California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 490.4

(a) A person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of organized retail theft, and shall be punished pursuant to subdivision (b):

(1) Acts in concert with one or more persons to steal merchandise from one or more merchant's premises or online marketplace with the intent to sell, exchange, or return the merchandise for value.

(2) Acts in concert with two or more persons to receive, purchase, or possess merchandise described in paragraph (1), knowing or believing it to have been stolen.

(3) Acts as an agent of another individual or group of individuals to steal merchandise from one or more merchant's premises or online marketplaces as part of an organized plan to commit theft.

(4) Recruits, coordinates, organizes, supervises, directs, manages, or finances another to undertake any of the acts described in paragraph (1) or (2) or any other statute defining theft of merchandise.

(b) Organized retail theft is punishable as follows:

(1) If violations of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) are committed on two or more separate occasions within a 12-month period, and if the aggregated value of the merchandise stolen, received, purchased, or possessed within that 12-month period exceeds nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), the offense is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 .

(2) Any other violation of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) that is not described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.

(3) A violation of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 .

(c) For the purpose of determining whether the defendant acted in concert with another person or persons in any proceeding, the trier of fact may consider any competent evidence, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) The defendant has previously acted in concert with another person or persons in committing acts constituting theft, or any related offense, including any conduct that occurred in counties other than the county of the current offense, if relevant to demonstrate a fact other than the defendant's disposition to commit the act.

(2) That the defendant used or possessed an artifice, instrument, container, device, or other article capable of facilitating the removal of merchandise from a retail establishment without paying the purchase price and use of the artifice, instrument, container, or device or other article is part of an organized plan to commit theft.

(3) The property involved in the offense is of a type or quantity that would not normally be purchased for personal use or consumption and the property is intended for resale.

(d) In a prosecution under this section, the prosecutor shall not be required to charge any other coparticipant of the organized retail theft.

(e) Upon conviction of an offense under this section, the court shall consider ordering, as a condition of probation, that the defendant stay away from retail establishments with a reasonable nexus to the crime committed.

(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed.


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