If you're looking for a Delaware online shoplifting class, it's important to know your Delaware theft laws. This can help you understand more about your offense.

Please note that the Delaware theft laws displayed on this page are to help you to understand your state Delaware theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. While we have tried to show the most up-to-date version of Delaware theft laws, we do not guarantee its accuracy. This page is not a replacement for legal advice from an attorney. We suggest that you find an appropriate attorney for more information about Delaware theft laws.

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Delaware Theft Laws

§ 840. Shoplifting; class G felony; class A misdemeanor.

(a) A person is guilty of shoplifting if, while in a mercantile establishment in which goods, wares or merchandise are displayed for sale, the person:

(1) Removes any such goods, wares or merchandise from the immediate use of display or from any other place within the establishment, with intent to appropriate the same to the use of the person so taking, or to deprive the owner of the use, the value or possession thereof without paying to the owner the value thereof; or

(2) Obtains possession of any goods, wares or merchandise by charging the same to any person without the authority of such person or to a fictitious person with a like intent; or

(3) Conceals any such goods, wares or merchandise with like intent; or

(4) Alters, removes or otherwise disfigures any label, price tag or marking upon any such goods, wares or merchandise with a like intent; or

(5) Transfers any goods, wares or merchandise from a container in which same shall be displayed or packaged to any other container with like intent; or

(6) Uses any instrument whatsoever, credit slips or chose in action to obtain any goods, wares or merchandise with intent to appropriate the same to the use of the person so taking or to deprive the owner of the use, the value or the possession thereof without paying to the owner the value thereof.

(b) Any person wilfully concealing unpurchased merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment, inside or outside the premises of such store or other mercantile establishment, shall be presumed to have so concealed such merchandise with the intention of converting the same to the person's own use without paying the purchase price thereof within the meaning of subsection (a) of this section, and the finding of such merchandise concealed upon the person or among the belongings of such person, outside of such store or other mercantile establishment, shall be presumptive evidence of intentional concealment; and if such person conceals or causes to be concealed such merchandise upon the person or among the belongings of another, the finding of the same shall also be presumptive evidence of intentional concealment on the part of the person so concealing such merchandise.

(c) A merchant, a store supervisor, agent or employee of the merchant 18 years of age or older, who has probable cause for believing that a person has intentionally concealed unpurchased merchandise or has committed shoplifting as defined in subsection (a) of this section, may, for the purpose of summoning a law-enforcement officer, take the person into custody and detain the person in a reasonable manner on the premises for a reasonable time.

(d) A merchant, a store supervisor, agent or employee of the merchant 18 years of age or older who detains, or a merchant, a store supervisor, agent or employee of the merchant who causes or provides information leading to the arrest of any person under subsection (a), (b) or (c) of this section, shall not be held civilly or criminally liable for such detention or arrest provided they had, at the time of such detention or arrest, probable cause to believe that the person committed the crime of shoplifting as defined in subsection (a) of this section.

Shoplifting is a class G felony when the goods, wares or merchandise shoplifted are of the value of $1,500 or more, or when the goods, wares or merchandise shoplifted are from 3 or more separate mercantile establishments and were shoplifted in the same or continuing course of conduct and the aggregate value of the goods is $1,500 or more. When the goods, wares or merchandise shoplifted are of the value of less than $1,500, it is a class A misdemeanor.

§ 841. Theft; class G felony; class A misdemeanor; restitution.

(a) A person is guilty of theft when the person takes, exercises control over or obtains property of another person intending to deprive that person of it or appropriate it. Theft includes the acts described in this section, as well as those described in §§ 841A-846 of this title.

(b) A person is guilty of theft if the person, in any capacity, legally receives, takes, exercises control over or obtains property of another which is the subject of theft, and fraudulently converts same to the person's own use.

(c)(1) Except where a victim is 62 years of age or older, or an "infirm adult" as defined in § 3902(12) of Title 31, or a "disabled person" as defined in § 3901(a)(2) of Title 12, theft is a class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property received, retained or disposed of is $1,500 or more, in which case it is a class G felony.

(2) Where a victim is 62 years of age or older, or an "infirm adult" as defined in § 3902(12) of Title 31, or a "disabled person" as defined in § 3901(a)(2) of Title 12, theft is a class G felony unless the value of the property received, retained or disposed of is $1,500 or more, in which case it is a class F felony.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section:

a. Where the value of the property received, retained or disposed of is more than $50,000 but less than $100,000, theft is a class E felony;

b. Where the value of the property received, retained or disposed of is $100,000 or more, theft is a class C felony.

(d) Upon conviction, the sentencing judge shall require full restitution to the victim for any monetary losses suffered and shall consider the imposition of community service and/or an appropriate curfew for a minor.

§ 841A. Theft of a motor vehicle; class G felony.

(a) A person is guilty of theft of a motor vehicle when the person takes, exercises control over or obtains a motor vehicle of another person intending to deprive the other person of it or appropriate it.

(b) As used in this section "motor vehicle" means an automobile, motorcycle, van, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor and semitrailer combination, or any other vehicle which is self-propelled, which is designed to be operated primarily on a roadway as defined in § 101 of Title 21, and in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported. "Motor vehicle" as used in this section shall not include any device that is included within the definitions of "moped", "off-highway (OHV)", "triped", "motorized scooter or skateboard", "motorized wheelchair" or "electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD)" as defined in § 101 of Title 21.

(c) Theft of a motor vehicle is a class G felony.

§ 841B. Theft: Organized retail crime; class A misdemeanor; class E felony.

(a) A person is guilty of "theft: organized retail crime" when the person takes, exercises control over, or obtains retail merchandise of another person intending to deprive that person of it, or receives stolen property in violation of § 851 of this title, in quantities that would not normally be purchased for personal use or consumption, with the intent to appropriate or to resell or reenter the merchandise into commerce.

(b) For purposes of this section, a series of organized retail crime thefts committed by a person or group of persons may be aggregated into 1 count or charge, with the sum of the value of all the retail merchandise being the value considered in determining the degree of theft: organized retail crime.

(c) In addition to the provisions of § 841(c) and (d) of this title, if a defendant has 2 or more times been convicted of theft: organized retail crime, the offense of theft: organized retail crime is a class E felony.

§ 845. Theft of services.

(a) A person commits theft when, with the intent specified in § 841 of this title, the person obtains services which the person knows are available only for compensation by deception, threat, false token, false representation or statement or by installing, rearranging or tampering with any facility or equipment or by any other trick, contrivance or any other device to avoid payment for the services.

(b) In any prosecution for theft of services where services have been obtained from a public utility by the installation of, rearrangement of or tampering with any facility or equipment owned or used by the public utility to provide such services, without the consent or permission of the public utility, or by any other trick or contrivance, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person to whom the services are being furnished has created, caused or knows of the condition which is a violation of this section.

(c) A person who has obtained services from a public utility by installing, rearranging or tampering with any facility or equipment owned or used by the public utility to provide such services, or by any other trick or contrivance, is presumed to have done so with an intent to avoid, or to enable others to avoid, payment for the services involved.

(d) The rebuttable presumptions referred to in subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall not apply to any person to whom such services have been furnished for less than 31 days or until there has been at least 1 meter reading.

§ 849. Theft of rented property; class A misdemeanor or class G felony.

(a) A person is guilty of theft of rental property if the person, with the intent specified in § 841 of this title, takes, destroys, converts, wrongfully withholds or appropriates by fraud, deception, threat, false token, false representation or statement, or by any trick, contrivance or other device to avoid payment for or to otherwise appropriate rental property entrusted to said person. For purposes of this section, "property" shall include the use of vehicles or other movable property.

(b) If the finder of fact shall find:

(1) That one who has leased or rented the personal property of another, failed to return or make arrangements acceptable to the rentor (lessor) to return the property to the rentor or the rentor's agent within 10 days after proper notice, following the expiration of the rental (lease) contract; and/or

(2) That one who has leased or rented the personal property of another and has returned such property, failed to make payment, at the agreed rental rate, for the full period which the property was rented or leased, except when said person has a good faith dispute with the owner of the rental property as to whether any payment, or additional payment, is due to the owner of the rental property; and/or

(3) That the rentee (lessee) presented identification to the rentor which was materially false, fictitious or not current with respect to name, address, place of employment or other appropriate items,

then the finder of fact shall be permitted, but not required, to presume intent to commit theft.

(c) As used in subsection (b) of this section, "proper notice" shall consist of a written demand by the rentor made after the expiration of the rental period mailed by certified or registered mail to the rentee at:

(1) The address the rentee gave when the rental contract was made; or

(2) The rentee's last known address if later furnished in writing by the rentee or the rentee's agent.

(d) The reasonable and fair market value of the property obtained shall be utilized in determining the amount involved in the theft.

(e) The following 3 factors, if established by the rentee by a preponderance of the evidence, shall constitute an affirmative defense to prosecution for theft, that the rentee:

(1) Accurately stated the rentee's name, address and other material items of identification at the time of the rental;

(2) Failed to receive the rentor's notice personally due in no significant part to the fault of the rentee; and

(3) Returned the personal property to the rentor or the rentor's agent within 48 hours of the commencement of the prosecution, together with any charges for the overdue period and the value of damages (if any) to the property.

Theft of rented property is a class A misdemeanor, unless the value of the property is $1,500 or more, in which case it is a class G felony.

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