16.24 RETAIL THEFT.

(1)    DEFINITIONS.

(a)    “Merchant includes any merchant as defined in section 402.104(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes, or subsequent amendments to said statute, or any innkeeper, motelkeeper or hotelkeeper.

(b)    “Value of Merchandise means:

1.    For property of the merchant, the value of the property.

2.    For merchandise held for resale, the merchant’s stated price of the merchandise or, in the event of altering, transferring or removing a price marking or causing a cash register or other sales device to reflect less than the merchant’s stated price, the difference between the merchant’s stated price of the merchandise and the altered price.

(2)    ALTERATION OF PRICE PROHIBITED. No person shall intentionally alters indicia of price or value of merchandise or who takes and carries away, transfers, conceals or retains possession of merchandise held for resale by a merchant or property of the merchant without his or her consent and with intent to deprive the merchant permanently of possession, or the full purchase price of the merchandise, may be penalized as provided in the State Bond Schedule.

(3)    CONCEALMENT PROHIBITED. No person shall intentional concealment of unpurchased merchandise which continues from one floor to another or beyond the last stations for receiving payments in a merchant’s store is evidence of intent to deprive the merchant permanently of possession of such merchandise without paying the purchase price thereof. The discovery of unpurchased merchandise concealed upon the person or among the belongings of such person or concealed by a person upon the person or among the belongings of another is evidence of intentional concealment on the part of the person so concealing such good.

(4)    PROBABLE CAUSE TO DETAIN SUSPECTS. A merchant or merchant’s adult employee who has probable cause for believing that a person has violated this section in his or her presence may detain the person in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length or time to deliver the person to a peace officer, or to his or her parent or guardian in the case of a minor. The detained person must be promptly informed of the purpose for the detention and be permitted to make phone calls, but he or she shall not be interrogated or searched against his or her will before the arrival of a peace officer who may conduct a lawful interrogation of the accused person. Any merchant or merchant’s adult employee who acts in good faith in any act authorized under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability for those acts.

(5)    EVIDENCE. In any action or proceeding for violation of this section, duly identified and authenticated photographs of merchandise which was the subject of the violation may be used as evidence in lieu of producing the merchandise.

(6)    REMOVAL OF SHOPPING CARTS. No person shall intentionally remove a shopping cart or stroller from either the shopping area or a parking area adjacent to the shopping area to another place without authorization of the owner or person in charge.