Ohio Shoplifting Law Excerpts

§ 2913.02 Theft.

(A) No person, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services in any of the following ways:

(1) Without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;

(2) Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;

(3) By deception;

(4) By threat;

(5) By intimidation.

(B)

(1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of theft.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this division or division (B)(3), (4), (5), (6), (7), or (8) of this section, a violation of this section is petty theft, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is five hundred dollars or more and is less than five thousand dollars or if the property stolen is any of the property listed in section 2913.71 of the Revised Code, a violation of this section is theft, a felony of the fifth degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is five thousand dollars or more and is less than one hundred thousand dollars, a violation of this section is grand theft, a felony of the fourth degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is one hundred thousand dollars or more and is less than five hundred thousand dollars, a violation of this section is aggravated theft, a felony of the third degree. If the value of the property or services is five hundred thousand dollars or more and is less than one million dollars, a violation of this section is aggravated theft, a felony of the second degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is one million dollars or more, a violation of this section is aggravated theft of one million dollars or more, a felony of the first degree.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(4), (5), or (6), (7), or (8) of this section, if the victim of the offense is an elderly person or disabled adult, a violation of this section is theft from an elderly person or disabled adult, and division (B)(3) of this section applies. Except as otherwise provided in this division, theft from an elderly person or disabled adult is a felony of the fifth degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is five hundred dollars or more and is less than five thousand dollars, theft from an elderly person or disabled adult is a felony of the fourth degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is five thousand dollars or more and is less than twenty-five thousand dollars, theft from an elderly person or disabled adult is a felony of the third degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is twenty-five thousand dollars or more and is less than one hundred thousand dollars, theft from an elderly person or disabled adult is a felony of the second degree. If the value of the property or services stolen is one hundred thousand dollars or more, theft from an elderly person or disabled adult is a felony of the first degree.

(4) If the property stolen is a firearm or dangerous ordnance, a violation of this section is grand theft, a felony of the third degree, and there is a presumption in favor of the court imposing a prison term for the offense. The offender shall serve the prison term consecutively to any other prison term or mandatory prison term previously or subsequently imposed upon the offender.

(6) If the property stolen is any dangerous drug, a violation of this section is theft of drugs, a felony of the fourth degree, or, if the offender previously has been convicted of a felony drug abuse offense, a felony of the third degree.

§ 2935.041 Detention, arrest of shoplifters; protection of library, museum and archival institution property.

(A) A merchant, or an employee or agent of a merchant, who has probable cause to believe that items offered for sale by a mercantile establishment have been unlawfully taken by a person, may, for the purposes set forth in division (C) of this section, detain the person in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time within the mercantile establishment or its immediate vicinity.

(B) Any officer, employee, or agent of a library, museum, or archival institution may, for the purposes set forth in division (C) of this section or for the purpose of conducting a reasonable investigation of a belief that the person has acted in a manner described in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section, detain a person in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time within, or in the immediate vicinity of, the library, museum, or archival institution, if the officer, employee, or agent has probable cause to believe that the person has either:

(1) Without privilege to do so, knowingly moved, defaced, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise improperly tempered with property owned by or in the custody of the library, museum, or archival institution; or

(2) With purpose to deprive the library, museum, or archival institution of property owned by it or in its custody, knowingly obtained or exerted control over the property without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent, beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent, by deception, or by threat.

(C) An officer, agent, or employee of a library, museum, or archival institution pursuant to division (B) of this section or a merchant or employee or agent of a merchant pursuant to division (A) of this section may detain another person for any of the following purposes:

(1) To recover the property that is the subject of the unlawful taking, criminal mischief, or theft;

(2) To cause an arrest to be made by a peace officer;

(3) To obtain a warrant of arrest.

(D) The owner or lessee of a facility in which a motion picture is being shown, or the owner’s or lessee’s employee or agent, who has probable cause to believe that a person is or has been operating an audiovisual recording function of a device in violation of section 2913.07 of the Revised Code may, for the purpose of causing an arrest to be made by a peace officer or of obtaining an arrest warrant, detain the person in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time within the facility or its immediate vicinity.

(E) The officer, agent, or employee of the library, museum, or archival institution, the merchant or employee or agent of a merchant, or the owner, lessee, employee, or agent of the facility acting under division (A), (B), or (D) of this section shall not search the person detained, search or seize any property belonging to the person detained without the person’s consent, or use undue restraint upon the person detained.

(F) Any peace officer may arrest without a warrant any person that the officer has probable cause to believe has committed any act described in division (B)(1) or (2) of this section, that the officer has probable cause to believe has committed an unlawful taking in a mercantile establishment, or that the officer has reasonable cause to believe has committed an act prohibited by section 2913.07 of the Revised Code. An arrest under this division shall be made within a reasonable time after the commission of the act or unlawful taking.

Click for additional information.