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

Please note that the Illinois theft laws shown on this page are to aid you in understanding your local Illinois theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. While we have tried to show the most up-to-date version of Illinois theft laws, we do not guarantee its accuracy. This page is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney. It is in your best interest that you consult with an appropriate attorney for more information about Illinois theft laws.

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Illinois Theft Laws

Sec. 16-1. Theft.

(a) A person commits theft when he knowingly:

(1) Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner; or

(2) Obtains by deception control over property of the owner; or

(3) Obtains by threat control over property of the owner; or

(4) Obtains control over stolen property knowing the property to have been stolen or under such circumstances as would reasonably induce him to believe that the property was stolen; or

(5) Obtains or exerts control over property in the custody of any law enforcement agency which is explicitly represented to him by any law enforcement officer or any individual acting in behalf of a law enforcement agency as being stolen, and

(A) Intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property; or

(B) Knowingly uses, conceals or abandons the property in such manner as to deprive the owner permanently of such use or benefit; or

(C) Uses, conceals, or abandons the property knowing such use, concealment or abandonment probably will deprive the owner permanently of such use or benefit.

(b) Sentence.

(1) Theft of property not from the person and not exceeding $500 in value is a Class A misdemeanor.

(1.1) Theft of property not from the person and not exceeding $500 in value is a Class 4 felony if the theft was committed in a school or place of worship or if the theft was of governmental property.

(2) A person who has been convicted of theft of property not from the person and not exceeding $500 in value who has been previously convicted of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, home invasion, forgery, a violation of Section 4-103, 4-103.1, 4-103.2, or 4-103.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code relating to the possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle, or a violation of Section 8 of the Illinois Credit Card and Debit Card Act is guilty of a Class 4 felony. When a person has any such prior conviction, the information or indictment charging that person shall state such prior conviction so as to give notice of the State's intention to treat the charge as a felony. The fact of such prior conviction is not an element of the offense and may not be disclosed to the jury during trial unless otherwise permitted by issues properly raised during such trial.

(3) (Blank).

(4) Theft of property from the person not exceeding $500 in value, or theft of property exceeding $500 and not exceeding $10,000 in value, is a Class 3 felony.

(4.1) Theft of property from the person not exceeding $500 in value, or theft of property exceeding $500 and not exceeding $10,000 in value, is a Class 2 felony if the theft was committed in a school or place of worship or if the theft was of governmental property.

(5) Theft of property exceeding $10,000 and not exceeding $100,000 in value is a Class 2 felony.

(5.1) Theft of property exceeding $10,000 and not exceeding $100,000 in value is a Class 1 felony if the theft was committed in a school or place of worship or if the theft was of governmental property.

(6) Theft of property exceeding $100,000 and not exceeding $500,000 in value is a Class 1 felony.

(6.1) Theft of property exceeding $100,000 in value is a Class X felony if the theft was committed in a school or place of worship or if the theft was of governmental property.

(6.2) Theft of property exceeding $500,000 and not exceeding $1,000,000 in value is a Class 1 non-probationable felony.

(6.3) Theft of property exceeding $1,000,000 in value is a Class X felony.

(7) Theft by deception, as described by paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Section, in which the offender obtained money or property valued at $5,000 or more from a victim 60 years of age or older is a Class 2 felony.

(8) Theft by deception, as described by paragraph

(2) of subsection (a) of this Section, in which the offender falsely poses as a landlord or agent or employee of the landlord and obtains a rent payment or a security deposit from a tenant is a Class 3 felony if the rent payment or security deposit obtained does not exceed $500.

(9) Theft by deception, as described by paragraph

(2) of subsection (a) of this Section, in which the offender falsely poses as a landlord or agent or employee of the landlord and obtains a rent payment or a security deposit from a tenant is a Class 2 felony if the rent payment or security deposit obtained exceeds $500 and does not exceed $10,000.

(10) Theft by deception, as described by paragraph

(2) of subsection (a) of this Section, in which the offender falsely poses as a landlord or agent or employee of the landlord and obtains a rent payment or a security deposit from a tenant is a Class 1 felony if the rent payment or security deposit obtained exceeds $10,000 and does not exceed $100,000.

(11) Theft by deception, as described by paragraph

(2) of subsection (a) of this Section, in which the offender falsely poses as a landlord or agent or employee of the landlord and obtains a rent payment or a security deposit from a tenant is a Class X felony if the rent payment or security deposit obtained exceeds $100,000.

(c) When a charge of theft of property exceeding a specified value is brought, the value of the property involved is an element of the offense to be resolved by the trier of fact as either exceeding or not exceeding the specified value.

Sec. 16-1.1. Theft by lessee; permissive inference.

The trier of fact may infer evidence that a person intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property (1) if a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner within 10 days after written demand from the owner for its return or (2) if a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner within 24 hours after written demand from the owner for its return and the lessee had presented identification to the owner that contained a materially fictitious name, address, or telephone number. A notice in writing, given after the expiration of the leasing agreement, addressed and mailed, by registered mail, to the lessee at the address given by him and shown on the leasing agreement shall constitute proper demand.

Sec. 16-1.2. It shall be prima facie evidence of intent that a person "knowingly obtains by deception control over property of the owner" when he fails to return, within 45 days after written demand from the owner, the downpayment and any additional payments accepted under a promise, oral or in writing, to perform services for the owner for consideration of $3,000 or more, and the promisor willfully without good cause failed to substantially perform pursuant to the agreement after taking a downpayment of 10% or more of the agreed upon consideration. This provision shall not apply where the owner initiated the suspension of performance under the agreement, or where the promisor responds to the notice within the 45 day notice period. A notice in writing, addressed and mailed, by registered mail, to the promisor at the last known address of the promisor, shall constitute proper demand.

Sec. 16-1.3. Financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability.

(a) A person commits the offense of financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability when he or she stands in a position of trust or confidence with the elderly person or a person with a disability and he or she knowingly and by deception or intimidation obtains control over the property of an elderly person or a person with a disability or illegally uses the assets or resources of an elderly person or a person with a disability. The illegal use of the assets or resources of an elderly person or a person with a disability includes, but is not limited to, the misappropriation of those assets or resources by undue influence, breach of a fiduciary relationship, fraud, deception, extortion, or use of the assets or resources contrary to law. Financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability is a Class 4 felony if the value of the property is $300 or less, a Class 3 felony if the value of the property is more than $300 but less than $5,000, a Class 2 felony if the value of the property is $5,000 or more but less than $100,000 and a Class 1 felony if the value of the property is $100,000 or more or if the elderly person is over 70 years of age and the value of the property is $15,000 or more or if the elderly person is 80 years of age or older and the value of the property is $5,000 or more.

(b) For purposes of this Section:

(1) "Elderly person" means a person 60 years of age or older.

(2) "Person with a disability" means a person who suffers from a physical or mental impairment resulting from disease, injury, functional disorder or congenital condition that impairs the individual's mental or physical ability to independently manage his or her property or financial resources, or both.

(3) "Intimidation" means the communication to an elderly person or a person with a disability that he or she shall be deprived of food and nutrition, shelter, prescribed medication or medical care and treatment.

(4) "Deception" means, in addition to its meaning as defined in Section 15-4 of this Code, a misrepresentation or concealment of material fact relating to the terms of a contract or agreement entered into with the elderly person or person with a disability or to the existing or pre-existing condition of any of the property involved in such contract or agreement; or the use or employment of any misrepresentation, false pretense or false promise in order to induce, encourage or solicit the elderly person or person with a disability to enter into a contract or agreement.

(c) For purposes of this Section, a person stands in a position of trust and confidence with an elderly person or person with a disability when he (1) is a parent, spouse, adult child or other relative by blood or marriage of the elderly person or person with a disability, (2) is a joint tenant or tenant in common with the elderly person or person with a disability, (3) has a legal or fiduciary relationship with the elderly person or person with a disability, or (4) is a financial planning or investment professional.

(d) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to limit the remedies available to the victim under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986.

(e) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to impose criminal liability on a person who has made a good faith effort to assist the elderly person or person with a disability in the management of his or her property, but through no fault of his or her own has been unable to provide such assistance.

(f) It shall not be a defense to financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability that the accused reasonably believed that the victim was not an elderly person or person with a disability.

(g) Civil Liability. A person who is charged by information or indictment with the offense of financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability and who fails or refuses to return the victim's property within 60 days following a written demand from the victim or the victim's legal representative shall be liable to the victim or to the estate of the victim in damages of treble the amount of the value of the property obtained, plus reasonable attorney fees and court costs. The burden of proof that the defendant unlawfully obtained the victim's property shall be by a preponderance of the evidence. This subsection shall be operative whether or not the defendant has been convicted of the offense.

Sec. 16-2. Theft of lost or mislaid property.

A person who obtains control over lost or mislaid property commits theft when he:

(a) Knows or learns the identity of the owner or knows, or is aware of, or learns of a reasonable method of identifying the owner, and

(b) Fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner, and

(c) Intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property.

(d) Sentence. Theft of lost or mislaid property is a petty offense.

Sec. 16-3.

(a) A person commits theft when he obtains the temporary use of property, labor or services of another which are available only for hire, by means of threat or deception or knowing that such use is without the consent of the person providing the property, labor or services.

(b) A person commits theft when after renting or leasing a motor vehicle, obtaining a motor vehicle through a "driveaway" service mode of transportation or renting or leasing any other type of personal property exceeding $500 in value, under an agreement in writing which provides for the return of the vehicle or other personal property to a particular place at a particular time, he without good cause wilfully fails to return the vehicle or other personal property to that place within the time specified, and is thereafter served or sent a written demand mailed to the last known address, made by certified mail return receipt requested, to return such vehicle or other personal property within 3 days from the mailing of the written demand, and who without good cause wilfully fails to return the vehicle or any other personal property to any place of business of the lessor within such period.

(c) Sentence. A person convicted of theft under subsection (a) of this Section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A person convicted of theft under subsection (b) of this Section is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Sec. 16-3.1. False Report of Theft and Other Losses.

(a) A person who knowingly makes a false report of a theft, destruction, damage or conversion of any property to a law enforcement agency or other governmental agency with the intent to defraud an insurer is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) A person convicted of a violation of this Section a second or subsequent time is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Sec. 16-4. Offender's interest in the property.

(a) It is no defense to a charge of theft of property that the offender has an interest therein, when the owner also has an interest to which the offender is not entitled.

(b) Where the property involved is that of the offender's spouse, no prosecution for theft may be maintained unless the parties were not living together as man and wife and were living in separate abodes at the time of the alleged theft.

Sec. 16-5. Theft from coin-operated machines.

(a) A person commits theft from a coin-operated machine when he knowingly and without authority and with intent to commit a theft from such machine opens, breaks into, tampers with, or damages a coin-operated machine.

(b) As used in this Section, the term "coin-operated machine" shall include any automatic vending machine or any part thereof, parking meter, coin telephone, coin laundry machine, coin dry cleaning machine, amusement machine, music machine, vending machine dispensing goods or services, or money changer.

(c) Sentence. A person convicted of theft from a coin-operated machine shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A person who has been convicted of theft from a coin-operated machine and who has been previously convicted of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, or home invasion is guilty of a Class 4 felony. When a person has any such prior conviction, the information or indictment charging that person shall state such prior conviction so as to give notice of the State's intention to treat the charge as a felony. The fact of such prior conviction is not an element of the offense and may not be disclosed to the jury during trial unless otherwise permitted by issues properly raised during such trial.

Sec. 16-6. Coin-operated machines; possession of a key or device.

(a) A person who possesses a key, a tool, an instrument, an explosive, a device, a substance, or a drawing, print, or mold of a key, a tool, an instrument, an explosive, a device, or a substance designed to open, break into, tamper with, or damage a coin-operated machine as defined in paragraph (b) of Section 16-5 of this Act, with intent to commit a theft from the machine, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A person using any of the devices or substances listed in this subsection (a) with the intent to commit a theft from a coin-operated machine and who causes damage or loss to the coin-operated machine of more than $300 is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

(b) The owner of a coin-operated machine may maintain a civil cause of action against a person engaged in the activities covered in this Section and may recover treble actual damages, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs.

(c) As used in this Section, "substance" means a corrosive or acidic liquid or solid but does not include items purchased through a coin-operated machine at the location or acquired as condiments at the location of the coin-operated machine.

Sec. 16-7. Unlawful use of recorded sounds or images.

(a) A person commits unlawful use of recorded sounds or images when he:

(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly transfers or causes to be transferred without the consent of the owner, any sounds or images recorded on any sound or audio visual recording with the purpose of selling or causing to be sold, or using or causing to be used for profit the article to which such sounds or recordings of sound are transferred.

(2) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly sells, offers for sale, advertises for sale, uses or causes to be used for profit any such article described in subsection 16-7(a)(1) without consent of the owner.

(3) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly offers or makes available for a fee, rental or any other form of compensation, directly or indirectly, any equipment or machinery for the purpose of use by another to reproduce or transfer, without the consent of the owner, any sounds or images recorded on any sound or audio visual recording to another sound or audio visual recording or for the purpose of use by another to manufacture any sound or audio visual recording in violation of Section 16-8.

(4) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly transfers or causes to be transferred without the consent of the owner, any live performance with the purpose of selling or causing to be sold, or using or causing to be used for profit the sound or audio visual recording to which the performance is transferred.

(b) As used in this Section and Section 16-8:

(1) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, association or other entity.

(2) "Owner" means the person who owns the master sound recording on which sound is recorded and from which the transferred recorded sounds are directly or indirectly derived, or the person who owns the rights to record or authorize the recording of a live performance.

(3) "Sound or audio visual recording" means any sound or audio visual phonograph record, disc, pre-recorded tape, film, wire, magnetic tape or other object, device or medium, now known or hereafter invented, by which sounds or images may be reproduced with or without the use of any additional machine, equipment or device.

(4) "Master sound recording" means the original physical object on which a given set of sounds were first recorded and which the original object from which all subsequent sound recordings embodying the same set of sounds are directly or indirectly derived.

(5) "Unidentified sound or audio visual recording" means a sound or audio visual recording without the actual name and full and correct street address of the manufacturer, and the name of the actual performers or groups prominently and legibly printed on the outside cover or jacket and on the label of such sound or audio visual recording.

(6) "Manufacturer" means the person who actually makes or causes to be made a sound or audio visual recording. The term manufacturer does not include a person who manufactures the medium upon which sounds or visual images can be recorded or stored, or who manufactures the cartridge or casing itself.

(c) Unlawful use of recorded sounds or images is a Class 4 felony; however:

(1) If the offense involves more than 100 but not exceeding 1000 unidentified sound recordings or more than 7 but not exceeding 65 unidentified audio visual recordings during any 180 day period the authorized fine is up to $100,000; and

(2) If the offense involves more than 1,000 unidentified sound recordings or more than 65 unidentified audio visual recordings during any 180 day period the authorized fine is up to $250,000.

(d) This Section shall neither enlarge nor diminish the rights of parties in private litigation.

(e) This Section does not apply to any person engaged in the business of radio or television broadcasting who transfers, or causes to be transferred, any sounds (other than from the sound track of a motion picture) solely for the purpose of broadcast transmission.

(f) If any provision or item of this Section or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions, items or applications of this Section which can be given effect without the invalid provisions, items or applications and to this end the provisions of this Section are hereby declared severable.

(g) Each and every individual manufacture, distribution or sale or transfer for a consideration of such recorded devices in contravention of this Section constitutes a separate violation of this Section.

(h) Any sound or audio visual recordings containing transferred sounds or a performance whose transfer was not authorized by the owner of the master sound recording or performance, in violation of this Section, or in the attempt to commit such violation as defined in Section 8-2, or in a solicitation to commit such offense as defined in Section 8-1, may be confiscated and destroyed upon conclusion of the case or cases to which they are relevant, except that the Court may enter an order preserving them as evidence for use in other cases or pending the final determination of an appeal.

(i) It is an affirmative defense to any charge of unlawful use of recorded sounds or images that the recorded sounds or images so used are public domain material. For purposes of this Section, recorded sounds are deemed to be in the public domain if the recorded sounds were copyrighted pursuant to the copyright laws of the United States, as the same may be amended from time to time, and the term of the copyright and any extensions or renewals thereof has expired.

Sec. 16-8. Unlawful use of unidentified sound or audio visual recordings.

(a) A person commits unlawful use of unidentified sound or audio visual recordings when he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently for profit manufactures, advertises or offers for sale, sells, distributes, transports, vends, circulates, performs, leases, or possesses for such purposes, unidentified sound or audio visual recordings or causes the manufacture, advertisement or offer for sale, sale, distribution, transportation, vending, circulation, performance, lease, or possession for such purposes, unidentified sound or audio visual recordings.

(b) Unlawful use of unidentified sound or audio visual recordings is a Class 4 felony; however:

(1) If the offense involves more than 100 but not exceeding 1000 unidentified sound recordings or more than 7 but not exceeding 65 unidentified audio visual recordings during any 180 day period the authorized fine is up to $100,000; and

(2) If the offense involves more than 1,000 unidentified sound recordings or more than 65 unidentified audio visual recordings during any 180 day period the authorized fine is up to $250,000.

(c) Each and every individual manufacture, advertisement or offer for sale, sale, distribution, transportation, vending, circulation, performance, lease, or possession for such purposes, an unidentified sound or audio visual recording constitutes a separate violation of this Section.

(c-5) Upon conviction of any violation of this Section, the offender shall be sentenced to make restitution to any owner or lawful producer of a master sound or audio visual recording, or to the trade association representing such owner or lawful producer, that has suffered injury resulting from the crime. The order of restitution shall be based on the aggregate wholesale value of lawfully manufactured and authorized sound or audio visual recordings corresponding to the non-conforming recorded devices involved in the offense, and shall include investigative costs relating to the offense.

(d) If any provision or item of this Section or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions, items or applications of this Section which can be given effect without the invalid provisions, items or applications and to this end the provisions of this Section are hereby declared severable.

(e) Any unidentified sound or audio visual recording used in violation of this Section, or in the attempt to commit such violation as defined in Section 8-4, or in a conspiracy to commit such violation as defined in Section 8-2, or in a solicitation to commit such offense as defined in Section 8-1, may be confiscated and destroyed upon conclusion of the case or cases to which they are relevant, except that the Court may enter an order preserving them as evidence for use in other cases or pending the final determination of an appeal.

Sec. 16-14.

(a) A person commits the offense of unlawful interference with public utility services when he or she knowingly, without the consent of the owner of the services, impairs or interrupts any public water, gas or power supply, telecommunications service, wireless service, or other public services, or diverts, or causes to be diverted in whole or in part, any public water, gas, or power supply, telecommunications service, wireless service, or other public services, or installs or removes any device for the purpose of such diversion, or knowingly delays restoration of such public services, as a result of the person's theft of wire used for such services.

(b) The terms "public water, gas, or power supply, or other public services" mean any service subject to regulation by the Illinois Commerce Commission; any service furnished by a public utility that is owned and operated by any political subdivision, public institution of higher education or municipal corporation of this State; any service furnished by any public utility that is owned by such political subdivision, public institution of higher education, or municipal corporation and operated by any of its lessees or operating agents; any service furnished by an electric cooperative as defined in Section 3.4 of the Electric Supplier Act; or wireless service or other service regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.

(c) Any instrument, apparatus, or device used in obtaining utility services without paying the full charge therefore or any meter that has been altered, tampered with, or bypassed so as to cause a lack of measurement or inaccurate measurement of utility services on premises controlled by the customer or by the person using or receiving the direct benefit of utility service at that location shall raise a rebuttable presumption of the commission of the offense described in subparagraph (a) by such person.

(d) (1) A person convicted of unlawful interference with public utility services is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor unless the offense was committed for remuneration, in which case it is a Class 4 felony.

(2) After a first conviction of unlawful interference with public utility services any subsequent conviction shall be a Class 4 felony.

(3) If the disruption of the public utility services or the delay in the restoration of the public utility services occurs to 10 or more customers or affects an area of more than one square mile, unlawful interference with public utility services is a Class 2 felony.

Sec. 16-15. (a) A person commits unlawful use of a theft detection shielding device when he knowingly manufactures, sells, offers for sale or distributes any laminated or coated bag or device peculiar to and marketed for shielding and intended to shield merchandise from detection by an electronic or magnetic theft alarm sensor.

(b) A person commits unlawful possession of a theft detection shielding device when he knowingly possesses any laminated or coated bag or device peculiar to and designed for shielding and intended to shield merchandise from detection by an electronic or magnetic theft alarm sensor, with the intent to commit theft or retail theft.

(c) A person commits unlawful possession of a theft detection device remover when he knowingly possesses any tool or device designed to allow the removal of any theft detection device from any merchandise with the intent to use such tool to remove any theft detection device from any merchandise without the permission of the merchant or person owning or holding said merchandise.

(d) Any person convicted for the first time of violating the provisions of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this Section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense is a Class 4 felony.

Sec. 16-16. Possession of a stolen firearm.

(a) A person commits possession of a stolen firearm when he or she, not being entitled to the possession of a firearm, possesses or delivers the firearm, knowing it to have been stolen or converted. It may be inferred that a person who possesses a firearm with knowledge that its serial number has been removed or altered has knowledge that the firearm is stolen or converted.

(b) Possession of a stolen firearm is a Class 2 felony.

Sec. 16-16.1. Aggravated possession of a stolen firearm.

(a) A person commits aggravated possession of a stolen firearm when he or she:

(1) Not being entitled to the possession of not less than 2 and not more than 5 firearms, possesses or delivers those firearms at the same time or within a one year period, knowing the firearms to have been stolen or converted.

(2) Not being entitled to the possession of not less than 6 and not more than 10 firearms, possesses or delivers those firearms at the same time or within a 2 year period, knowing the firearms to have been stolen or converted.

(3) Not being entitled to the possession of not less than 11 and not more than 20 firearms, possesses or delivers those firearms at the same time or within a 3 year period, knowing the firearms to have been stolen or converted.

(4) Not being entitled to the possession of not less than 21 and not more than 30 firearms, possesses or delivers those firearms at the same time or within a 4 year period, knowing the firearms to have been stolen or converted.

(5) Not being entitled to the possession of more than 31 firearms, possesses or delivers those firearms at the same time or within a 5 year period, knowing the firearms to have been stolen or converted.

(b) It may be inferred that a person who possesses a firearm with knowledge that its serial number has been removed or altered has knowledge that the firearm is stolen or converted.

(c) Sentence.

(1) A person who violates paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Section commits a Class 1 felony.

(2) A person who violates paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Section commits a Class X felony for which he or she shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years.

(3) A person who violates paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Section commits a Class X felony for which he or she shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 6 years and not more than 40 years.

(4) A person who violates paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of this Section commits a Class X felony for which he or she shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 6 years and not more than 50 years.

(5) A person who violates paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of this Section commits a Class X felony for which he or she shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 6 years and not more than 60 years.

Sec. 16-17. Theft of advertising services.

(a) In this Section, "unauthorized advertisement" means any form of representation or communication, including any handbill, newsletter, pamphlet, or notice that contains any letters, words, or pictorial representation that is attached to or inserted in a newspaper or periodical without a contractual agreement between the publisher and an advertiser.

(b) Any person who knowingly attaches or inserts an unauthorized advertisement in a newspaper or periodical, and who redistributes it to the public or who has the intent to redistribute it to the public, is guilty of the offense of theft of advertising services.

(c) Sentence. Theft of advertising services is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) This Section applies to any newspaper or periodical that is offered for retail sale or is distributed without charge.

(e) This Section does not apply if the publisher or authorized distributor of the newspaper or periodical consents to the attachment or insertion of the advertisement.

Sec. 16-18. Unlawful communication and access devices; definitions. As used in Sections 16-19, 16-20, and 16-21, unless the context otherwise indicates:

"Communication device" means any type of instrument, device, machine, or equipment which is capable of transmitting, acquiring, decrypting, or receiving any telephonic, electronic, data, Internet access, audio, video, microwave, or radio transmissions, signals, communications, or services, including the receipt, acquisition, transmission, or decryption of all such communications, transmissions, signals, or services provided by or through any cable television, fiber optic, telephone, satellite, microwave, radio, Internet-based, data transmission, or wireless distribution network, system or facility; or any part, accessory, or component thereof, including any computer circuit, security module, smart card, software, computer chip, electronic mechanism or other component, accessory or part of any communication device which is capable of facilitating the transmission, decryption, acquisition or reception of all such communications, transmissions, signals, or services.

"Communication service" means any service lawfully provided for a charge or compensation to facilitate the lawful origination, transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals, data, writings, images, and sounds or intelligence of any nature by telephone, including cellular telephones or a wire, wireless, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system; and also any service lawfully provided by any radio, telephone, cable television, fiber optic, satellite, microwave, Internet-based or wireless distribution network, system, facility or technology, including, but not limited to, any and all electronic, data, video, audio, Internet access, telephonic, microwave and radio communications, transmissions, signals and services, and any such communications, transmissions, signals and services lawfully provided directly or indirectly by or through any of those networks, systems, facilities or technologies.

"Communication service provider" means: (1) any person or entity providing any communication service, whether directly or indirectly, as a reseller, including, but not limited to, a cellular, paging or other wireless communications company or other person or entity which, for a fee, supplies the facility, cell site, mobile telephone switching office or other equipment or communication service; (2) any person or entity owning or operating any cable television, fiber optic, satellite, telephone, wireless, microwave, radio, data transmission or Internet-based distribution network, system or facility; and (3) any person or entity providing any communication service directly or indirectly by or through any such distribution system, network or facility.

"Unlawful communication device" means any electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number or any communication device that is capable of acquiring or facilitating the acquisition of a communication service without the express consent or express authorization of the communication service provider, or that has been altered, modified, programmed or reprogrammed, alone or in conjunction with another communication device or other equipment, to so acquire or facilitate the unauthorized acquisition of a communication service. "Unlawful communication device" also means:

(1) any phone altered to obtain service without the express consent or express authorization of the communication service provider, tumbler phone, counterfeit or clone phone, tumbler microchip, counterfeit or clone microchip or other instrument capable of disguising its identity or location or of gaining unauthorized access to a communications system operated by a communication service provider; and

(2) any communication device which is capable of, or has been altered, designed, modified, programmed or reprogrammed, alone or in conjunction with another communication device or devices, so as to be capable of, facilitating the disruption, acquisition, receipt, transmission or decryption of a communication service without the express consent or express authorization of the communication service provider, including, but not limited to, any device, technology, product, service, equipment, computer software or component or part thereof, primarily distributed, sold, designed, assembled, manufactured, modified, programmed, reprogrammed or used for the purpose of providing the unauthorized receipt of, transmission of, disruption of, decryption of, access to or acquisition of any communication service provided by any communication service provider.

"Manufacture or assembly of an unlawful communication device" means to make, produce or assemble an unlawful communication device or to modify, alter, program or reprogram a communication device to be capable of acquiring, disrupting, receiving, transmitting, decrypting, or facilitating the acquisition, disruption, receipt, transmission or decryption of, a communication service without the express consent or express authorization of the communication service provider, or to knowingly assist others in those activities.

"Unlawful access device" means any type of instrument, device, machine, equipment, technology, or software which is primarily possessed, used, designed, assembled, manufactured, sold, distributed or offered, promoted or advertised for the purpose of defeating or circumventing any technology, device or software, or any component or part thereof, used by the provider, owner or licensee of any communication service or of any data, audio or video programs or transmissions to protect any such communication, audio or video services, programs or transmissions from unauthorized access, acquisition, receipt, decryption, disclosure, communication, transmission or re-transmission.

"Manufacture or assembly of an unlawful access device" means to make, produce or assemble an unlawful access device or to modify, alter, program or re-program any instrument, device, machine, equipment or software so that it is capable of defeating or circumventing any technology, device or software used by the provider, owner or licensee of a communication service or of any data, audio or video programs or transmissions to protect any such communication, data, audio or video services, programs or transmissions from unauthorized access, acquisition, disclosure, receipt, decryption, communication, transmission or re-transmission.

Sec. 16-19. Prohibited acts.

A person commits an offense if he or she knowingly:

(1) obtains or uses a communication service without the authorization of, or compensation paid to, the communication service provider, or assists or instructs any other person in doing so with intent to defraud the communication service provider;

(2) possesses, uses, manufactures, assembles, distributes, leases, transfers, or sells, or offers, promotes or advertises for sale, lease, use, or distribution an unlawful communication device:

(A) for the commission of a theft of a communication service or to receive, disrupt, transmit, decrypt, or acquire, or facilitate the receipt, disruption, transmission, decryption or acquisition, of any communication service without the express consent or express authorization of the communication service provider; or

(B) to conceal or to assist another to conceal from any communication service provider or from any lawful authority the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication;

(3) modifies, alters, programs or reprograms a communication device for the purposes described in subdivision (2)(A) or (2)(B);

(4) possesses, uses, manufactures, assembles, leases, distributes, sells, or transfers, or offers, promotes or advertises for sale, use or distribution, any unlawful access device; or

(5) possesses, uses, prepares, distributes, gives or otherwise transfers to another or offers, promotes, or advertises for sale, use or distribution any:

(A) plans or instructions for making or assembling an unlawful communication or access device, under circumstances evidencing an intent to use or employ the unlawful communication or access device, or to allow the same to be used or employed, for a purpose prohibited by this Section, or knowing or having reason to believe that the plans or instructions are intended to be used for manufacturing or assembling the unlawful communication or access device for a purpose prohibited by this Section; or

(B) material, including hardware, cables, tools, data, computer software or other information or equipment, knowing that the purchaser or a third person intends to use the material in the manufacture or assembly of an unlawful communication or access device for a purpose prohibited by this Section.

Sec. 16-20. Criminal penalties.

(a) Except for violations of Section 16-19 as provided for in subsection (b) or (c) of this Section, a person who violates Section 16-19 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) An offense under Section 16-19 is a Class 4 felony if:

(1) the defendant has been convicted previously under Section 16-19 or convicted of any similar crime in this or any federal or other state jurisdiction; or

(2) the violation of Section 16-19 involves at least 10, but not more than 50, unlawful communication or access devices; or

(3) a person engages in conduct identified in subdivision (3) of Section 16-19 for the purpose of, and with the intention of, substantially disrupting and impairing the ability of a communication service provider to deliver communication services to its lawful customers or subscribers; or

(4) the defendant at the time of the commission of the offense is a pre-trial detainee at a penal institution or is serving a sentence at a penal institution; or

(5) the defendant at the time of the commission of the offense is a pre-trial detainee at a penal institution or is serving a sentence at a penal institution and uses any means of electronic communication as defined in the Harassing and Obscene Communications Act for fraud, theft, theft by deception, identity theft, or any other unlawful purpose.

(c) An offense under Section 16-19 is a Class 3 felony if:

(1) the defendant has been convicted previously on 2 or more occasions for offenses under Section 16-19 or for any similar crime in this or any federal or other state jurisdiction; or

(2) the violation of Section 16-19 involves more than 50 unlawful communication or access devices; or

(3) the defendant at the time of the commission of the offense is a pre-trial detainee at a penal institution or is serving a sentence at a penal institution and has been convicted previously of an offense under Section 16-19 committed by the defendant while serving as a pre-trial detainee in a penal institution or while serving a sentence at a penal institution; or

(4) the defendant at the time of the commission of the offense is a pre-trial detainee at a penal institution or is serving a sentence at a penal institution and has been convicted previously of an offense under Section 16-19 committed by the defendant while serving as a pre-trial detainee in a penal institution or while serving a sentence at a penal institution and uses any means of electronic communication as defined in the Harassing and Obscene Communications Act for fraud, theft, theft by deception, identity theft, or any other unlawful purpose.

(d) For purposes of grading an offense based upon a prior conviction under Section 16-19 or for any similar crime under subdivisions (b)(1) and (c)(1) of this Section, a prior conviction shall consist of convictions upon separate indictments or criminal complaints for offenses under Section 16-19 or any similar crime in this or any federal or other state jurisdiction.

(e) As provided for in subdivisions (b)(1) and (c)(1) of this Section, in grading an offense under Section 16-19 based upon a prior conviction, the term "any similar crime" shall include, but not be limited to, offenses involving theft of service or fraud, including violations of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-549, 98 Stat. 2779).

(f) Separate offenses. For purposes of all criminal penalties or fines established for violations of Section 16-19, the prohibited activity established in Section 16-19 as it applies to each unlawful communication or access device shall be deemed a separate offense.

(g) Fines. For purposes of imposing fines upon conviction of a defendant for an offense under Section 16-19, all fines shall be imposed in accordance with Article 9 of Chapter V of the Unified Code of Corrections.

(h) Restitution. The court shall, in addition to any other sentence authorized by law, sentence a person convicted of violating Section 16-19 to make restitution in the manner provided in Article 5 of Chapter V of the Unified Code of Corrections.

(i) Forfeiture of unlawful communication or access devices. Upon conviction of a defendant under Section 16-19, the court may, in addition to any other sentence authorized by law, direct that the defendant forfeit any unlawful communication or access devices in the defendant's possession or control which were involved in the violation for which the defendant was convicted.

(j) Venue. An offense under Section 16-19 may be deemed to have been committed at either the place where the defendant manufactured or assembled an unlawful communication or access device, or assisted others in doing so, or the place where the unlawful communication or access device was sold or delivered to a purchaser or recipient. It is not a defense to a violation of Section 16-19 that some of the acts constituting the offense occurred outside of the State of Illinois.

Sec. 16-21. Civil actions.

(a) Any person aggrieved by a violation of Section 16-19 may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) The court may:

(1) grant preliminary and final injunctions to prevent or restrain violations of Section 16-19 without a showing by the plaintiff of special damages, irreparable harm or inadequacy of other legal remedies;

(2) at any time while an action is pending, order the impounding, on such terms as it deems reasonable, of any unlawful communication or access device that is in the custody or control of the violator and that the court has reasonable cause to believe was involved in the alleged violation of Section 16-19;

(3) award damages as described in subsection (c);

(4) in its discretion, award reasonable attorney's fees and costs, including, but not limited to, costs for investigation, testing and expert witness fees, to an aggrieved party who prevails; and

(5) as part of a final judgment or decree finding a violation of Section 16-19, order the remedial modification or destruction of any unlawful communication or access device involved in the violation that is in the custody or control of the violator or has been impounded under subdivision (2) of this subsection (b).

(c) Types of damages recoverable. Damages awarded by a court under this Section shall be computed as either of the following:

(1) Upon his or her election of such damages at any time before final judgment is entered, the complaining party may recover the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the violation of Section 16-19 and any profits of the violator that are attributable to the violation and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages. In determining the violator's profits, the complaining party shall be required to prove only the violator's gross revenue, and the violator shall be required to prove his or her deductible expenses and the elements of profit attributable to factors other than the violation; or

(2) Upon election by the complaining party at any time before final judgment is entered, that party may recover in lieu of actual damages an award of statutory damages of not less than $250 and not more than $10,000 for each unlawful communication or access device involved in the action, with the amount of statutory damages to be determined by the court, as the court considers just. In any case, if the court finds that any of the violations of Section 16-19 were committed willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages by an amount of not more than $50,000 for each unlawful communication or access device involved in the action.

(d) For purposes of all civil remedies established for violations of Section 16-19, the prohibited activity established in this Section applies to each unlawful communication or access device and shall be deemed a separate violation.

Sec. 16-22. Tampering with a security, fire, or life safety system.

(a) A person commits the offense of tampering with a security, fire, or life safety system when he or she knowingly damages, sabotages, destroys, or causes a permanent or temporary malfunction in any physical or electronic security, fire, or life safety system or any component part of any of those systems including, but not limited to, card readers, magnetic stripe readers, Wiegand card readers, smart card readers, proximity card readers, digital keypads, keypad access controls, digital locks, electromagnetic locks, electric strikes, electronic exit hardware, exit alarm systems, delayed egress systems, biometric access control equipment, intrusion detection systems and sensors, burglar alarm systems, wireless burglar alarms, silent alarms, duress alarms, hold-up alarms, glass break detectors, motion detectors, seismic detectors, glass shock sensors, magnetic contacts, closed circuit television (CCTV), security cameras, digital cameras, dome cameras, covert cameras, spy cameras, hidden cameras, wireless cameras, network cameras, IP addressable cameras, CCTV camera lenses, video cassette recorders, CCTV monitors, CCTV consoles, CCTV housings and enclosures, CCTV pan-and-tilt devices, CCTV transmission and signal equipment, wireless video transmitters, wireless video receivers, radio frequency (RF) or microwave components, or both, infrared illuminators, video motion detectors, video recorders, time lapse CCTV recorders, digital video recorders (DVRs), digital image storage systems, video converters, video distribution amplifiers, video time-date generators, multiplexers, switchers, splitters, fire alarms, smoke alarm systems, smoke detectors, flame detectors, fire detection systems and sensors, fire sprinklers, fire suppression systems, fire extinguishing systems, public address systems, intercoms, emergency telephones, emergency call boxes, emergency pull stations, telephone entry systems, video entry equipment, annunciators, sirens, lights, sounders, control panels and components, and all associated computer hardware, computer software, control panels, wires, cables, connectors, electromechanical components, electronic modules, fiber optics, filters, passive components, and power sources including batteries and back-up power supplies.

(b) Sentence. A violation of this Section is a Class 4 felony.

ARTICLE 16A. RETAIL THEFT

Sec. 16A-1. Legislative declaration.) It is the public policy of this State that the substantial burden placed upon the economy of this State resulting from the rising incidence of retail theft is a matter of grave concern to the people of this State who have a right to be protected in their health, safety and welfare from the effects of this crime.

Sec. 16A-2. Definitions. For the purposes of this Article, the words and phrases defined in Section 16A-2.1 through 16A-2.11 have the meanings ascribed to them in those Sections unless a contrary meaning is clear from the context.

Sec. 16A-2.1. To "conceal" merchandise means that, although there may be some notice of its presence, that merchandise is not visible through ordinary observation.

Sec. 16A-2.2. "Full retail value" means the merchant's stated or advertised price of the merchandise. "Full retail value" includes the aggregate value of property obtained from retail thefts committed by the same person as part of a continuing course of conduct from one or more mercantile establishments in a single transaction or in separate transactions over a period of one year.

Sec. 16A-2.3. "Merchandise" means any item of tangible personal property.

Sec. 16A-2.4. "Merchant" means an owner or operator of any retail mercantile establishment or any agent, employee, lessee, consignee, officer, director, franchisee or independent contractor of such owner or operator.

Sec. 16A-2.5. "Minor" means a person who is less than 19 years of age, is unemancipated and resides with his parents or legal guardian.

Sec. 16A-2.6. "Person" means any natural person or individual.

Sec. 16A-2.7. "Peace officer" has the meaning ascribed to that term in Section 2-13 of this Code.

Sec. 16A-2.8. "Premises of a Retail Mercantile Establishment" includes, but is not limited to, the retail mercantile establishment; any common use areas in shopping centers and all parking areas set aside by a merchant or on behalf of a merchant for the parking of vehicles for the convenience of the patrons of such retail mercantile establishment.

Sec. 16A-2.9. "Retail Mercantile Establishment" means any place where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or offered for sale to the public.

Sec. 16A-2.10. "Shopping Cart" means those push carts of the type or types which are commonly provided by grocery stores, drug stores or other retail mercantile establishments for the use of the public in transporting commodities in stores and markets and, incidentally, from the stores to a place outside the store.

Sec. 16A-2.11. "Under-ring" means to cause the cash register or other sales recording device to reflect less than the full retail value of the merchandise.

Sec. 16A-2.12. "Theft detection shielding device" means any laminated or coated bag or device designed and intended to shield merchandise from detection by an electronic or magnetic theft alarm sensor.

Sec. 16A-2.13. "Theft detection device remover" means any tool or device specifically designed and intended to be used to remove any theft detection device from any merchandise.

Sec. 16A-2.14. Continuing course of conduct. "Continuing course of conduct" means a series of acts, and the accompanying mental state necessary for the crime in question, irrespective of whether the series of acts are continuous or intermittent.

Sec. 16A-3. Offense of Retail Theft.

A person commits the offense of retail theft when he or she knowingly:

(a) Takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise; or

(b) Alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or

(c) Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale, in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise; or

(d) Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise; or

(e) Removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such cart; or

(f) Represents to a merchant that he or another is the lawful owner of property, knowing that such representation is false, and conveys or attempts to convey that property to a merchant who is the owner of the property in exchange for money, merchandise credit or other property of the merchant; or

(g) Uses or possesses any theft detection shielding device or theft detection device remover with the intention of using such device to deprive the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment without paying the full retail value of such merchandise. A violation of this subsection shall be a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense; or

(h) Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner and thereby intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner, or if the lessee fails to pay the full retail value of such property to the lessor in satisfaction of any contractual provision requiring such, within 10 days after written demand from the owner for its return. A notice in writing, given after the expiration of the leasing agreement, by registered mail, to the lessee at the address given by the lessee and shown on the leasing agreement shall constitute proper demand.

Sec. 16A-3.5. Theft by emergency exit.

A person commits the offense of theft by emergency exit when he or she commits a retail theft as defined in Section 16A-3 and to facilitate the theft he or she leaves the retail mercantile establishment by use of a designated emergency exit.

Sec. 16A-4. Presumptions. If any person:

(a) conceals upon his or her person or among his or her belongings, unpurchased merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment; and

(b) removes that merchandise beyond the last known station for receiving payments for that merchandise in that retail mercantile establishment such person shall be presumed to have possessed, carried away or transferred such merchandise with the intention of retaining it or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise.

Sec. 16A-5. Detention.

Any merchant who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed retail theft may detain such person, on or off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time for all or any of the following purposes:

(a) To request identification;

(b) To verify such identification;

(c) To make reasonable inquiry as to whether such person has in his possession unpurchased merchandise and, to make reasonable investigation of the ownership of such merchandise;

(d) To inform a peace officer of the detention of the person and surrender that person to the custody of a peace officer;

(e) In the case of a minor, to immediately make a reasonable attempt to inform the parents, guardian or other private person interested in the welfare of that minor and, at the merchant's discretion, a peace officer, of this detention and to surrender custody of such minor to such person.

A merchant may make a detention as permitted herein off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment only if such detention is pursuant to an immediate pursuit of such person.

A merchant shall be deemed to have reasonable grounds to make a detention for the purposes of this Section if the merchant detains a person because such person has in his possession either a theft detection shielding device or a theft detection device remover.

Sec. 16A-6. Affirmative Defense.

A detention as permitted in this Article does not constitute an arrest or an unlawful restraint, as defined in Section 10-3 of this Code, nor shall it render the merchant liable to the person so detained.

Sec. 16A-7. Civil Liability.

(a) A person who commits the offense of retail theft as defined in Section 16A-3 paragraphs (a), (b), (c), or (h) of this Code, shall be civilly liable to the merchant of the merchandise in an amount consisting of:

(i) actual damages equal to the full retail value of the merchandise as defined herein; plus

(ii) an amount not less than $100 nor more than $1,000; plus

(iii) attorney's fees and court costs.

(b) If a minor commits the offense of retail theft, the parents or guardian of said minor shall be civilly liable as provided in this Section; provided, however that a guardian appointed pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 shall not be liable under this Section. Total recovery under this Section shall not exceed the maximum recovery permitted under Section 5 of the "Parental Responsibility Law", approved October 6, 1969, as now or hereafter amended.

(c) A conviction or a plea of guilty to the offense of retail theft is not a prerequisite to the bringing of a civil suit hereunder.

(d) Judgments arising under this Section may be assigned.

Sec. 16A-8. If any Section, clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Article is for any reason adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment will not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the Section, clause, sentence, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.

Sec. 16A-9. Continuation of prior law. The provisions of this Article insofar as they are the same or substantially the same as those of Article 16 of this Code shall be construed as a continuation of such Article 16 and not as a new enactment.

Sec. 16A-10. Sentence.

(1) Retail theft of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, is a Class A misdemeanor. Theft by emergency exit of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, is a Class 4 felony.

(2) A person who has been convicted of retail theft of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, and who has been previously convicted of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools or home invasion is guilty of a Class 4 felony. A person who has been convicted of theft by emergency exit of property, the full retail value of which does not exceed $300, and who has been previously convicted of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools or home invasion is guilty of a Class 3 felony. When a person has any such prior conviction, the information or indictment charging that person shall state such prior conviction so as to give notice of the State's intention to treat the charge of retail theft as a felony. The fact of such prior conviction is not an element of the offense and may not be disclosed to the jury during trial unless otherwise permitted by issues properly raised during such trial.

(3) Any retail theft of property, the full retail value of which exceeds $300 in a single transaction, or in separate transactions committed by the same person as part of a continuing course of conduct from one or more mercantile establishments over a period of one year, is a Class 3 felony. Theft by emergency exit of property, the full retail value of which exceeds $300 in a single transaction, or in separate transactions committed by the same person as part of a continuing course of conduct from one or more mercantile establishments over a period of one year, is a Class 2 felony. When a charge of retail theft of property or theft by emergency exit of property, the full value of which exceeds $300, is brought, the value of the property involved is an element of the offense to be resolved by the trier of fact as either exceeding or not exceeding $300.

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