While shoplifting is a serious crime in Minnesota, conspiracy to commit shoplifting may enhance shoplifting charges in the state. It’s important to understand the differences between these crimes and how the conspiracy to commit may affect theft charges.
Minnesota Shoplifting Laws
Shoplifting is regarded as theft in Minnesota criminal law. If an individual is accused of shoplifting, he or she may be charged with theft of property.
Generally, concealing or taking property without a storeowner’s permission is considered theft. Other forms of theft include false representation of one’s self to procure goods or services from a store, changing price tags to reflect false prices, and the consumption of food or beverages in stores without purchasing them.
If people are caught committing theft in Minnesota, the charges may include:
- Petty theft — A misdemeanor charge that involves the theft of property valued at less than $500, potentially resulting in a sentence of up to three months in jail and a fine of as much as $1,000.
- Gross misdemeanor theft — This charge accounts for the theft of items valued between $500 and $1,000, with a possible sentence of one year in prison and up to a $3,000 fine.
The third and more complex charge is felony theft, which features three sublevels of charges and sentencing based on the offense. Felony theft involving property between $1,000 and $5,000 could result in a five-year prison sentence and a fine of as high as $10,000. For theft of property between $5,000 and $35,000, offenders could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and be fined up to $20,000. If the property is valued at $35,000 or more, offenders could receive a 20-year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine.
How Conspiracy to Commit Shoplifting May Enhance Theft Charges
In addition to theft charges, people in Minnesota may be charged with conspiracy to commit theft, regardless of whether the theft took place. Even speaking about planning to commit theft with another person can result in criminal charges.
People charged with conspiracy to commit theft may be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail and receive fines of as much as $300.
As these charges make clear, whether committing or merely planning on committing the crime, Minnesota takes all forms of theft very seriously.