Retail Theft

Utah Criminal Law Attorney

RETAIL THEFT—Utah Code Ann 76-6-601 (2017)

Utah’s retail theft occurs when a person steals from a business whose purpose is to sell goods.  Walmart, Smiths, Walgreens, 7-11, etc. are all in the business of selling goods.

     According to the Utah Retail Theft code section, a person commits the offense of retail theft when he knowingly:

(1) Steals it with Intent or Tells Someone Else to do it:   Takes possession of, conceals, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the retail value of such merchandise; or

(2) Price Tag Switching:  Alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of such merchandise; or

(3) Container Switching:  Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of such merchandise; or

(4) Under-Rings:  Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of the merchandise; or

(5) Classic Stealing:  Removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment with the intent of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart.

RETAIL THEFT IS ENHANCEABLE:

Just like DUIs, voyeurism, sex crimes, drugs and domestic violence, Retail Theft is an enhanceable offense.  The severity of the charge, i.e., felony or misdemeanor depends on the value of the items taken.  Here are the charges for Retail Theft:

(1).   Second Degree Felony If:

You steal over $5,000, or you steal a car or a firearm.

(2).  Third  Degree Felony If:

You steal items valued over $1,500, but less than $5000.  Or, you have been twice convicted for theft within ten years.   There is also a provision to charge you if you steal ranch animals and there are many lesser known exceptions that you should consult an attorney about.

(3).  A Class A Misdemeanor If:

You steal items worth or exceeding $500 but is worth less than $1,500. Or, you have twice been convicted of stealing within the last ten years. Or, you have stolen from the same property in the past.  Statutes change often and you should consult with an attorney for the most recent reading of the Retail Theft statute to ensure you are treated fairly under the law.

(4).  A Class B Misdemeanor If:

The value of the property stolen is less than $500.  And you have no prior convictions within ten years.

Contact the Utah criminal law attorneys at Howard, Lewis & Petersen for representation if you are facing retail theft charges.