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					BIL:     755
TYP:     General Bill GB
INB:     Senate
IND:     20010607
PSP:     Wilson
SPO:     Wilson
DDN:     l:\council\bills\ggs\22177cm01.doc
RBY:     Senate
COM:     Judiciary Committee 11 SJ
SUB:     Theft detection shielding device unlawful; Shoplifting, universal
         product code label; Crimes, Offenses, Consumer Affairs



HST:

Body     Date       Action Description                        Com     Leg Involved
______   ________   _______________________________________   _______ ____________
Senate   20010607   Introduced, read first time,              11 SJ
                    referred to Committee



Versions of This Bill




TXT:
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 9                       A BILL
10
11   TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
12   1976, BY ADDING SECTION 16-13-135 SO AS TO PROVIDE
13   FOR THE OFFENSES OF AND PENALTIES FOR
14   DISTRIBUTION OF A THEFT DETECTION SHIELDING
15   DEVICE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A THEFT
16   DETECTION       SHIELDING     DEVICE,    UNLAWFUL
17   POSSESSION OF A THEFT DETECTION DEVICE
18   DEACTIVATOR        OR     REMOVER,       UNLAWFUL
19   DISTRIBUTION OF A THEFT DEVICE DEACTIVATOR OR
20   REMOVER, UNLAWFUL DEACTIVATION OR REMOVAL
21   OF A THEFT DETECTION DEVICE, AND TO ALLOW AN
22   OWNER, OPERATOR, OR EMPLOYEE OF A MERCANTILE
23   ESTABLISHMENT TO DETAIN A PERSON WHO
24   UNLAWFULLY ACTIVATES A THEFT DETECTION DEVICE
25   UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; TO AMEND SECTION
26   16-13-105, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS RELATING TO THE
27   CRIME OF SHOPLIFTING, SO AS TO PROVIDE A
28   DEFINITION FOR “CRIMINAL EPISODE”, “THEFT
29   DETECTION DEVICE”, AND “UNIVERSAL PRODUCT
30   CODE”; TO AMEND SECTION 16-13-110, AS AMENDED,
31   RELATING TO SHOPLIFTING, SO AS TO REVISE THE
32   CIRCUMSTANCES FOR WHICH A PERSON IS GUILTY OF
33   SHOPLIFTING TO INCLUDE ALTERING, TRANSFERRING,
34   OR REMOVING A UNIVERSAL PRODUCT CODE AFFIXED
35   TO ANY MERCHANDISE, AND POSSESSING, USING,
36   UTTERING, MAKING, ALTERING, COUNTERFEITING, OR
37   REPRODUCING A UNIVERSAL PRODUCT CODE LABEL
38   WITH THE INTENT TO CHEAT OR DEFRAUD A RETAILER,
39   TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON COMMITS A FELONY IF
40   THE MERCHANDISE HE SHOPLIFTS COMES FROM THREE
41   MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENTS DURING A CRIMINAL
42   EPISODE, OR IF HE POSSESSES AT LEAST FIFTEEN

     [755]                   1
 1   FRAUDULENT RETAIL SALES RECEIPTS, UNIVERSAL
 2   PRODUCT CODE LABELS, OR A DEVICE WITH INTENT TO
 3   MANUFACTURE FRAUDULENT RETAIL SALES RECEIPTS
 4   OR UNIVERSAL PRODUCT CODE LABELS UNDER
 5   CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A
 6   PERSON COMMITS A MISDEMEANOR IF HE USES,
 7   UTTERS, TRANSFERS, MAKES, COUNTERFEITS, OR
 8   REPRODUCES A UNIVERSAL PRODUCT CODE LABEL
 9   UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
10
11   Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South
12   Carolina:
13
14   SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
15
16      “Section 16-13-135. (A) A person is guilty of unlawful
17   distribution of a theft detection shielding device when he
18   knowingly manufacturers, sells, offers for sale, or distributes a
19   laminated or coated bag intended to shield merchandise from
20   detection by a theft detection device.
21      (B) A person is guilty of unlawful possession of a theft
22   shielding device when he knowingly possesses any laminated or
23   coated bag or device intended to shield merchandise from
24   detection by a theft detection device with the intent to commit or
25   aid or abet theft.
26      (C) A person is guilty of unlawful possession of a theft
27   detection device deactivator or remover when he knowingly
28   possesses a tool or device designed to allow, or capable of
29   allowing, the deactivation or removal from any merchandise a theft
30   detection device, with the intent to use the tool or device to
31   deactivate a theft detection device on, or to remove a theft
32   detection device from any merchandise without the permission of
33   the merchant or person owning or lawfully holding the
34   merchandise.
35      (D) A person is guilty of unlawful distribution of a theft device
36   deactivator or remover when he knowingly manufacturers, sells,
37   offers for sale, or distributes a tool or device designed to allow, or
38   capable of allowing, the deactivation or removal from any
39   merchandise a theft detection device without the permission of the
40   merchant or person owning or lawfully holding the merchandise.
41      (E) A person is guilty of unlawful deactivation or removal of a
42   theft detection device when he intentionally deactivates in a retail


     [755]                             2
 1   establishment a theft detection device on, or removes a theft
 2   detection device from, merchandise prior to purchase.
 3      (F) A person convicted of a first violation of the provisions
 4   contained in subsection (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) is guilty of a
 5   misdemeanor triable in magistrate court and, upon conviction,
 6   must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not
 7   more than thirty days. A person convicted of a second or
 8   subsequent violation of the provisions contained in subsection (A),
 9   (B), (C), (D), or (E) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction,
10   must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned
11   not more than five years, or both.
12      (G) The activation of a theft detection device constitutes
13   reasonable cause for an owner, operator, or employee of a
14   mercantile establishment to detain a person who, while exiting the
15   mercantile establishment, activates the theft detection device when
16   notice has been posted to advise patrons that the mercantile
17   establishment utilizes theft detection devices. A person must be
18   detained in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable period of
19   time sufficient for inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the
20   activation of the device or for the recovery of goods. The taking
21   into custody and detention by a law enforcement officer, security
22   officer, merchant, merchant‟s employee or agent, if done in
23   compliance with the provisions contained in this subsection, shall
24   not render the law enforcement officer, security officer, merchant,
25   merchant‟s employee or agent, criminally or civilly liable,
26   including any liability for false arrest, false imprisonment,
27   unlawful detention, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of
28   emotional distress, or defamation for his actions.
29
30   SECTION 2. Section 16-13-105 of the 1976 Code is amended to
31   read:
32
33      “Section 16-13-105. When used in Sections 16-13-110,
34   16-13-120 and 16-13-140 the terms listed below shall have the
35   following meanings:
36        (1) „Conceal‟ means to hide merchandise on the person or
37   among the belongings of a person so that, although there may be
38   some notice of its presence, it is not visible through ordinary
39   observation.
40        (2) „Criminal episode‟ means theft committed from three or
41   more individual mercantile establishments over a five-day period.
42        (3) „Full retail value‟ means the merchant‟s stated or
43   advertised price of merchandise.

     [755]                            3
 1        (3)(4) „Merchandise‟ means any goods, chattels, foodstuffs,
 2   or wares of any type and description, regardless of value.
 3        (4)(5) „Merchant‟ means an owner or operator of any a retail
 4   mercantile establishment or any an agent, employee, lessee,
 5   consignee, officer, director, franchisee, or independent contractor
 6   of the owner or operator.
 7        (5)(6) „Store or other retail mercantile establishment‟ means
 8   a place where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or sold, or
 9   offered to the public for sale.
10        (7) „Theft detection device‟ means a mechanism or other
11   device designed and operated for the purpose of detecting the
12   removal from a mercantile establishment or similar enclosure or
13   from a protected area within such an enclosure of specially marked
14   or tagged merchandise.
15        (8) „Universal product code‟ means a scannable number and
16   bar code that identifies products or merchandise.”
17
18   SECTION 3. Section 16-13-110 of the 1976 Code, as last
19   amended by Act 184 of 1993, is amended to read:
20
21      “Section 16-13-110. (A) A person is guilty of shoplifting if he:
22         (1) takes possession of, carries away, transfers from one
23   person to another or from one area of a store or other retail
24   mercantile establishment to another area, or causes to be carried
25   away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or
26   offered for sale by any a store or other retail mercantile
27   establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the
28   possession, use, or benefit of the merchandise without paying the
29   full retail value;
30         (2) alters, transfers, or removes any a label, price tag
31   marking, universal product code, indicia of value, or any other
32   markings which aid in determining value affixed to any
33   merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale in a store
34   or other retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase
35   the merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than
36   the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of
37   the full retail value of the merchandise;
38         (3) transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or
39   offered for sale by any a store or other retail mercantile
40   establishment from the container in which it is displayed to any
41   other container with intent to deprive the merchant of the full retail
42   value.;


     [755]                             4
 1         (4) possesses, uses, utters, makes, alters, counterfeits, or
 2   reproduces a Universal Product Code Label with the intent to cheat
 3   or defraud a retailer.
 4      (B) A person who violates the provisions of this section is
 5   guilty of a:
 6         (1) misdemeanor triable in magistrate‟s magistrate court and,
 7   upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars
 8   or imprisoned not more than thirty days if the value of the
 9   shoplifted merchandise is one thousand dollars or less;
10         (2) felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than
11   one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or
12   both, if the value of the shoplifted merchandise is more than one
13   thousand dollars but less than five thousand dollars, or if the
14   shoplifted merchandise is from three mercantile establishments
15   during a criminal episode regardless of the value of the
16   merchandise;
17         (3) felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not
18   more than ten years if the value of the shoplifted merchandise is
19   five thousand dollars or more.;
20         (4) misdemeanor triable in magistrate court and, upon
21   conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or
22   imprisoned not more than thirty days if the person, with intent to
23   cheat or defraud a retailer, possesses, uses, utters, transfers, makes,
24   counterfeits, or reproduces a Universal Product Code Label;
25         (5) felony, and, upon conviction must be fined not more than
26   one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or
27   both, if the person with intent to cheat or defraud a retailer,
28   possesses fifteen or more fraudulent retail sales receipts, Universal
29   Product Code Labels, or a device with the intent to manufacture
30   fraudulent retail sales receipts or Universal Product Code Labels.”
31
32   SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
33                            ----XX----




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