Marana has recently been plagued by “pushout” thieves who load up shopping carts and push them out of stores without paying. It’s a brazen act committed in broad daylight, but don’t try it. Shoplifting in Arizona is a crime with serious penalties, including fines and possible jail time. In addition to facing criminal penalties, shoplifters can be sued to recover damages in civil court by the merchants they have victimized. If you are charged with a “pushout” theft or with shoplifting in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona, you’ll need legal help right away, and you’ll need to contact an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney.

Over the summer, one couple was busted as they allegedly conducted a “pushout” theft in Marana that was caught on surveillance cameras. When Marana Police stopped their van, Ashley Villa and Kenneth Tarrow allegedly had in their possession clothes, makeup, and television sets. Marana Police said the stolen items were valued at $1,500. A merchant may detain, in a reasonable manner, an individual if the merchant has reasonable cause to suspect that the individual is shoplifting.

Criminal penalties for shoplifting are complicated in Arizona. If you are convicted, your punishment will depend on the value of the goods stolen, the types of goods stolen, and whether you have prior convictions. Basically, and with some exceptions, shoplifting less than $1,000 worth of merchandise is a misdemeanor, and shoplifting more than $1,000 worth of merchandise is a felony. If a firearm is shoplifted, the charge is a Class Six felony, and a conviction is punishable by up to three years in prison.

In October, the Lowes in Marana was hit by more pushout thieves, and Marana Police plan to crack down on the growing problem. If you or someone you love is charged with shoplifting in in Phoenix or anywhere in this state, you must retain legal help at once and discuss the case – and your defense – with an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney. If you face the charge, now or in the future, do not wait to make the call.