Organized retail theft – In North Carolina, theft crimes are numerous and varying. Most people have heard of larceny and shoplifting. Additionally, the concepts of obtaining property under false pretenses and financial card theft are not difficult to understand. There are additional theft crimes, however, that most people have never heard of. One such crime is organized retail theft.
What is organized retail theft? In this blog, we will answer that question. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
What is organized retail theft?
This crime is found under North Carolina General Statute 14-86.6. It sometimes referred to as just organized retail theft or sometimes it is called conspiracy to commit retail theft.
- In order to be found guilty of this crime the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone conspired with another person to commit theft of retail property, valued at more than $1,500 aggregated over a period of 90 days from retail establishments with the intent to sell the property for a gain, and took or caused the property to be placed in the control of a retail property fence or other person, in exchange for consideration.
These are a very specific set of elements and if any one of them is missing, the state cannot convict the defendant of that crime. It is important to note, however, that even when missing one or more of these elements, the activities listed above still equate to a crime. That crime may be larceny, or a number of other theft crimes.
Punishment for organized retail theft
This crime is classified as a felony and follows North Carolina Felony Sentencing Guidelines. The Class of the felony depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. Here are a few examples:
- When the property value is under $20,000 the crime is punished as a Class H felony
- When the property value is over $20,000 the crime is punished as a Class G felony
- When the person charged conspires with two or more people and is the organizer, supervisor, or leader of the of the scheme, this crime is punished as a Class G felony.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is best to obtain an attorney and not try to represent yourself.