What Acts Count as Shoplifting in Illinois?


Shoplifting is not just a mere act of taking merchandise from a store without paying for it. It violates the trust and confidence that society has placed in you to act with integrity and respect toward other people. In Illinois, shoplifting is a criminal offense with severe penalties and consequences that can change your life forever.

Shoplifting is seen from two angles, as it is not only in the act but also in its motives. People steal for various reasons, including poverty, addiction, peer pressure, and mental health issues.

Considering these underlying factors can make shoplifting look more like a symptom of a significant problem that the law might need to address with compassion and understanding. However, in most cases, this will not save the wrath of the law from coming down on you. Read on to learn everything you need about shoplifting in Illinois so you don’t fall victim to it.

What acts count as shoplifting in Illinois?

Shoplifting is a minor crime, but shop owners and the state of Illinois do not take it lightly if you are caught. The law of Illinois defines shoplifting as more than just taking goods from a store without paying for them.

It also includes altering or removing price tags, concealing merchandise, and switching packaging to obtain a different product for a lower price. These acts require planning and intent, which makes them more malicious than merely taking an item without paying.

Penalties for Shoplifting in Illinois

The penalties for shoplifting in Illinois are severe and the strictest in the country, but they also depend on the value of the stolen goods and the circumstances surrounding the theft.

Shoplifting goods valued at $300 or less can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge, leading to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, shoplifting goods valued up to $10,000 can result in a Class 2 felony charge, leading to three to seven years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.

Shoplifting has not only legal consequences but also social and economic repercussions. If caught shoplifting, you can face public shame, loss of employment opportunities, and difficulty obtaining credit in the future.

Furthermore, shoplifting can affect the economy by increasing consumer prices and causing retailers to suffer losses. So, you see it as more than just avoiding paying for an item.

How to Avoid Shoplifting

Avoiding shoplifting requires a combination of awareness, self-control, and education. Individuals can reduce the risk of shoplifting by being aware of their surroundings, paying attention to other customers, and reporting suspicious behavior to store employees.

Moreover, individuals can avoid carrying large bags or purses, ensuring they pay for all items at checkout and understanding the legal consequences of shoplifting.

In summary, shoplifting is complex; while the act is simple, its reasons and consequences are more complex. We hope you now understand what shoplifting entails, so you should always take steps to prevent it, as the implications of this crime can be lifelong.

If you ever get caught up in shoplifting penalties, or you know someone who might need our help, do not hesitate to reach out now, so we can resolve the issue with our years of experience right away.

Contact Franks, Kelly, Matuszewich, and Andrle Attorneys at Law for help with your case today.