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General Laws

Section 30A. Any person who intentionally takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use of benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof; or

any person who intentionally conceals upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of proceeds, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof; or

any person who intentionally alters, transfers or removes any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof; or

any person who intentionally transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof; or

any person who intentionally records a value for the merchandise which is less than the actual retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value thereof; or

any person who intentionally removes a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail mercantile establishment, without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal, with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart; and where the retail value of the goods obtained is less than one hundred dollars, shall be punished for a first offense by a fine not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars, for a second offense by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars and for a third or subsequent offense by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment in a jail for not more than two years, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Where the retail value of the goods obtained equals or exceeds one hundred dollars, any violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than two and one-half years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

If the retail value of the goods obtained is less than one hundred dollars, this section shall apply to the exclusion of section thirty.

Law enforcement officers may arrest without warrant any person he has probable cause for believing has committed the offense of shoplifting as defined in this section. The statement of a merchant or his employee or agent that a person has violated a provision of this section shall constitute probable cause for arrest by any law enforcement officer authorized to make an arrest in such jurisdiction.

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