In the state of Illinois, retail theft is committed when an individual knowingly takes an item from a retail establishment without proper payment or authorization. While there are many different types of retail theft, shoplifting is arguably the most common. In any scenario involving retail theft, the evidence surrounding the case could be your best defense. If you have been detained by a store employee who has accused you of retail theft, it is imperative to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
According to section 720 ILCS 5/16-26, any merchant with a reasonable belief that an individual has committed retail theft may apprehend the suspected person. The detention may take place on or off the property of the retail establishment and must be in a reasonable manner and length of time. It is important to note that detention may only take place off of the retail establishment if there is an immediate pursuit of the suspected individual. A merchant may detain a suspected shoplifter for the following reasons: