Recently, a case before an Arizona court of appeals looked at the question of whether shoplifting and theft should be classified as two separate convictions or as the same conviction. In the June 2023 case, the defendant was originally arrested and charged after he stole water bottles from a grocery store, and he was convicted of both shoplifting and theft as a result. After being sentenced heavily based on the two convictions, the defendant appealed; looking over the record, the court ultimately agreed with the defendant’s argument and modified his sentence to reflect that he was guilty of one conviction instead of two.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was at Safeway one afternoon when he took two cases of water bottles that were on display outside the store. Several store employees saw the defendant putting the cases in his car, and they yelled at him to put them back immediately. The defendant replied that he had a gun, and he proceeded to the car despite the employees’ protests.
The employees called the police, and several officers arrived on the scene immediately. The defendant was charged with shoplifting and theft, and his case went to trial. A jury unanimously found him guilty of both offenses, and he was sentenced to significant time in prison as a result.