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Shoplifting in Connecticut is a bigger deal than you think


How do you think a Windham employer will react after discovering a potential employee has a history of stealing things? Connecticut laws differ over categories and punishments for theft crimes. However, many people are not willing to trust individuals who have stolen anything, whether or not the item was valuable.

Employment problems are just one serious consequence that follows arrests and convictions for forms of theft.

If you believe shoplifting is no big deal, think again. Depending upon the value of the goods taken, a Connecticut shoplifting charge – considered larceny -- can be a class A misdemeanor or a class G felony. Felony records can place restrictions on you, your education, your job and other opportunities for the rest of your life.

Your personal definition of shoplifting may be different than descriptions in state laws. Legal trouble is possible the moment unpurchased merchandise is concealed, inside or outside a retail establishment. You may be accused of a crime without ever leaving a store.

State larceny laws cover a lot of territory including willful concealment of merchandise and the common swipe, conceal and exit shoplifting scenario. It is a crime to change or remove tags, labels or other price markings on store items. You may not transfer goods from one container to another or use fake receipts, identities or Universal Product Code Labels.

An accused person can experience an immediate loss of freedom. Shoplifters may be taken into custody and detained by a store owner, operator or employee until police respond. The store cannot be held accountable for this action unless unreasonable measures are employed to restrain and control a suspected shoplifter.

Shoplifting in Connecticut becomes a felony when the value of stolen merchandise is at least $1,000. You may be facing penalties like jail time, fines and restitution. A criminal defense attorney can explain the charge and consequences and help mitigate them.

Source: National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, "Connecticut Shoplifting Laws" Dec. 09, 2014