Arkansas Shoplifting Law Excerpts

5-36-116. Shoplifting.

(a)

(1) A person engaging in conduct giving rise to a presumption under § 5-36-102(b) may be detained in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time by a law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant’s employee in order that recovery of a good or may be effected.

(2) The detention by a law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant’s employee does not render the law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant’s employee criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

(b)

(1) If sufficient notice has been posted to advise patrons that an antishoplifting or inventory control device is being utilized, the activation of an antishoplifting or inventory control device as a result of a person’s exiting an establishment or a protected area within the establishment constitutes reasonable cause for the detention of the person so exiting by the owner or operator of the establishment or by an agent or employee of the owner or operator.

(2) Any detention under subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be made only in a reasonable manner and only for a reasonable period of time sufficient for any inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the activation of the antishoplifting or inventory control device or for the recovery of a good.

(3) A detention under subdivision (b)(1) of this section by a law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant’s employee does not render the law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant’s employee criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

(c) As used in this section, “antishoplifting or inventory control device” means a mechanism or other device designed and operated for the purpose of detecting the removal from a mercantile establishment or similar enclosure or from a protected area within a mercantile establishment or similar enclosure.

(d)

(1) Upon probable cause for believing a suspect has committed the offense of shoplifting , a law enforcement officer may arrest the person without a warrant.

(2) The law enforcement officer, merchant, or merchant’s employee who has observed the person accused of committing the offense of shoplifting shall provide a written statement that serves as probable cause to justify the arrest.

(3) The accused person shall be brought immediately before a magistrate and afforded an opportunity to make a bond or recognizance as in other criminal cases.

 

5-36-102. Consolidation of offenses – Shoplifting presumption – Amount of theft.

(a) Conduct denominated theft in this chapter constitutes a single offense embracing the separate offenses known before January 1, 1976, as:

(1) Larceny;

(2) Embezzlement;

(3) False pretense;

(4) Extortion;

(5) Blackmail;

(6) Fraudulent conversion;

(7) Receiving stolen property; and

(8) Other similar offenses.

(b) Notwithstanding the specification of a different manner in the indictment or information, a criminal charge of theft may be supported by evidence that it was committed in any manner that would be theft under this chapter subject only to the power of the court to ensure a fair trial by granting a continuance or other appropriate relief if the conduct of the defense would be prejudiced by lack of fair notice or by surprise.

(c) The knowing concealment, upon an actor’s person or the person of another, of an unpurchased good or merchandise offered for sale by any store or other business establishment, gives rise to a presumption that the actor took the good or merchandise with the purpose of depriving the owner or another person having an interest in the good or merchandise.

(d)

(1) The amount involved in a theft is deemed to be the highest value, by any reasonable standard, of the property or service that the actor obtained or attempted to obtain.

(2) An amount involved in a theft committed pursuant to one (1) scheme or course of conduct, whether from one (1) or more persons, may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

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