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New Mexico Theft Laws
New Mexico Theft Laws

 

30-16-1. Larceny.

A.     Larceny consists of the stealing of anything of value that belongs to another.  

B.     Whoever commits larceny when the value of the property stolen is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or less is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.  

C.     Whoever commits larceny when the value of the property stolen is over two hundred fifty dollars ($250) but not more than five hundred dollars ($500) is guilty of a misdemeanor.  

D.     Whoever commits larceny when the value of the property stolen is over five hundred dollars ($500) but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) is guilty of a fourth degree felony.  

E.     Whoever commits larceny when the value of the property stolen is over two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) but not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a third degree felony.  

F.     Whoever commits larceny when the value of the property stolen is over twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a second degree felony. 

G.     Whoever commits larceny when the property of value stolen is livestock is guilty of a third degree felony regardless of its value.

H.     Whoever commits larceny when the property of value stolen is a firearm is guilty of a fourth degree felony when its value is less than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500).

30-16-19. [Shoplifting;] definitions

As used in Sections 40A-16-19 through 40A-16-23 [40A-16-22] New Mexico Statutes Annotated, 1953 Compilation [30-16-19 to 30-16-23 NMSA 1978]:   

A.     "store" means a place where merchandise is sold or offered to the public for sale at retail;  

B.     "merchandise" means chattels of any type or description regardless of the value offered for sale in or about a store; and 

C.     "merchant" means any owner or proprietor of any store, or any agent, servant or employee of the owner or proprietor.  

30-16-20. Shoplifting.

A.     Shoplifting consists of one or more of the following acts:

(1)     willfully taking possession of merchandise with the intention of converting it without paying for it;

(2)     willfully concealing merchandise with the intention of converting it without paying for it;

(3)     willfully altering a label, price tag or marking upon merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value of it; or 

(4)     willfully transferring merchandise from the container in or on which it is displayed to another container with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value of it.  

B.     Whoever commits shoplifting when the value of the merchandise shoplifted:

(1)     is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or less is guilty of a petty misdemeanor;  

(2)     is more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) but not more than five hundred dollars ($500) is guilty of a misdemeanor;

(3)     is more than five hundred dollars ($500) but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) is guilty of a fourth degree felony; 

(4)     is more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) but not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a third degree felony; or 

(5)     is more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a second degree felony. 

C.     An individual charged with a violation of this section shall not be charged with a separate or additional offense arising out of the same transaction.

30-16-21. Civil liability of adult shoplifter; penalty.

Any person who has reached the age of majority and who has been convicted of shoplifting under Section 30-16-20 NMSA 1978, may be civilly liable for the retail value of the merchandise, punitive damages of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), costs of the suit and reasonable attorney's fees. However, the merchant shall not be entitled to recover damages for the retail value of any recovered undamaged merchandise. 

 

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Disclaimer
Please note, the theft law information on this page is provided as a courtesy to help explain theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. There is no guarantee or assurance of reliability or validity. Laws change over time and this page may or may not be current. The code that is provided on this site is an unofficial posting of the State Codes. The files making up this Internet version of the State Codes do not constitute the official text of the State Codes and are intended for informational purposes only. No representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of these sections. While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the statutes available Offender Solutions™ shall not be liable or held responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in these files, they are provided on an "As Is" basis. Use of the information and services are at the sole risk of the user. For official versions of any state's current laws, the user is directed to that states Revised Statutes, all amendments and cumulative supplements thereto published by that state. Please notify the Webmaster if you find any irregularities in the statutes on this web site. The Webmaster will relay the information to appropriate staff to investigate the irregularities. The printed version of the State Codes should be consulted for all matters requiring reliance on the statutory text. If you were involved in a theft or shoplifting incident you are encouraged to consider taking a theft cloass, theft course or shoplifting education class such as the one provided by offender solutions. Research shows theft school and/or theft education can be an effective theft prevention. Offender Solutions™ is an online theft education, shoplifting education class about stealing, it can be very effective if you want to stop stealing. Evan it was a small theft, a petty theft class or petty theft school could be right for you!

 

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SHOPLIFTING  THEFT STEALING

Shoplifting is not a crime, it is a euphemism for the word stealing or theft, and theft is a crime. I'm not sure why our culture allowed the word "theft" to be different for someone who steals from a store, but the effect has been to minimize its seriousness in the mind of the shoplifter, our society and, interestingly, the police. It would seem logical for someone who is shoplifting to minimize the seriousness of this crime by calling it "shoplifting", but for the police to be swayed to this way of thinking is no less sacrilegious than for an American citizen to allow the euphemism, "casualty of war" to replace the word "death", minimizing the sacrifices of our Veterans.

The same point can be made of the term "petty theft". Doesn't the word "petty" conjure up notions of insignificance, unimportance and irrelevance? It almost appears the police and our society have fallen victim to a very successful propaganda campaign intending to minimize the seriousness of theft from a store by calling it "shoplifting". Actually, if you take time to think about it, whether the item is stolen from a store, your employer, or, has great or small value, it is still stealing. It is also a statement about the shoplifters character.

I don't work for a store or retailer and I do not spend my time trying to show retailers how to better protect themselves from shoplifting with cameras, mirrors, electronic tags, security personnel, etc. I spend my time helping theft offenders think through their actions, attitudes, values and beliefs. Working with most people who steal is not all that difficult. What I have discovered through theft offender counseling is that most theft offenders have relatively transparent thinking errors. For example, if you believed 2 + 3 equals 6 you would have a thinking error. Your thinking error would not readily be identified, (How often do you do math out loud or in front of someone, and, to take it even further, how many people are willing to confront you with your math error?). However, once this thinking error is identified, you would be quick to self correct.

There is also such a thing as a "cultural thinking error." One common cultural thinking error occurs when we minimize the impact of shoplifting by buying into the notion that if someone is "shoplifting", he must be a victim. Common cultural thinking errors are that theft offenders are victims of poverty, poor parenting, hunger, alcohol and drugs, ADHD, peer pressure, etc. The fact is, most people who steal from stores are none of the above and, all people who choose to steal from stores have options to stealing. Oh, kleptomania you say?

People who are shoplifting are not all that different from you and I. Simply stated, the primary differences include, 1) an overdose of selfishness, 2) a stronger than normal attraction to the forbidden, 3) thinking errors you and I don't have, and, most of all, 4) they don't self punish the thought of stealing.