New Mexico Shoplifting Law Excerpts

30-16-19. [Shoplifting;] definitions. (1965)

A. “store” means a place where merchandise is sold or offered to the public for sale at retail;

B. “merchandise” means chattels of any type or description regardless of the value offered for sale in or about a store; and

C. “merchant” means any owner or proprietor of any store, or any agent, servant or employee of the owner or proprietor.

30-16-20. Shoplifting

A. Shoplifting consists of one or more of the following acts:

(1) willfully taking possession of merchandise with the intention of converting it without paying for it;

(2) willfully concealing merchandise with the intention of converting it without paying for it;

(3) willfully altering a label, price tag or marking upon merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value of it; or

(4) willfully transferring merchandise from the container in or on which it is displayed to another container with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value of it.

B. Whoever commits shoplifting when the value of the merchandise shoplifted:

(1) is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or less is guilty of a petty misdemeanor;

(2) is more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) but not more than five hundred dollars ($500) is guilty of a misdemeanor;

(3) is more than five hundred dollars ($500) but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) is guilty of a fourth degree felony;

(4) is more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) but not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a third degree felony; or

(5) is more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a second degree felony.

C. An individual charged with a violation of this section shall not be charged with a separate or additional offense arising out of the same transaction.

30-16-21. Civil liability of adult shoplifter; penalty. (1977)

Any person who has reached the age of majority and who has been convicted of shoplifting under Section 30-16-20 NMSA 1978, may be civilly liable for the retail value of the merchandise, punitive damages of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), costs of the suit and reasonable attorney’s fees. However, the merchant shall not be entitled to recover damages for the retail value of any recovered undamaged merchandise.

30-16-22. Presumptions created. (1965)

Any person who willfully conceals merchandise on his person or on the person of another or among his belongings or the belongings of another or on or outside the premises of the store shall be prima facie presumed to have concealed the merchandise with the intention of converting it without paying for it. If any merchandise is found concealed upon any person or among his belongings it shall be prima facie evidence of willful concealment.

30-16-23. Reasonable detention. (1965)

If any law enforcement officer, special officer or merchant has probable cause for believing that a person has willfully taken possession of any merchandise with the intention of converting it without paying for it, or has willfully concealed merchandise, and that he can recover the merchandise by detaining the person or taking him into custody, the law enforcement officer, special officer or merchant may, for the purpose of attempting to affect [effect] a recovery of the merchandise, take the person into custody and detain him in a reasonable manner for a reasonable time. Such taking into custody or detention shall not subject the officer or merchant to any criminal or civil liability.

Any law enforcement officer may arrest without warrant any person he has probable cause for believing has committed the crime of shoplifting. Any merchant who causes such an arrest shall not be criminally or civilly liable if he has probable cause for believing the person so arrested has committed the crime of shoplifting.

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