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      CCRP 215     


Art. 215.  Detention and arrest of shoplifters

A.(1)  A peace officer, merchant, or a specifically authorized employee or agent of a merchant, may use reasonable force to detain a person for questioning on the merchant's premises, for a length of time, not to exceed sixty minutes, unless it is reasonable under the circumstances that the person be detained longer, when he has reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed a theft of goods held for sale by the merchant, regardless of the actual value of the goods.  The merchant or his employee or agent may also detain such a person for arrest by a peace officer.  The detention shall not constitute an arrest.

(2)  A peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person when he has reasonable grounds to believe the person has committed a theft of goods held for sale by a merchant, regardless of the actual value of the goods.  A complaint made to a peace officer by a merchant or a merchant's employee or agent shall constitute reasonable cause for the officer making the arrest.

B.  If a merchant utilizes electronic devices which are designed to detect the unauthorized removal of marked merchandise from the store, and if sufficient notice has been posted to advise the patrons that such a device is being utilized, a signal from the device to the merchant or his employee or agent indicating the removal of specially marked merchandise shall constitute a sufficient basis for reasonable cause to detain the person.

C.  As used in this Article, "reasonable under the circumstances" shall be construed in such a manner so as to include the value of the merchandise in question, the location of the store, the length of time taken for law enforcement personnel to respond, the cooperation of the person detained, and any other relevant circumstances to be considered with respect to the length of time a person is detained.

Acts 1983, No. 187, §1; Acts 1987, No. 632, §1.

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