Illinois law targets organized retail theft as a Class 2 or Class 3 Felony.
Under 720 ILCS 5/16-25.1, organized retail crime means you knowingly acted with another to steal from a store, and while doing so or fleeing the scene, you committed assault or battery or intentionally destroyed the store’s property.
You can be charged as a manager of organized retail crime when the total value of the merchandise exceeds $300, and you knowingly recruited, organized, supervised, financed, or otherwise managed others to:
- commit retail theft with intent to resell or otherwise have the merchandise reenter commerce; or
- commit theft of merchandise while the merchandise is in route between the manufacturer and the store intending to resell the merchandise; or
- knowingly obtain control over stolen property; or
- receive, possess, or purchase any merchandise or stored value cards obtained from a fraudulent return knowing the property was stolen.
If you are charged with organized retail crime or a similar offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove you acted knowingly? Is the merchandise worth more than $300? Were you acting with another? Even if the evidence is overwhelmingly against you, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)