Serial Retail Thief – Stole Beer 54 times from Convenience Store
Posted in General on January 12, 2015
An Arizona man was recently arrested after allegedly stealing beer from Circle K convenience stores 54 times over a 9-month period of time. The total value of the stolen beer was slightly under $7,000.00. The store employees had provided video of the thefts to the police, but the police were unable to identify the suspect. The man was recently stopped by police for some other suspected criminal activity, and the police then identified the man as being the suspect in the retail thefts caught on video. It is claimed that the man admitted at least some of the thefts to the cops and claimed that he stole the items because he needed the money. I guess that he was selling the alcohol as opposed to just having a lot of parties.
Pennsylvania Retail Theft Charges
In this case, the man was charged with 54 separate counts of retail theft for stealing the beer. The severity of a retail theft charge in Pennsylvania is primarily based upon the value of the items taken and whether or not the suspect has prior retail theft convictions. Assuming the man had no prior convictions of retail theft, if the stolen beer was valued at less than $150.00, then the charge would be a summary offense of theft and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $300.00 fine. If the value was $150.00 or more, then the retail theft would be a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000.00 fine. If this man were charged with 54 counts of first-degree misdemeanor offenses, he would face a maximum sentence of 270 years incarceration and a $540,000.000 fine.
In some cases like this, the police choose to file one theft charge and add the total value stolen to grade the severity of the theft charge. Here, because the total value was over $2,000.00, the charge would be a felony of the third degree and thereby punishable by up to 7 years in jail and a $15,000.00 fine. Obviously, the man would prefer to be charged in this manner to reduce the severity of the sentence that he was facing, but he would also be concerned about the collateral consequences for a felony conviction. For example, a felony conviction may prohibit the man from voting, possessing a firearm, enlisting in the military, and receiving government grants or loans. Also, a felony conviction looks worse than a misdemeanor conviction on a background search for employment purposes. The man will definitely need an experienced criminal defense attorney to review the facts and circumstances of the man’s case and develop a plan to achieve the best possible result.