The Illinois ILCS Theft statute describes various forms of theft that take on various classifications. The basic section defining a theft is found below:

720 ILCS 5/16-1. Theft

“(a) A person commits theft when he or she knowingly:
       (1) Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner; or
       (2) Obtains by deception control over property of the owner; or
       (3) Obtains by threat control over property of the owner; or
       (4) Obtains control over stolen property knowing the property to have been stolen or under such circumstances as would reasonably induce him or her to believe that the property was stolen;…” – 720 ILCS 5/16-1(a).

Theft Classification In Illinois By Value

The classification or seriousness of the offense of theft in Illinois is determined by the value of the item. See the chart below:

Class Value Section
A Misdemeanor under $500 16-1(b)(1)
3 Felony $500-$10,000 16-1(b)(4)
2 Felony $10,000-$100,000 16-1(b)(5)
1 Felony $100,000-$500,000 16-1(b)(6)
1 Felony (no prob.) $500,000-$1 million 16-1(b)(6.2)
X Felony over $1 million 16-1(b)(6.3)

Other Theft Classification Provisions

Under special circumstances or conditions a charge of theft in Illinois may be classified as a more serious felony than listed above. See the chart below to see how some theft charges may be classified higher:

Class Condition Section
4 Felony under $500 (school, church or government property) 16-1(b)(1.1)
4 Felony under $500 (prior theft related conviction) 16-1(b)(2)
3 Felony under $500 (from the person) 16-1(b)(4)
2 Felony under $500 (from the person in a school, church or government property) 16-1(b)(4.1)
2 Felony $500-$10,000 (in a school, church or government property) 16-1(b)(4.1)
2 Felony over $5,000 by deception of person 60 years or with a disability 16-1(b)(7)
1 Felony $10,000-$100,000 (a school, church or government property) 16-1(b)(5.1)
X Felony over $100,000 (in a school, church or government property) 16-1(b)(6.1)

Learn More About The Illinois Felony Classifications

The Illinois Complied Statutes on Retail Theft or the ILCS Retail Theft section describes various forms of retail theft in Illinois. See The chart below for a quick summary:

Kind of Retail Theft Section In The Code
Carries Away 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(1)
Label Swap 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(2)
Container Swap 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(3)
Under-ringing 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(4)
Shopping cart removal 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(5)
Falsely Claiming Ownership 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(6)
Use of Theft Detection Shield 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(7)
Fail To Return 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(8)
Emergency Exit 720 ILCS 5/16-25(b)

Each Kind of Retail Theft in Illinois Is Described Below…

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a) says “A person commits retail theft when he or she knowingly:

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(1) – Carries Away

Takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(1)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(2) – Label Swap

Alters, transfers, or removes any label, price tag, marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such merchandise at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(2)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(3) – Container Swap

Transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment from the container in or on which such merchandise is displayed to any other container with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(3)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(4) – Under-ringing

Under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(4)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(5) – Shopping Cart Removal

Removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such cart – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(4)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(6) – Falsely Claiming Ownership

Represents to a merchant that he, she, or another is the lawful owner of property, knowing that such representation is false, and conveys or attempts to convey that property to a merchant who is the owner of the property in exchange for money, merchandise credit or other property of the merchant – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(6)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(7) – Use of Theft Detection Shield

Uses or possesses any theft detection shielding device or theft detection device remover with the intention of using such device to deprive the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment without paying the full retail value of such merchandise – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(7)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(8) – Fail To Return

Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner and thereby intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property when a lessee of the personal property of another fails to return it to the owner, or if the lessee fails to pay the full retail value of such property to the lessor in satisfaction of any contractual provision requiring such, within 10 days after written demand from the owner for its return. A notice in writing, given after the expiration of the leasing agreement, by registered mail, to the lessee at the address given by the lessee and shown on the leasing agreement shall constitute proper demand. – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(8)

720 ILCS 5/16-25(b) – Emergency Exit

Theft by emergency exit. A person commits theft by emergency exit when he or she commits a retail theft as defined in subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(8) of this Section and to facilitate the theft he or she leaves the retail mercantile establishment by use of a designated emergency exit. – 720 ILCS 5/16-25(b)