When Florida residents are convicted on theft charges, whether it is petty theft or grand theft, the impact on their future could be severe. Such convictions may result in incarceration, heavy fines, community service and other penalties. In theft crimes, the value of the stolen items will determine whether the charge will be a misdemeanor of petty crime or a felony grand theft. When the theft is identified as racketeering, criminal charges are almost sure to follow.
The office of the Florida State Attorney issued a statement detailing charges against 23 people who were recently arrested as part of an alleged shoplifting ring that was operating across the state of Florida. The State Attorney categorized this bust as historical because the arrests covered all levels of the conspirators in the ring of shoplifters. It was estimated that merchandise in the value of about $15 million was shoplifted in drug stores and grocery stores.
The professional shoplifters reportedly engaged in theft as a daily occupation and the merchandise would go through several levels until it reached the retailer who would sell the stolen goods to the public. A spokesperson of one of the retail chains that fell victim to this purported crime ring stated that the consequences of such thefts are constant price increases that affect all consumers. The Organized Retail Crime task force that exposed the conspirators was reportedly planning to continue monitoring such cases.
Those arrested will now be facing criminal charges of racketeering in a Florida court. Florida residents who are being investigated by law officials for any type of crime may want to protect their rights under state law. When facing highly motivated prosecutors it may be beneficial for the accused individual to gain the necessary knowledge to be able to optimize the opportunity he or she will have to challenge the evidence and confront witnesses. No conviction may be secured prior to the prosecutor providing sufficient evidence to prove the accused’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: miami.cbslocal.com, “South Florida Cops Take Down Retail Crime Theft Ring“, Gary Nelson, March 27, 2014