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New Illinois Retail Theft Law Now in Place

 Posted on February 07, 2023 in Criminal Defense

naperville criminal defense lawyerA new law went into place on January 1, 2023 in response to a major increase in retail theft across Illinois in recent years, particularly in Chicago’s downtown areas. This law, known as the INFORM Act, changes the former criminal law code to create a new category of theft called “organized retail theft.” This bill focuses on groups of people working together in an organized fashion to move quickly and steal large, valuable amounts of goods. If you have been charged with this organized retail theft, it is important to know the penalties you could be facing and how to fight the charges. 

Organized Retail Theft Bill Increases to Class 3 Felony Offense

In an effort to crack down on organized retail theft, special task forces have been put in place. In December alone, millions of dollars of stolen goods were recovered from storage units in Chicago. Police are actively monitoring surveillance footage, online third-party selling platforms, and any other source of information on stolen and resold goods. 

If someone is charged with stealing merchandise worth $300 or more when they are acting together with one or more people, they can be charged with a Class 3 felony and serve up to five years in prison. Organized retail theft involving theft from more than one establishment is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and fines up to $25,000. 

In addition to increasing the charges for organized retail theft, the INFORM Act also requires third-party online merchandise sellers to verify users’ identities with a bank account number. People who are trying to sell goods that are stolen or believed to have been stolen will be suspended from third-party selling services. Intelligence tools and grants have also been developed that will allow police departments from across the state to work together and have the financial resources to pursue and prosecute those who commit organized theft. 

Contact a Naperville, IL Retail Theft Defense Attorney Today

If you or a loved one were accused of stealing from a store and have been charged with retail theft, you could face serious penalties under Illinois’ new retail theft law. Get an assertive, experienced DuPage County, IL criminal defense attorney on your side, fighting to help you beat or reduce the charges. Call Law Office of Philip R. Nathe today at 630-416-7600 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 




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