Senate Bill No. 473
(By Senators Hunter and Minear)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported March 25, 2005.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §61-3A-1 and §61-3A-6 of the Code of
West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to the crime of
cyber-shoplifting; including in the definition of
"shoplifting" customer's repudiation of a card-not-present
credit or debit transaction after having taken delivery of
merchandise ordered from the merchant; and defining "card-not-
present credit or "debit transaction" to mean a credit or
debit sale of merchandise by telephone, mail order, internet
or other means that does not require the cardholder's
signature or physical presentation of the credit or debit card
to the merchant.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-3A-1 and §61-3A-6 the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as
amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3A. SHOPLIFTING.
§61-3A-1. Shoplifting defined.
(a) A person commits the offense of shoplifting if, with
intent to appropriate merchandise without paying the merchant's
stated price for the merchandise, such person, alone or in concert
with another person, knowingly:
(1) Conceals the merchandise upon his or her person or in
another manner; or
(2) Removes or causes the removal of merchandise from the
mercantile establishment or beyond the last station for payment; or
(3) Alters, transfers or removes any price marking affixed to
the merchandise; or
(4) Transfers the merchandise from one container to another;
(5) Causes the cash register or other sales recording device
to reflect less than the merchant's stated price for the
(6) Removes a shopping cart from the premises of the
mercantile establishment; or
(7) Repudiates a card-not-present credit or debit transaction
after having taken delivery of merchandise ordered from the
merchant and does not return the merchandise or attempt to make
other arrangements with the vendor.
(b) A person also commits the offense of shoplifting if such
person, alone or in concert with another person, knowingly and with intent obtains an exchange or refund or attempts to obtain an
exchange or refund for merchandise which has not been purchased
from the mercantile establishment.
(a) "Card-not-present credit or debit transaction" means a
credit or debit sale of merchandise by telephone, mail order,
internet or other means that does not require the cardholder's
signature or physical presentation of the credit or debit card to
"Conceal" means to hide, hold or carry merchandise so
that, although there may be some notice of its presence, it is not
visible through ordinary observation.
"Merchant" means an owner or operator of any
mercantile establishment and includes the merchant's employees,
servants, security agents or other agents.
"Mercantile establishment" means any place where
merchandise is displayed, held or offered for sale, either at
retail or wholesale. "Mercantile establishment" does not include
adjoining parking lots or adjoining areas of common use with other
"Merchandise" means any goods, foodstuffs, wares or
personal property, or any part or portion thereof of any type or
description displayed, held or offered for sale, or a shopping
"Value of the merchandise" means 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 retail value of the
merchandise, as defined in section one of this article, the
difference between the merchant's stated price of the merchandise
and the altered price.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the criminal
offense of "cyber-shoplifting".
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would