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Retail Fraud Penalties Discussed as Shoplifting Increases During the Holidays

Shoplifting Increases During the Holidays

Posted 7 years ago by Jim Titus

Holiday shopping can be a joyous experience for many of us. With several weeks of shopping ahead, however, at least one issue is not so pleasant. Shoplifting increases during the holidays, causing businesses to lose money and leaving store managers, security personnel, and police officers with additional requirements. It is atypically prevalent during the holidays for several reasons, and the possible retail fraud penalties vary depending on a variety of factors.

Shoplifting Defined

Shoplifting is generally defined as stealing merchandise from a store or business. It is a type of larceny, and can be more formally described as retail fraud.

In addition to walking out of a store without paying for items, shoplifting includes such things as swapping price tags and returning stolen items for cash.

Why Shoplifting Increases During the Holidays

Shoplifting Increases During the Holidays

Shoplifting increases during the holidays for a number of reasons.

One reason why retail fraud is higher is mathematically logical: the level of shoplifting is unusual due to the sheer number of people out and about during the season.

Another reason is related to the pressure involved with giving people, especially children, what they want.

Yet a third factor is simply about money. To someone who is struggling to pay everyday bills or who recently lost a job, buying gifts for friends, loved ones, or even coworkers can be overwhelming.

Possible Retail Fraud Penalties

Shoplifting can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, and possible retail fraud penalties depend on what was stolen and who was involved.

  • Michigan state law describes the most serious level of shoplifting as retail fraud in the first degree. Generally, it entails the theft of an item or items valued at $1,000 or more. It is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison; a fine of up to $10,000 or three times the value of the merchandise; or both.
  • Retail fraud in the second degree is a misdemeanor. It entails stealing items valued at between $200 and $1,000 and has a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Also a misdemeanor, a third-degree charge of shoplifting involves stealing items valued at up to $200. The possible penalty is up to 93 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.

Contact Us for Help

If someone you know has been arrested for retail fraud and needs help getting out of jail, contact us. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can be reached through our Detroit Bail Bonds website or by phone at 313-244-0669.

Shoplifting increases during the holidays

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