Sec. 14-63. Theft by shoplifting; penalty; photographic evidence.


(a) A person commits the crime of theft when he or she, with the intent of appropriating merchandise to his or her own use without paying for the same or to deprive the owner of possession of such property or its retail value, in whole or in part, does any of the following:


(1) Conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

(2) Alters the price tag or other price marking on goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment;

(3) Transfers the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment from one container to another;

(4) Interchanges the label or price tag from one item of merchandise with a label or price tag for another item of merchandise; or

(5) Causes the cash register or other sales recording device to reflect less than the retail price of the merchandise.


(b) A person guilty of a theft under this section shall be guilty of an offense and, upon conviction thereof, be punished as provided in section 14-52 of the Norfolk City Code.


(c) In any prosecution for theft by shoplifting, photographs of the shoplifted property may be accepted as prima facie evidence as to the identity of the property. Such photograph shall be accompanied by a written statement containing the following:


(1) A description of the property;

(2) The name of the owner or owners of the property;

(3) The time, date, and location where the shoplifting occurred;

(4) The time and date the photograph was taken;

(5) The name of the photographer; and

(6) Verification by the arresting officer.


The purpose of this subsection is to allow the owner or owners of shoplifted property the use of such property during pending criminal prosecutions.


Prior to allowing the use of the shoplifted property as provided in this section, legal counsel for the alleged shoplifter shall have a reasonable opportunity to inspect and appraise the property and may file a motion for retention of the property, which motion shall be granted if there is any reasonable basis for believing that the photographs and accompanying affidavit may be misleading.


Source:  Ord. No. 3241, 1, 8-20-84