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Almost $70 billion in products were stolen from retailers in 2019, according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association. Other statistics also claim that shoplifting is the most common crime in the U.S. with an estimated 1 out of 11 people being shoplifters.

For the first eight months of 2022, the Miami-Dade Police Department made almost 2,600 shoplifting arrests, a 14% increase over the same timeframe in 2021.

Any shoplifting charge has the possibility of jail or prison time. If you are arrested for retail theft, exercise your right to remain silent and call an experienced attorney from Mitchell & West LLC.

All Genders Shoplift

A stereotype from the last century has continued to hang around: Most shoplifters are female. More recent data shows that males are as likely to shoplift.

Here are other interesting retail theft facts:

  • About one-quarter of shoplifters are kids.
  • More than half of shoplifters say they started in their teens.
  • Only 3% of shoplifters are “professionals,” but they are responsible for 10% of shoplifting dollars lost.
  • Habitual shoplifters steal once or twice per week on average.

Shoplifting Charges Vary by Value Taken

Some famous faces have been caught taking items from a store without paying. A teen Megan Fox stole a $7 tube of lip gloss from a Florida Walmart. On the other end of the scale, an already-famous Winona Ryder was arrested in 2001 for shoplifting more than $5,000 in items from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

The charges associated with shoplifting fall on a wide spectrum based on the value of the items taken. Theft charges are divided into two large categories: petit theft and grand theft.

Crimes that fall into these categories include the following:

  • Shoplifting (Retail Theft)
  • Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Fraud
  • Car Theft

All theft charges have the possibility of jail time, even second-degree petit theft. Any shoplifting sentence can also include a fine and/or community service. The court may also order driver’s license suspension. Charges can be upgraded for repeat offenders.

Petite theft includes:

  • First-Degree Petit Theft: Property stolen is valued between $100 and $300. Punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • Second-Degree Petit Theft: Property stolen is valued at less than $100. Punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500.

Grand theft includes:

  • First-Degree Grand Theft: The value of the stolen property is more than $100,000. A conviction carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Grand Theft: The value of the property stolen is between $20,000 and $100,000. A prison sentence of up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000 is possible.
  • Third Degree Grand Theft: The property stolen is valued at less than $20,000 but more than $300. A conviction can mean up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

A civil penalty is also possible. The wronged merchant can sue adult shoplifters for three times the actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees.

Accused of Shoplifting? Call an Attorney

If you have been charged with retail theft in the Miami area, lean on the aggressive defense of Mitchell & West LLC. Our award-winning law firm has more than 100 years of collective experience fighting for clients’ rights.

We have seen how even a small detail can turn a case around. We sift through every aspect of a charge to craft a tailored strategy for each client.

When you need smart and tenacious criminal defense, contact us right away. Call (305) 783-3301 or send us an online message.