Shoplifting is a subcategory of theft. We have another page covering theft more generally, which can be accessed by clicking here. On this page, we provide more information specific to shoplifting, which is more accurately described as theft by concealment of goods.
Concealment of Goods:
The Colorado statute covering shoplifting states that concealment of goods which are on display for sale constitutes evidence that the person concealing the goods intended to commit theft. It does not matter if the goods are concealed inside the store or establishment or outside, or if the goods are concealed on the person or elsewhere.
It is important to note that concealment of goods does not necessarily create a new crime. The crime remains theft. The statutes simply state that concealment establishes evidence of intent to commit theft. What this means is that a person accused of shoplifting might be charged with theft without ever leaving the store.
Stores Are Authorized to Detain Suspected Shoplifters:
Colorado statutes also provide some legal protection for store owners and their employees by specifically authorizing them, and law enforcement officials as well, to detain and question a suspected shoplifter. This protection requires that the person detaining a suspected shoplifter have a reasonable basis for suspecting them of shoplifting. However, if there is a reasonable basis to suspect shoplifting, Colorado statutes specifically allow employees acting in good faith to detain and question, and doing so is unlikely to result in any criminal or civil liability on the part of the shop owner or employee.
If you have been charged with shoplifting, or believe you will be, contact our office at 303-993-5512 to schedule a consultation.