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SD Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting isn't a silly or harmless prank - it is a crime.  South Dakota has strict laws on the books dealing with it.  The following are summarized from South Dakota Codified Laws.  Please visit the Statute Quick Find page of the state codified laws for complete details.

If a retailer has reasonable grounds to believe someone is or has shoplifted, he can detain the suspect in order to request and verify identification, to question the suspect about the alleged crime and investigate the circumstances, and to notify law enforcement of the incident. If the suspect is a minor, the retailer may inform the police, or the parents/guardians of the young person.

Retail theft (shoplifting) is defined as someone who takes goods/wares/merchandise offered for sale without the consent of the owner/seller without paying the purchase price.  This covers anything, from a pack of gum to a computer or television.  But, the penalties vary for different levels of shoplifting.

If the value of the stolen goods is $400 or less, the suspect may be charged with petty theft in the second degree - a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by thirty days imprisonment in a county jail or five hundred dollars fine, or both.

If the stolen goods are valued between $400 up to $1,000, the crime is considered petty theft in the first degree, a Class 1 misdemeanor.  Someone found guilty at this level would face one year imprisonment in a county jail or two thousand dollars fine, or both.

There are also charges and penalties for grand theft. Theft is grand theft, if the property stolen:
             (1)      Exceeds $1,000 in value;
             (2)      Is a firearm;
             (3)      Is taken from the person of another; or
             (4)      The property stolen is cattle, horses, mules, buffalo, or captive non-domestic elk.
Grand theft is a Class 4 felony, carrying penalties of up to ten years imprisonment in the state penitentiary. In addition, the judge may levy a $10,000 fine.
Victims of shoplifting - store owners or retailers - are also able to collect damages from a suspect.  They may demand payment for the value of the merchandise (even if it was recovered) by certified mail or served on the suspect. 

Retailers can recoup the value of the stolen goods plus a penalty of four times the retail value of the merchandise, or $100 - whichever is greater.  If the person fails to make the full payment within 30 days of receiving the written demand, the penalty may be doubled.


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