A law recently passed in Colorado stiffens the penalties for setting off false store alarms or disabling store alarms in order to steal large quantities of products from retail stores, according to a recent article in the Associated Press. The law is aimed at a new trend in Colorado, in which organized groups take mass amounts of merchandise from large stores.
This “organized retail theft” has been targeted by laws in other states, including New York and California, where researchers estimate that businesses lose $35 billion a year nationwide. Colorado lawmakers passed the bill after estimating that Colorado businesses lose $150 million to situations like these and taxpayers lose about $15 million each year.
A wide range of products are allegedly stolen in situations like these. Popular items recently include things like laundry detergent and small electronics, which can be sold at a premium in flea markets or on the Internet, according to law enforcement investigators.
Investigators say it’s common for those involved in mass retail thefts to create a diversion in order to distract store employees, so the new law focuses on those who create the diversions as well as those who actually take items from a store. However, some types of “diversions” consist of entirely legal behavior, and it is the job of the prosecutor in these cases to prove that a diversion is in fact related to a theft – not merely that both events happened to occur at the same time.
Regardless of the charges against you, you have certain legal rights. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., our experienced Colorado Springs theft defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting each client’s legal rights and fighting for the best possible outcome in each case. To discuss your case with us confidentially and free of charge, call (719) 475-2555 today.