If any law enforcement officer, special officer or merchant has probable cause for believing that a person has willfully taken possession of any merchandise with the intention of converting it without paying for it, or has willfully concealed merchandise, and that he can recover the merchandise by detaining the person or taking him into custody, the law enforcement officer, special officer or merchant may, for the purpose of attempting to affect [effect] a recovery of the merchandise, take the person into custody and detain him in a reasonable manner for a reasonable time. Such taking into custody or detention shall not subject the officer or merchant to any criminal or civil liability.   

Terms Used In New Mexico Statutes 30-16-23

  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
Any law enforcement officer may arrest without warrant any person he has probable cause for believing has committed the crime of shoplifting. Any merchant who causes such an arrest shall not be criminally or civilly liable if he has probable cause for believing the person so arrested has committed the crime of shoplifting.   

  History: 1953 Comp., § 40A-16-22, enacted by Laws 1965, ch. 5, § 4.