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Tech Designed to Stop Chicagoans from Stealing
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Tech Designed to Stop Chicagoans from Stealing

Companies are using new high-tech methods to stop people from stealing. In this post, we’ll tell you about these methods and describe what penalties you can face for getting caught.

 

High Tech Theft Deterrent Methods

 

In 2015 alone, retailers took over $45 billion in losses due to shoplifting. Now, stores are working harder than ever to prevent those losses with new methods.

 

Here are several cutting-edge technologies that companies are using to prevent people from stealing.

 

Basket tracking

Baskets can be equipped with sensors tuned in to radio frequencies that sound alarms and trigger video captures if a person tries to leave the store without paying.

 

Face and hand biometrics

The majority of retail theft occurs by repeat offenders. Major retailers will be rolling out hand and facial recognition stations to stop shoplifters from coming back. If a known shoplifter shows up, store employees receive an alert on their smartphones.

 

Smart monitors

Scanners can be placed in aisles to light up if a shopper lingers too long, showing the shopper his or her face on a screen to indicate the store employees are watching.

 

Items with GPS tags

Some high-value items can be tagged with GPS systems to track their whereabouts when they leave the store. The GPS tagging can be deactivated at the payment stations but will sound alarms if the items are unlawfully taken.

 

Illinois Shoplifting Laws

 

The shoplifting laws in Illinois apply to the following actions:

 

  • Taking items from a store without paying
  • Switching or altering price tags or labels
  • Switching items from one package to another
  • Making false returns
  • Removing or disabling anti-theft devices
  • Keeping merchandise past a lease’s expiration

A person can face shoplifting charges if he or she intended to deprive a merchant of the full retail value of the item or items that were taken.

Shoplifting penalties are given according to the total combined retail value of the stolen items. Here is a breakdown of the penalties.

 

Value of $300 or less

 

Class A misdemeanor; penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500

 

Value of $300 or less, and offender uses an emergency exit

 

Class 4 felony; between one and three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000

 

Value of $300 or less, plus prior conviction for theft or related crimes

 

Class 4 felony; between one and three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000

 

Value of $300 or less, plus prior conviction for theft or related crimes and use of emergency exit

 

Class 3 felony; between two and five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000

 

Value of more than $300 in one transaction or in several transactions within one year

 

Class 3 felony; between two and five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000

 

Value of more than $300 in one transaction or in several transactions within one year, plus use of emergency exit

 

Class 2 felony; between three and seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000

 

Offenders may also be subject to civil cases with additional fines.

 

Chicago Theft Crimes Lawyer

With retailers getting tougher than ever on shoplifters and savvier about how to catch them, you definitely need to think twice before taking something. That being said, with new technologies come new problems. Even if it seems like a store’s hi-tech system has you caught, don’t give up hope. A charge is not a conviction, and you can fight back.

 

 

About the Author:

 

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.