Known as the “five-finger discount,” shoplifting is a common crime. Stuffing toiletries in purses or piling on layers of clothes may not be the best way to get freebies, especially if the outing ends in arrest.
North Carolina statutes break down shoplifting into two categories: larceny of goods and concealment of goods.
Larceny of goods
Individuals receive a larceny of goods charge when they leave the store after shoplifting. Larceny of goods is the most serious of the two charges, resulting in a Class H felony if the amount stolen is over $1000.
Although anything less than $1000 may be a misdemeanor, some instances can become a felony. Those include:
- Property taken from a person
- Stealing an explosive device or firearm
- Individual charged has over four shoplifting or theft charges
A sentence for a Class H felony includes imprisonment for six to eight months. A presumptive term is four to six months.
Concealment of goods
Someone who conceals goods or merchandise while on store property may become charged with concealment of goods. Although this offense is less severe, it can lead to felony charges. The level of the charge depends on the person’s criminal history.
- A first offense comes with a Class 3 misdemeanor with a maximum of 20 days in jail and community service.
- A second offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor that can mean probation, community service and up to 60 days’ jail time.
- The courts consider a third offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor with a penalty of 120 days in jail.
Anyone who removes, destroys or deactivates an anti-shoplifting or inventory control device may receive a Class H felony.