It is the public policy of this City that the substantial burden placed upon the economy of this City resulting from the rising incidents of retail theft is a matter of grave concern to the people of this City, who have a right to be protected in their health, safety and welfare from the effects of this crime.
For the purpose of this article, the words and phrases defined in this section have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless a contrary meaning is clear from the context:
- To conceal merchandise means that, although there may be some notice of its presence, that merchandise is not visible through ordinary observation.
- FULL RETAIL VALUE
- The merchant's stated or advertised price of the merchandise.
- Any item of tangible personal property.
- An owner or operator of any retail mercantile establishment or any agent, consignee, officer, director, franchisee or independent contractor of such owner or operator.
- A person who is less than 19 years of age, is unemancipated and resides with his parents or legal guardian.
- PEACE OFFICER
- Any person who, by virtue of his office or public employment, is vested by law with a duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for offenses, whether that duty extends to all offenses or is limited to specific offenses.
- An individual, public, or private corporation, government, partnership, or unincorporated association.
- PREMISES OF A RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT
- Includes, but is not limited to, the retail mercantile establishment; any common-use areas in shopping centers and all parking areas set aside by a merchant or on behalf of a merchant for the parking of vehicles for convenience of the patrons of such retail mercantile establishment.
- RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT
- Any place where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or offered for sale to the public.
- SHOPPING CART
- Those push carts of a type or types which are commonly provided by grocery stores, drugstores or other retail mercantile establishments for the use of the public in transporting commodities in stores and markets and, incidentally, from the stores to a place outside the store.
- To cause the cash register or other sales recording devices to reflect less than the full retail value of the merchandise.
A person commits the offense of retail theft when he knowingly:
Takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in the retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise; or
Alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining the value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or
Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or
Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise; or
Removes the shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal, with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such cart; or
Represents to a merchant that he, she, or another is the lawful owner of property, knowing that such representation is false, and conveys or attempts to convey that property to a merchant who is the owner of the property in exchange for money, merchandise credit or other property of the merchant; or
Uses or possesses any theft detection shielding device or theft detection device remover with the intention of using such device to deprive the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment without paying the full retail value of such merchandise; or
Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner and thereby intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner, or if the lessee fails to pay the full retail value of such property to the lessor in satisfaction of any contractual provision requiring such, within 10 days after written demand from the owner for its return. A notice in writing, given after the expiration of the leasing agreement, by registered mail, to the lessee at the address given by the lessee and shown on the leasing agreement shall constitute proper demand.
If any person conceals upon his person or among his belongings unpurchased merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment, and removes that merchandise beyond the last known station for receiving payment for that merchandise in that retail mercantile establishment, such person shall be presumed to have possessed, carried away or transferred such merchandise with the intention of retaining it or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise.
Any merchant who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed retail theft may detain such person, on or off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time for all or any of the following purposes:
To request identification.
To verify such identification.
To make reasonable inquiry as to whether such person has in his possession unpurchased merchandise and to make reasonable investigation of the ownership of such merchandise.
To inform a peace officer of the detention of the person and surrender that person to the custody of a peace officer.
In the case of a minor, to immediately make a reasonable attempt to inform the parents, guardian or other private person interested in the welfare of that minor and, at the merchant’s discretion, a peace officer, of this detention and to surrender custody of such minor to such person.
A merchant may make a detention as permitted herein off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment only if such detention is pursuant to an immediate pursuit of such person.
A detention as permitted in this article does not constitute an arrest or an unlawful restraint nor shall it render the merchant liable to the person so detained. A merchant shall be deemed to have reasonable grounds to make a detention for the purposes of this article if the merchant detains a person because such person has in his or her possession either a theft detection shielding device or a theft detection device remover.
The parents or legal guardian of a minor who commits the offense of retail theft as herein defined shall be civilly liable for actual damages equal to the full retail value of the merchandise; plus an amount not less than $100 nor more than $1,000; plus attorney's fees and costs, provided that the actual damages shall not exceed the limitations provided for in Section 5 of the Parental Responsibility Law (740 ILCS 115/5), as now existing or hereinafter amended. A conviction or plea of guilty of retail theft is not a prerequisite to the bringing of a civil suit hereunder. Recovery under this section may be had in addition to, and is not limited by, any other provision of law which limits the liability of a parent or legal guardian for tortious conduct of a minor.