Illinois Statutes Chapter 720. Criminal Offenses §-26.Detention;  affirmative defense

§ 16-26.  Detention;  affirmative defense.

(a) Detention.  Any merchant who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed retail theft may detain the person, on or off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time for all or any of the following purposes:

(1) To request identification;

(2) To verify such identification;

(3) To make reasonable inquiry as to whether such person has in his possession unpurchased merchandise and to make reasonable investigation of the ownership of such merchandise;

(4) To inform a peace officer of the detention of the person and surrender that person to the custody of a peace officer;

(5) In the case of a minor, to immediately make a reasonable attempt to inform the parents, guardian or other private person interested in the welfare of that minor and, at the merchant's discretion, a peace officer, of this detention and to surrender custody of such minor to such person.

A merchant may make a detention as permitted in this Section off the premises of a retail mercantile establishment only if such detention is pursuant to an immediate pursuit of such person.

A merchant shall be deemed to have reasonable grounds to make a detention for the purposes of this Section if the merchant detains a person because such person has in his or her possession either a theft detection shielding device or a theft detection device remover.

(b) Affirmative defense.  A detention as permitted in this Section does not constitute an arrest or an unlawful restraint, as defined in Section 10-3 of this Code, nor shall it render the merchant liable to the person so detained.

(c) For the purposes of this Section, “minor” means a person who is less than 19 years of age, is unemancipated, and resides with his or her parent or parents or legal guardian.


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