Different Types of Shoplifting in New Jersey

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What Actions Qualify As A Shoplifting?

Many people think shoplifting just happens when a person hides a piece of merchandise in their jacket or pants and walks out of the store without paying for it. While that example is most definitely a shoplifting, there are actually six (6) different ways a person can commit shoplifting under the New Jersey shoplifting law 2C:20-11b.

Carrying Away Merchandise

First, carrying away or transferring merchandise from a store with intent to deprive the merchant of possession. This is the most common form of shoplifting, where someone simply carries out merchandise hoping no one will notice.

Purposeful Concealment

Second, purposeful concealment of merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of possession. The prosecutor and store representatives will try to show that you concealed the merchandise on purpose by the way they find it on you and also by your behavior on surveillance if it was recorded.

Altering Price Tags

The third way you can be charged with shoplifting is by altering or changing price tags on merchandise in order to deprive the store of the real value of the merchandise. This could be as simply as taking the sale sticker off one item and putting it on a different item that you buy.

Switching Containers

The fourth kind of shoplifting is moving merchandise from one container into another with the intent of depriving the merchant of the full price. A common example of this kind of shoplifting is removing a Rolex watch from its case and putting it in a Timex watch box.

Under Ringing Merchandise

The fifth kind of shoplifting is commonly described as “under ringing”. This means purposely under charging merchandise at a cash register so it reflects a lesser price than the actual full value of the merchandise. Most of the time this type of shoplifting will involve a store employee that is under ringing for friends or to pocket the extra money themselves.

Removing Shopping Cart from Store

The sixth and final kind of shoplifting is removing a shopping cart from the premises in order to permanently deprive the vendor or store of the cart. However, it is important to note that taking a shopping cart home with the intent to return it in a week during the next shopping excursion would not render someone guilty because they fail the “permanently deprive” element.

In addition, under New Jersey shoplifting law, possession or use of an anti shoplifting or inventory control device is a disorderly persons offense. This offense occurs only if the device is used within a store.