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Jacksonville Businesses Say Shoplifting Crimes on the Increase

People are shoplifting more at Jacksonville, Florida businesses these days, according to an article on Firstcoastnews.com. These businesses are fighting back by placing better security systems in their stores including color cameras to detect people stealing in their stores. Years before, it was fairly rare to see a shoplifting case with good, color security photos that could actually be used to identify the shoplifter. Oftentimes, companies had security cameras with grainy, black and white photos that made it difficult to identify anyone. These cameras were often focused on employees and would not capture any shoplifting or other criminal activity committed by others. As technology has become better and crime has become more prevalent in Jacksonville, companies have moved towards using better security systems that are more capable of preventing shoplifting and other thefts or at least identifying the offender when theft occurs.

In Florida, the crime of shoplifting can be a fairly minor crime or quite serious depending on the value of what is stolen. There is actually no crime called shoplifting in the Florida statutes, although that is a common colloquial term for theft in retail stores. The crime of theft is a misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is less than $300. Misdemeanors can carry a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail. However, if the value of the property stolen is $300 or more, the theft crime becomes a felony. If the value of the property is high enough or other aggravating facotrs exist, the theft can be considered grand theft and can be a first degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.