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7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies the Criminal Code regarding retail theft offenses and penalties.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 . establishes the offense of "organized retail theft" regarding retail theft committed as
13 part of an organized operation;
14 . includes receiving merchandise obtained by retail theft as an organized retail theft
16 . provides increased penalties for commission of organized retail theft;
17 . allows aggregation of total value of retail theft and organized retail theft offenses
18 within a specified period for prosecution; and
19 . provides for forfeiture of property and proceeds obtained by retail theft and
20 organized retail theft.
21 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
23 Other Special Clauses:
25 Utah Code Sections Affected:
27 76-6-601, as last amended by Chapter 282, Laws of Utah 1998
28 76-6-602, as enacted by Chapter 78, Laws of Utah 1979
29 76-6-603, as enacted by Chapter 78, Laws of Utah 1979
30 76-6-606, as last amended by Chapter 236, Laws of Utah 2000
32 76-6-602.3, Utah Code Annotated 1953
33 76-6-602.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34 76-6-609, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
37 Section 1. Section 76-6-601 is amended to read:
38 76-6-601. Definitions.
39 As used in this chapter:
40 (1) "Merchandise" means any personal property displayed, held, or offered for sale by a
41 retail merchant.
42 (2) "Merchant" means an owner or operator of any retail [
43 where merchandise is displayed, held, or offered for sale and includes the merchant's
45 (3) "Minor" means any unmarried person under 18 years of age.
46 (4) "Peace officer" [
47 as defined in Title 53, Chapter 13, Peace Officer Classifications.
48 (5) "Premises of a retail [
49 the retail [
50 parking lots or areas set aside for the [
52 (6) "Retail [
53 displayed, held, or offered for sale to the public.
54 (7) "Retail property fence" means a person or business that buys retail merchandise
55 knowing or having reason to believe that the retail merchandise is stolen.
57 merchandise, including applicable state and local taxes.
59 provided by grocery stores, drug stores, or other [
60 for the use of the public in transporting commodities in [
61 store to a place outside the store.
63 to reflect less than the retail value of the merchandise.
64 Section 2. Section 76-6-602 is amended to read:
65 76-6-602. Retail theft.
66 A person commits the offense of retail theft when he knowingly:
67 (1) takes possession of, conceals, carries away, transfers, or causes to be carried away
68 or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale in a retail
70 intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use, or benefit of [
71 merchandise without paying the retail value of [
72 (2) alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value, or any
73 other markings which aid in determining value of any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or
74 offered for sale[
75 merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the retail value with the intention
76 of depriving the merchant of the retail value of [
77 (3) transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale in a retail
78 mercantile establishment from the container in or on which [
79 to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of [
80 the merchandise; [
81 (4) under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the retail value of the
82 merchandise; or
83 (5) removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail [
84 with the intent of depriving the merchant of the possession, use, or benefit of [
85 Section 3. Section 76-6-602.3 is enacted to read:
86 76-6-602.3. Organized retail theft.
87 (1) A person commits the offense of organized retail theft when the person:
88 (a) (i) commits more than one act of retail theft resulting in a total retail value of
89 $1,000 or more within any 180-day period;
90 (ii) acts in conjunction with another person in committing the retail theft; and
91 (iii) takes or causes the retail merchandise to be moved to, transferred to, or otherwise
92 placed in the control of a retail property fence; or
93 (b) receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of any retail
94 merchandise that the person knows or has reason to know has been obtained in violation of
95 Subsection (1)(a) or Section 76-6-602 .
96 (2) It is not a defense to a charge of violating Subsection (1)(b) that the property was
97 obtained by means other than through the commission of a retail theft offense if the property
98 was explicitly represented to the accused person as being obtained through the commission of a
99 retail theft offense.
100 Section 4. Section 76-6-602.5 is enacted to read:
101 76-6-602.5. Aggregation of charges -- Venue for prosecution.
102 (1) Multiple violations of Section 76-6-602.3 committed within a period of 180 days
103 may be aggregated into a single offense, and the degree of the single offense is determined by
104 the total value of the retail merchandise:
105 (a) obtained or sought to be obtained under Subsection 76-6-602.3 (1)(a); or
106 (b) received or otherwise possessed in violation of Subsection 76-6-602.3 (1)(b).
107 (2) Prosecution for a single offense of aggregated violations under Subsection (1) may
108 be commenced in any jurisdiction where one or more of the aggregated offenses occurred.
109 Section 5. Section 76-6-603 is amended to read:
110 76-6-603. Detention of suspected violator by merchant -- Purposes.
111 (1) Any merchant who has probable cause to believe that a person has committed retail
112 theft or organized retail theft may detain [
113 mercantile establishment, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time [
116 possession unpurchased merchandise and to make reasonable investigation of the ownership of
121 any merchandise [
122 reason to believe [
123 whether for examination, purchase, or for any other reasonable purpose;
125 person to the custody of a peace officer; and
127 private person interested in the welfare of that minor immediately, if possible, of this detention
128 and to surrender custody of [
129 (2) A merchant may make a detention as [
130 off the premises of a retail [
131 an immediate pursuit of [
132 Section 6. Section 76-6-606 is amended to read:
133 76-6-606. Penalties.
134 (1) An act of retail theft committed in violation of this part shall be punished in
135 accordance with Subsection 76-6-412 (1).
136 (2) An act of organized retail theft committed in violation of Section 76-6-602.3 shall
137 be punished as one degree higher than the penalty for retail theft under Subsection 76-6-412 (1).
138 (3) Any person convicted of organized retail theft under Section 76-6-602.3 who,
139 within the immediately preceding four years was convicted two or more times of retail theft
140 under Section 76-6-602 or organized retail theft under Section 76-6-602.3 shall be sentenced to
141 incarceration, without any suspension of the sentence, for a term of not less than 30 days.
142 Section 7. Section 76-6-609 is enacted to read:
143 76-6-609. Forfeiture of retail merchandise and proceeds.
144 All retail merchandise and proceeds from retail merchandise obtained, received, or
145 disposed of, or otherwise possessed in violation of this part are subject to Title 24, Chapter 1,
146 Utah Uniform Forfeiture Procedures Act.
Legislative Review Note
as of 1-18-06 4:17 PM
Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.