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Are some shoplifting offenses more serious than others?

There are gradations of shoplifting based on the value of the merchandise taken.

Second degree crime if you take $75,000 or more (5-10)

Third degree is less than $75,000 but more than $500 (3-5)

Fourth degree is less than $500 but at least $200 (18 months)

Disorderly persons offense, 6 months is less than $200.

For a first offense regardless of the degree, the defendant must serve at least 10-day C.S.; 15-day Community Service for a second offense; 25-day Community Service for a third offense plus a minimum term of imprisonment of 90 days.

You can also be charged with a disorderly persons if you possess or use any antishoplifting countermeasure device (this is anything that can defeat any antishoplifting device; most common is a bag lined with aluminum foil).

By Ronald P. Mondello