What is retail theft in Pennsylvania?

If you are like many Pennsylvania residents, when you think about shoplifting you might think about someone walking into a store, grabbing an item off of a shelf and leaving without paying for that item. While certainly this act may be alleged as shoplifting there are actually many other things that could result in you or someone else being accused of retail theft. 

As explained by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the term retail theft covers a broad array of actions and includes not only potential customers of an establishment but employees as well. For example, if a person working at a cash register deliberately rings up an item for less that what it is supposed to be sold for, they may be accused of theft. Customers or employees who move items from one location in a store to another so that they may be identified as having a lower price may also find themselves accused of retail theft.

Tampering with a product's security mechanism or price tag in an effort to result in a lower price or facilitate a person taking the object out of the store are other examples of potential theft crimes. These offenses may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending upon any prior offenses, the value of the items involved and the nature of the items involved.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Pennsylvania residents an overview of what may be classified as shoplifting or retail theft in the eyes of the state's laws.

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