Iowa Shoplifting Law Excerpts

714.1 Theft defined.

A person commits theft when the person does any of the following:

1. Takes possession or control of the property of another, or property in the possession of another, with the intent to deprive the other thereof.

3. Obtains the labor or services of another, or a transfer of possession, control, or ownership of the property of another, or the beneficial use of property of another, by deception. Where compensation for goods and services is ordinarily paid immediately upon the obtaining of such goods or the rendering of such services, the refusal to pay or leaving the premises without payment or offer to pay or without having obtained from the owner or operator the right to pay subsequent to leaving the premises gives rise to an inference that the goods or services were obtained by deception.

714.2 Degrees of theft.

1. The theft of property exceeding ten thousand dollars in value, or the theft of property from the person of another, or from a building which has been destroyed or left unoccupied because of physical disaster, riot, bombing, or the proximity of battle, or the theft of property which has been removed from a building because of a physical disaster, riot, bombing, or the proximity of battle, is theft in the first degree. Theft in the first degree is a class “C” felony.

2. The theft of property exceeding one thousand dollars but not exceeding ten thousand dollars in value or theft of a motor vehicle as defined in chapter 321 not exceeding ten thousand dollars in value, is theft in the second degree. Theft in the second degree is a class “D” felony. However, for purposes of this subsection, “motor vehicle” does not include a motorized bicycle as defined in section 321.1, subsection 40, paragraph “b”.

3. The theft of property exceeding five hundred dollars but not exceeding one thousand dollars in value, or the theft of any property not exceeding five hundred dollars in value by one who has before been twice convicted of theft, is theft in the third degree. Theft in the third degree is an aggravated misdemeanor.

4. The theft of property exceeding two hundred dollars in value but not exceeding five hundred dollars in value is theft in the fourth degree. Theft in the fourth degree is a serious misdemeanor.

5. The theft of property not exceeding two hundred dollars in value is theft in the fifth degree. Theft in the fifth degree is a simple misdemeanor.

808.12 Detention and search in theft of library materials and shoplifting.

1. Persons concealing property as set forth in section 714.5, may be detained and searched by a peace officer, person employed in a facility containing library materials, merchant, or merchant’s employee, provided that the detention is for a reasonable length of time and that the search is conducted in a reasonable manner by a person of the same sex and according to subsection 2 of this section.

2. No search of the person under this section shall be conducted by any person other than someone acting under the direction of a peace officer except where permission of the one to be searched has first been obtained.

3. The detention or search under this section by a peace officer, person employed in a facility containing library materials, merchant, or merchant’s employee does not render the person liable, in a criminal or civil action, for false arrest or false imprisonment provided the person conducting the search or detention had reasonable grounds to believe the person detained or searched had concealed or was attempting to conceal property as set forth in section 714.5.

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