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Broadly speaking, shoplifting is a term that refers to stealing from a shop, store, or other retail establishment, usually by a patron or customer.

In most states in the United States, shoplifting is a misdemeanor crime of petty larceny when specifically committed against a retail establishment by a patron. The law does not distinguish between shoplifting and other forms of petty larceny, although a judge may consider the context of any crime in sentencing.

In some jurisdictions of the United States, certain egregious instances of shoplifitng involving large dollar amounts of merchandise and/or a high degree of criminal sophistication may be prosecuted and punished as burglary.