Idaho Shoplifting Law Excerpts

18-4624. TAKEN OR CONVERTED MERCHANDISE AS THEFT.

A person steals property and commits theft by the alteration, transfer or removal of any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in the determination of value of any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment, for the purpose of attempting to purchase such merchandise either personally or in consort with another, at less than the retail price with the intention of depriving the merchant of the value of such merchandise.

18-4625. TAKEN OR CONVERTED MERCHANDISE — EVIDENCE.

In any prosecution for a violation of this chapter, photographs of the goods or merchandise alleged to have been taken or converted shall be deemed competent evidence of such goods or merchandise and shall be admissible in any proceeding, hearing or trial to the same extent as if such goods and merchandise had been introduced as evidence. Such photographs shall bear a written description of the goods or merchandise alleged to have been taken or converted, the name of the owner of such goods or merchandise, or the store or establishment wherein the alleged offense occurred, the name of the accused, the name of the arresting peace officer, the date of the photograph and the name of the photographer. Such writing shall be made under oath by the arresting peace officer, and the photographs identified by the signature of the photographer. Upon the filing of such photograph and writing with the authority or court holding such goods and merchandise as evidence, such goods or merchandise shall be returned to their owner, or the proprietor or manager of the store or establishment wherein the alleged offense occurred.

18-4626. WILFUL CONCEALMENT OF GOODS, WARES OR MERCHANDISE — DEFENSE FOR DETENTION.

(a) Whoever, without authority, willfully conceals the goods, wares or merchandise of any store or merchant, while still upon the premises of such store or merchant, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Goods, wares or merchandise found concealed upon the person shall be prima facie evidence of a willful concealment.

(b) Any owner, his authorized employee or agent of any store or merchant, apprehending or detaining a person on or in the immediate vicinity of the premises of any store or merchant, for the purpose of investigation or questioning as to the ownership of any goods, wares or merchandise, shall have as a defense in any action, civil or criminal, that such detention of the person or persons was in a reasonable manner and for not more than a reasonable time to permit such investigation or questioning by a peace officer or by the owner of the store or merchant, his authorized employee or agent, and that such peace officer, owner, employee or agent had probable cause to believe that the person so detained was committing or attempting to commit an offense as set forth in subsection (a) of this section. “Reasonable time” shall mean the time necessary to permit the person detained to make a statement or to refuse to make a statement, and the time necessary to examine employees and records of the store or merchant relative to ownership of the merchandise.

48-701. LIABILITY FOR REMOVING OR CONCEALING MERCHANDISE — RETAIL THEFT.

Any person who knowingly removes merchandise from a merchant’s premises without paying therefor, or knowingly conceals merchandise to avoid paying therefor, or knowingly commits retail theft, shall be civilly liable to the merchant for the retail value of the merchandise, plus damages of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), costs of suit and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

48-702. LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF MINORS.

The parent or legal guardian, having legal custody, of a minor who knowingly removes merchandise from a merchant’s premises without paying therefor, or knowingly conceals merchandise to avoid paying therefor, or knowingly commits retail theft, shall be civilly liable to the merchant for the retail value of the merchandise, plus damages of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), costs of suit and reasonable attorneys’ fees. Recovery under this section is not limited by any other provision of law which limits the liability of a parent or legal guardian for the tortious conduct of a minor. The liability of parents or legal guardian and of the minor under this chapter is joint and several. A parent or guardian not having legal custody of a minor shall not be liable for the conduct of the minor proscribed by this act.

48-703. DEFINITIONS.

As used in this chapter:

(a) “Merchandise” means any personal property displayed, held or offered for sale by a merchant.

(b) “Merchant” means an owner or operator, and the agent, consignee, employee, lessee, or officer of an owner or operator, of any merchant’s premises.

(c) “Premises” means any establishment or part thereof wherein merchandise is displayed, held or offered for sale.

(d) “Minor” means any person less than eighteen (18) years of age.

(e) “Retail theft” means the alteration, transfer, or removal of any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in the determination of value of any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment, for the purpose of attempting to purchase such merchandise either personally or in consort with another, at less than the retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the value of such merchandise.

48-704. AUTHORIZED ACTIONS OF MERCHANTS.

(a) Any merchant may request a person on his premises to place or keep in full view any merchandise such person may have removed, or which the merchant has reason to believe he may have removed, from its place of display or elsewhere, whether for examination, purchase or for any other purpose. No merchant shall be criminally or civilly liable on account of having made such a request.

(b) Any merchant who has reason to believe that merchandise has been taken by a person in violation of this act and that he can recover such merchandise by taking such a person into custody and detaining him may, for the purpose of attempting to effect such recovery or for the purpose of informing a peace officer of the circumstances of such detention, take the person into custody and detain him, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time.

48-705. NOTICE OF RIGHT OF DETENTION.

No merchant shall be entitled to immunity from liability provided for in this act unless there is displayed in a conspicuous place on his premises a notice not less than thirteen (13) inches wide and twenty-one (21) inches long, clearly legible and in substantially the following form:

ANY MERCHANT OR HIS AGENT WHO HAS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT MERCHANDISE HAS BEEN REMOVED OR CONCEALED BY A PERSON IN VIOLATION OF THIS ACT MAY DETAIN SUCH PERSON FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECOVERING THE PROPERTY OR NOTIFYING A PEACE OFFICER. A PERSON OR THE PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIAN OF A MINOR WHO KNOWINGLY REMOVES MERCHANDISE WITHOUT PAYING THEREFOR, OR CONCEALS MERCHANDISE TO AVOID PAYING THEREFOR, IS CIVILLY LIABLE FOR ITS VALUE, AND ADDITIONAL DAMAGES.

Click for additional information.