Archives for: January 9th, 2022

Shoplifting is a crime some people view as not very serious. You may often hear it referred to as a victimless crime. But that is certainly not the stance that North Carolina takes when it comes to shoplifting.

In fact, a recent crime wave in Raleigh has law enforcement cracking down harder than ever on shoplifting in the city and around the state. Retailers have really struggled to stay in business during the pandemic. Shoplifting has been hurting their bottom line, so they’ve joined law enforcement to get tough on shoplifting and prosecute [...]

What is shoplifting?

Most of us have a pretty clear understanding of the basics. It’s when someone takes something from a store without paying for it, right?

Except that in North Carolina, it’s not quite that simple. There is no charge in our state for shoplifting.

So, what happens when someone “shoplifts” here? Our state criminalizes shoplifting under its theft and larceny laws. The following are the statutes used in NC to govern the various offenses related to shoplifting:

  • North Carolina General Statutes 14-72.1 describes concealment of merchandise
  • North Carolina General Statutes 14-72(a)
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The first major mistake is not taking the charge seriously. Many people dismiss shoplifting as a minor charge, assuming they will face minimal consequences if convicted for a misdemeanor crime. However, this is far from the truth—a shoplifting charge poses a serious threat to your personal and financial freedom. If convicted, you could face heavy fines, jail time, and a stain on your permanent record. You could also be sued by the owner of the store for damages in civil court.

The second major mistake that people charged with shoplifting often make is [...]