        value thereof; 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, security strip or any
        other mechanism designed or employed to prevent an offense
        under this section with the intention of depriving the
        merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such
        merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof.
        (b)  Grading.--
            (1)  Retail theft constitutes a:
                (i)  Summary offense when the offense is a first
            offense and the value of the merchandise is less than
            $150.
                (ii)  Misdemeanor of the second degree when the
            offense is a second offense and the value of the
            merchandise is less than $150.
                (iii)  Misdemeanor of the first degree when the
            offense is a first or second offense and the value of the
            merchandise is $150 or more.
                (iv)  Felony of the third degree when the offense is
            a third or subsequent offense, regardless of the value of
            the merchandise.
                (v)  Felony of the third degree when the amount
            involved exceeds $2,000 or if the merchandise involved is
            a firearm or a motor vehicle.
            (1.1)  Any person who is convicted under subsection (a)
        of retail theft of motor fuel may, in addition to any other
        penalty imposed, be sentenced as follows:
                (i)  For a first offense, to pay a fine of not less
            than $100 nor more than $250.
                (ii)   For a second offense, to pay a fine of not
            less than $250 nor more than $500.
                (iii)  For a third or subsequent offense, to pay a
            fine of not less than $500, or the court may order the
            operating privilege of the person suspended for 30 days.
            A copy of the order shall be transmitted to the
            Department of Transportation.
            (2)  Amounts involved in retail thefts committed pursuant
        to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same
        store or retail mercantile establishment or several stores or
        retail mercantile establishments, may be aggregated in
        determining the grade of the offense.
        (c)  Presumptions.--Any person intentionally concealing
     unpurchased property of any store or other mercantile
     establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of
     such store, shall be prima facie presumed to have so concealed
     such property with the intention of depriving the merchant of
     the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without
     paying the full retail value thereof within the meaning of
     subsection (a), and the finding of such unpurchased property
     concealed, upon the person or among the belongings of such
     person, shall be prima facie evidence of intentional
     concealment, and, if such person conceals, or causes to be
     concealed, such unpurchased property, upon the person or among
     the belongings of another, such fact shall also be prima facie
     evidence of intentional concealment on the part of the person so
     concealing such property.
        (c.1)  Evidence.--To the extent that there is other competent
     evidence to substantiate the offense, the conviction shall not
     be avoided because the prosecution cannot produce the stolen
     merchandise.
        (d)  Detention.--A peace officer, merchant or merchant's
     employee or an agent under contract with a merchant, who has
     probable cause to believe that retail theft has occurred or is
     occurring on or about a store or other retail mercantile
     establishment and who has probable cause to believe that a
     specific person has committed or is committing the retail theft
     may detain the suspect in a reasonable manner for a reasonable
     time on or off the premises for all or any of the following
     purposes: to require the suspect to identify himself, to verify
     such identification, to determine whether such suspect has in
     his possession unpurchased merchandise taken from the mercantile
     establishment and, if so, to recover such merchandise, to inform
     a peace officer, or to institute criminal proceedings against
     the suspect. Such detention shall not impose civil or criminal
     liability upon the peace officer, merchant, employee, or agent
     so detaining.
        (e)  Reduction prohibited.--No magisterial district judge
     shall have the power to reduce any other charge of theft to a
     charge of retail theft as defined in this section.
        (f)  Definitions.--
        "Conceal."  To conceal merchandise so that, although there
     may be some notice of its presence, it is not visible through
     ordinary observation.
        "Full retail value."  The merchant's stated or advertised
     price of the merchandise.
        "Merchandise."  Any goods, chattels, foodstuffs or wares of
     any type and description, regardless of the value thereof.
        "Merchant."  An owner or operator of any retail mercantile
     establishment or any agent, employee, lessee, consignee,
     officer, director, franchisee or independent contractor of such
     owner or operator.
        "Premises of a retail mercantile establishment."  Includes
     but is not limited to, the retail mercantile establishment, any
     common use areas in shopping centers and all parking areas set
     aside by a merchant or on behalf of a merchant for the parking
     of vehicles for the convenience of the patrons of such retail
     mercantile establishment.
        "Store or other retail mercantile establishment."  A place
     where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or sold or offered
     to the public for sale.
        "Under-ring."  To cause the cash register or other sales
     recording device to reflect less than the full retail value of
     the merchandise.
        (g)  Fingerprinting.--Prior to the commencement of trial or
     entry of plea of a defendant 16 years of age or older accused of
     the summary offense of retail theft, the issuing authority shall
     order the defendant to submit within five days of such order for
     fingerprinting by the municipal police of the jurisdiction in
     which the offense allegedly was committed or the State Police.
     Fingerprints so obtained shall be forwarded immediately to the
     Pennsylvania State Police for determination as to whether or not
     the defendant previously has been convicted of the offense of
     retail theft. The results of such determination shall be
     forwarded to the Police Department obtaining the fingerprints if
     such department is the prosecutor, or to the issuing authority
     if the prosecutor is other than a police officer. The issuing
     authority shall not proceed with the trial or plea in summary
     cases until in receipt of the determination made by the State
     Police. The magisterial district judge shall use the information
     obtained solely for the purpose of grading the offense pursuant
     to subsection (b).
     (Dec. 2, 1976, P.L.1230, No.272, eff. imd.; Apr. 28, 1978,
     P.L.202, No.53, eff. 2 years; Dec. 20, 1996, P.L.1530, No.200,
     eff. 60 days; June 25, 1997, P.L.377, No.42, eff. imd.; Oct. 2,
     2002, P.L.806, No.116, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618,
     No.207, eff. 60 days)

        2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsecs. (e) and (g). See
     sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for
     special provisions relating to applicability and construction of
     law.
        2002 Amendment.  Act 116 amended subsec. (b).
        1997 Amendment.  Act 42 added subsec. (a)(5).
        Cross References.  Section 3929 is referred to in sections
     3903, 3929.2, 9112 of this title; sections 3573, 5552, 8308 of
     Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).
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Last modified: November 27, 2007