What is the Crime of Shoplifting in California?
In California, shoplifting is legally defined under the California Penal Code 459.5. It is a person entering a commercial establishment during its normal business hours to steal, take, or drive away a product valued at $950 or less.
Shoplifting is a crime that is defined in Penal Code section 459.5.
It involves entering a business and taking something, intending to leave and not pay. It is a burglary in many ways, but as defined under the Penal Code, it is a far less severe crime and is often not even prosecuted. So, in essence, it transforms what might be a burglary into a misdemeanor theft-type crime.
Most shoplifting cases end up in diversion, meaning they are not charged as a crime; instead, the person receives counseling. A concern has arisen with mass crimes organized on social media, where dozens of people invade stores and take items. If the value is under $ 950, is this still "just shoplifting?"