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New Law Targeting Retail Theft Goes into Effect in Pennsylvania

A new law targeting retail theft is now being enforced in Pennsylvania. State Senator David Argall sponsored the bill in 2023, saying that 54 percent of small business owners across Pennsylvania have seen an increase in shoplifting within the past year. “Coming off the heels of the pandemic, these thefts are a slap in the face of every hardworking Pennsylvanian trying to provide for themselves and their families,” Argall said.

This legislation establishes a Deputy Attorney General within the Attorney General’s Office whose job is to oversee a team of five prosecutors who will be geographically placed throughout Pennsylvania to prosecute retail theft. The law also lowers the current monetary thresholds for retail thefts in regard to felonies committed in the second and third degrees.

If the retail value of the stolen merchandise is between $2,500 and $9,999, the offense is now a third-degree felony. Previously the value of the stolen merchandise needed to be between $5,000 and $19,999 to qualify.

If the retail value of the merchandise is between $10,000 and $49,999, the offense is now a second-degree felony. And for the first time ever, a first-degree felony penalty will be added if the retail value of the stolen merchandise is $50,000 or more.

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