Lock Haven Couple Jailed After Arrested in State College Retail Theft


According to an online news article, two 30-year-old Lock Haven residents were arrested after they tried to leave the State College Best Buy without paying for a laptop. Bad news for the couple is that the store claims that this was not the first time the couple had taken a laptop without paying. It is alleged that the couple did the same thing previously at the store. The couple was arrested, charged with Retail Theft, and the judge set a secured bail, meaning that the couple was required to pay money to remain free. With the bail being set at $10,000.00 for one and $15,000.00 for the other, neither person could immediately pay the required amounts to post bail, so they were taken to the Centre County Prison.

It is alleged that the couple was only in the store for approximately 3 minutes on each occasion, went right to the laptop area in the store, grabbed a laptop, and walked out the front door. The article also states that the store’s alarm system went off both times, so it is a little surprising that the accused thieves were not caught the first time. Even if the store employees did not want to physically stop the Clinton County residents, they could have written down the license plate number of the vehicle and provided that information to the police.

State College Retail Theft Prosecutions

Many visitors to Happy Valley and Penn State students learn the hard way that Retail Theft is a serious offense that carries severe consequences and is thoroughly prosecuted by both the stores and the Centre County criminal system. The grading or severity of Pennsylvania Retail Theft charges is primarily based upon the value of the property taken and can range from a summary non-traffic citation to a felony offense.

Many Penn State students are charged with Retail Theft after taking a  sandwich from the McClanahan’s store in downtown State College, food from the Wegman’s market, electronics from the Best Buy store, or clothing from the Kohl’s store. Most State College stores have active loss prevention departments that use video surveillance to gather evidence against a theft suspect. Pennsylvania law allows loss prevention employees to detain a suspect at the store until police arrive, and many stores in Happy Valley take advantage of that right and detain a suspect until the police arrive. The loss prevention staff also routinely appears in court to testify against the suspect and ensure that the charges are not dismissed. Simply stated, Retail Theft cases in State College are treated very seriously by the stores, the police, and the Centre County District Attorney’s Office.