Different kinds of theft and laws regarding theft exist that are commensurate to the degree of theft committed. Shoplifting is a kind of theft that involves the taking of products from stores without the intention to pay. Thus, shoplifting law involves the rules, regulations, definition, and subsequent punishments of those who are found to be guilty of committing shoplifting.
Shoplifting law is a generally legal concept that provides for the foundation against theft in retail stores. Because many jurisdictions or areas have various retail rules and regulations, the shoplifting law in each area varies as well. However, the general idea of the shoplifting law as a response to theft in retail stores remains.
Shoplifting is usually seen as a petty or minor crime. Because of this perception, shoplifting does not necessarily carry with it a hefty punishment or fine. Shoplifting can be done in a number of ways. A person may shoplift merely by placing the store product into his or her pockets or bags. No matter what the method used, the general method of shoplifting involves the taking of the item from the store without payment. Shoplifters do their utmost to conceal the items they shoplift. Some areas do not refer to a theft without concealment as shoplifting, such as a person who walks out of a dressing room and out of the store wearing the clothes from the store.
It is also possible that in some areas, shoplifting may also include items that have already been paid for if price tags are switched in order for a person to pay for the less expensive price tag.