What Is the Most Shoplifted Book?
The Irony of “Thou Shalt Not Steal”
Among the most shoplifted books in the world is the Bible, according to several sources including CNN and the NY Times. Yes, that’s right. The word of God is in such high demand that people resort to shoplifting to get their hands on it.
Despite a common reason for shoplifting the Bible being that it should be free of charge, the law can be brutal when punishing those who are charged with this type of theft. Prosecutors won’t be lenient on your case, despite the stolen item being a Bible or any sort of book.
A common misconception is that shoplifting is a minor offense that isn’t taken seriously by prosecutors. However, that belief is false. You must avoid a shoplifting conviction at all costs and contact (201) 574-7919 to fight your charges.
How Is Shoplifting Defined in NJ?
Under New Jersey’s shoplifting statutes, shoplifting consists of the following acts:
Taking merchandise: Taking possession of, carrying away, transferring or causing to be carried
away or transferred, any merchandise for sale by any store with the intention
of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise
or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the
merchant the full retail value thereof.
Concealing merchandise: Purposely concealing upon their person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof.
Tampering with labels: Purposely altering, transferring or removing any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt 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 all or part of the value thereof.
Transferring items elsewhere: Purposely transferring any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail merchandise establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or part of the retail value thereof.
Under-ringing items: For any person purposely to under-ring with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value thereof.
Removing a shopping cart: Purposely removing a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart.
If convicted, you may face the following charges:
- Second-degree charge: The value is $75,000 or more, or the offense is committed in furtherance of or in conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise and the full retail value of the merchandise is $1,000 or more.
- Third-degree charge: The value is over $500 but less than $75,000, or the offense is committed in furtherance of or in conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise and the full retail value of the merchandise is less than $1,000.
- Fourth-degree charge: The value is at least $00 but less than $500.
- Disorderly persons offense: The value is less than $200.
No matter how minor you think your shoplifting charge is, your consequences can be the complete opposite: Major, life-changing and humiliating. Even if you allegedly stole something seemingly small like the Bible, your punishments may be unforgiving, which is why you must reach out to us at (201) 574-7919 to learn how our Bergen County criminal defense team can help you.