Legislation that would toughen the penalties for some shoplifters is headed to the Pennsylvania Senate after a vote of approval Wednesday in the House of Representatives.
Under House Bill 1000, retail theft would become a third-degree felony when the value of the stolen merchandise is $1,000 or more. A third-degree felony conviction carries a maximum penalty of up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Under current law, retail theft of more than $150 up to $2,000 is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to five years in prison.
The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), who said Pennsylvania is one of the most lenient states in the country in addressing organized retail theft.