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Can you be arrested for retail theft if you didn't even leave the store?

Can you be arrested for retail theft in Illinois if you didn't even leave the store? Welcome, my name is Steve Fagan from the law firm of Fagan, Fagan & Davis, criminal defense attorneys in Illinois.  Join me for a minute while we talk about that question.
Can you be arrested for retail theft if you didn't even leave the store? First of all, everybody knows that retail theft is basically shoplifting, right? Not quite.  Shoplifting means taking item or items for sale, walking out the door and not paying for it.  That's the most common thing that happens, but you can also be arrested for retail theft and charged with retail theft even if you haven't left the store.  How? I'll tell you, if you go past the point of the register, the point of payment in a store, that's one way.  Another is, if you change tags and you try to check out with a lower price.  Additionally, if you somehow hide items in your clothing or put it in your pocket or purse or in a bag with a false bottom.  Well, those are all ways that you can be arrested for retail theft, or guilty even, without even having left the store.
Another way is, perhaps you've tried to return something that you don't own or was taken from the store for money or credit, for instance, if you rent to own something and stop paying, the store can then make what's called a ten-day written demand.  If you fail to respond to that, you keep the product, that may be retail theft.
If your a store employee, ringing up a bogus discount or wrong price deliberately is retail theft, even though you never left the store.  Retail theft is a very serious charge, it could be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which is the most serious type of misdemeanor in Illinois law, or in some cases, depending on the monetary value, can be charged as a felony in Illinois.

So, once again, retail theft is very serious and you can be charged, even though you never left the store in a number of different ways.
Thank you for joining me, my name is Steve Fagan of the law firm of Fagan, Fagan and Davis.  If you are facing Retail Theft charges right now, pick up the phone and call us at 847-635-8200.

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