MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - More retail thieves would be charged with felonies in Wisconsin, under a bill making its way through the state Senate. The measure is designed to go after professional shoplifters who sell their stolen items for profit. It would be a felony to steal $1,500 worth of items at one time instead of the present $2,500.
Dave Storey of the Wisconsin Retail Council supports the bill, although he says other states would still have lower thresholds. He believes people are coming across the borders of neighboring states to steal, knowing the penalties are lower for the amounts they take. Tomah Police Chief Wes Revels says higher fines are only part of the solution – and he says greater public awareness of the problem is needed. His department recently dealt with two people who tried to steal $2,300 in merchandise from Walmart.