BOSTON (AP) _ Massachusetts may soon fall in line with the majority of U.S. states that have changed their approach to prosecuting theft in recent years, by increasing the dollar threshold for which larceny is considered a felony.

Under current state law, stealing property valued at more than $250 is considered a felony and can result in prison time. Larceny of $250 or less is considered a misdemeanor.

Only two U.S. states, Virginia and New Jersey, have a lower felony larceny threshold than Massachusetts and more than 30 states set thresholds at $1,000 or higher.

Advocates for raising the threshold say felony convictions can remain on a person's record for years and make it difficult for people to get jobs and turn their lives around.

Retailers say too high a threshold encourages more theft.

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