Alaska Shoplifting Law Excerpts

AS 11.46.220. Concealment of Merchandise.

(a) A person commits the crime of concealment of merchandise if without authority the person knowingly conceals on or about the person the merchandise of a commercial establishment, not purchased by the person, while still upon the premises of the commercial establishment, with intent to deprive the owner of the merchandise or with intent to appropriate the merchandise.

(b) Merchandise found concealed upon or about the person which has not been purchased by the person is prima facie evidence of a knowing concealment.

(c) Concealment of merchandise is

(1) a class C felony if

(A) the merchandise is a firearm;

(B) the value of the merchandise is $500 or more; or

(C) the value of the merchandise is $50 or more but less than $500 and within the preceding five years the person has been convicted and sentenced on two or more separate occasions in this or another jurisdiction of the offense of

(i) concealment of merchandise under this paragraph or (2)(A) of this subsection, or an offense under another law or ordinance with similar elements; or

(ii) AS 11.46.120 , 11.46.130, or 11.46.140(a)(1) or (a)(2), or an offense under another law or ordinance with similar elements;

(2) a class A misdemeanor if

(A) the value of the merchandise is $50 or more but less than $500; or

(B) the value of the merchandise is less than $50 and within the preceding five years the person has been convicted and sentenced on two or more separate occasions of the offense of concealment of merchandise or theft in any degree, or an offense under another law or ordinance with similar elements;

(3) a class B misdemeanor if the value of the merchandise is less than $50.

AS 45.45.100. Requiring Individuals to Keep Merchandise in Full View.

A merchant may request an individual on the merchant’s premises to place or keep in full view merchandise that the individual removes, or that the merchant believes the individual may have removed, from its place of display or elsewhere, whether for examination, purchase, or another purpose. A merchant is not criminally or civilly liable for making this request.

AS 11.46.230. Reasonable Detention as Defense.

(a) In a civil or criminal action upon the complaint of a person who has been detained in or in the immediate vicinity of a commercial establishment for the purpose of investigation or questioning as to the ownership of merchandise, it is a defense that

(1) the person was detained in a reasonable manner and for not more than a reasonable time to permit investigation or questioning by a peace officer or by the owner of the commercial establishment or the owner’s agent; and

(2) the peace officer, owner, or owner’s agent had probable cause to believe that the person detained was committing or attempting to commit concealment of merchandise.

(b) As used in this section, “reasonable time” means the time necessary to permit the person detained to make a statement or refuse to make a statement, and any additional time necessary to examine employees and records of the commercial establishment relative to the ownership of the merchandise.

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