A number of years ago the State of Kansas made some changes to the theft statute that people may not be aware of. The changes made it possible to charge suspects with felony theft if they steal from three separate mercantile establishments in a 72-hour time period, regardless of the amount of loss. Also, a theft following two previous convictions can be charged as a felony under the revised statute. Again, this is regardless of the amount of loss. These changes were intended to help combat shoplifting.
We recently had an example of this. On December 6, 2011 four females were taken into custody for suspicion of theft at a popular Overland Park shopping destination. As officers investigated, they developed probable cause to believe the four took items from more than three stores within a 72-hour period.
The four women, all aged 18 or 19, were arrested and transported to the Johnson County Jail to await formal charges.
This case is a good example of the effort our officers put forth to implement the statute changes and actively prosecute shoplifting cases.
Kansas Theft Statute