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The 10 Most Common Questions Asked About Shoplifting

Updated on December 30, 2016
rockinjoe profile image

I spent 16 years in retail loss prevention and I am Wicklander- Zulawski certified to interview dishonest retail employees.

Would you watch her in your store?
Would you watch her in your store?

Shoplifters Have Questions

Apprehending shoplifters is an exciting field (ok, it used to be an exciting field) and I enjoyed the 16 years I spent in the loss prevention business. Although I left the field in 2009 to pursue self-employment, I still take an active interest in retail loss prevention and shoplifting and I read up on the latest trends and news and keep in touch with friends in the business.

Here are the top ten questions I've received concerning shoplifting.

(In the comments section at the bottom of this article, you'll be able to browse the many other questions I get asked about shoplifting, loss prevention, and internal retail theft.)

1. I was caught shoplifting at Kmart and they want me to pay a civil fine. What's this all about?

In some states, stores who lose merchandise to shoplifters have instituted a civil fine to help defray the costs of loss prevention operations, lost merchandise, etc. The average civil recovery fee in the United States is $250. The store (or chain) usually partners up with a law firm or collection service and splits the fee down the middle.

This fee will apply whether you have been arrested or not. The recovery people are relentless in pursuing this fee.

2. Can a store detective physically detain me?

Most of the big US chains have policies in place that prevent loss prevention agents from laying their hands on you (or chasing you, should you choose to run). These policies were created (supposedly) for the safety of the employees and customers, but is definitely a smokescreen to avoid lawsuits should a party get injured (or killed) during an apprehension.

If you are physically detained by management, store, or loss prevention employees, or pursued by store employees outside the company boundaries, you may want to discuss this with your attorney to discover if the stop was within company policy. Just because the law in your area may state that a merchant (or employees of the chain) can physically detain you, that doesn't mean that the store allows their employees to do so.

You can also be assured that if you choose to run (or walk away), the store will notify the police department and you will most likely be arrested.

3. How do I know if the store's loss prevention department will send me to jail?

You don't. The decision to prosecute depends on the store's policy, your actions during the apprehension, the dollar amount of the merchandise stolen, and the local police department's policy on misdemeanor shoplifting.

Some stores have a set policy on prosecuting cases. For example, if you steal $20 worth of merchandise at Kmart, you're taking a ride to the police station. The decision has already been made and there is usually nothing you can say or do to prevent it. Exceptions are rarely made.

I worked in a very high crime city for a large retail chain, where the local police asked us not to call them for anything under the amount of $250. Sticking a DVD in your pocket is a low level crime as far as the police department is concerned. They've got better things to do than bring you down to the police station to spend a couple of hours with you. A good LP department will work with the police department, no matter what the store's policy says.

Some police departments will just cite you and write you a ticket to appear in court on the charge. It all depends on your location.

Other reasons the store may call the police:

  1. You try to run away.
  2. You fight with or interact physically with loss prevention personnel, store management, or customers.
  3. You don't carry proper ID with you.
  4. You've been caught once before (or more).
  5. They suspect you've been stealing from the store for awhile and have not been caught until now.

4. I know I'm being followed, but I have already concealed merchandise in my jacket pocket. What should I do?

Get rid of it. Put it on a shelf and leave the store. It's called dumping the merchandise. No merchandise? No shoplifting.

Don't let the store detective/loss prevention people tell you concealment makes a case for shoplifting. It doesn't. Although there are some concealment laws on the books (depending on where you live), the big chains don't allow their employees to apprehend on concealment of merchandise. It's embarrassing to dump your concealed goods in front of an LP and exit the store, but it's 100 times more embarrassing to be arrested for shoplifting.

5. The LP claims they have me on video stealing. Don't they have to let me see the tape?

No. 99.9% of loss prevention detectives will not let you see video of your apprehension, although the police may want to see it (and usually do) if it is available. Sometimes they'll take a copy with them for evidence.

Most companies prohibit their employees from releasing video evidence to anyone, for any reason, without a release form approved by LP higher-ups. These tapes sometimes end up on the internet and increase liability for the store.

6. I was stopped outside and accused of shoplifting, but did not have any merchandise on me. They made a mistake. What should I do?

Fact: 1 out of 4 Customers are Shoplifting Right Now
Fact: 1 out of 4 Customers are Shoplifting Right Now | Source

If you were stopped by an agent of the store, accused of theft, and did not have any merchandise on you, the employee(s) made something known in the business as a "bad stop." If this happens to you, please make mental notes of the following:

  1. What were you accused of taking?
  2. Were you touched in any way during the detainment?
  3. How many store employees/customers were present in the area?

You should ask for the person's name and position. You should also ask to speak with the store manager and ask for relevant phone numbers for LP and operational executives in the store. Don't say too much. Just explain the situation and be on your way, then contact an attorney as soon as possible to find out if your rights were infringed upon. Nine times out of ten, the store will attempt an out-of-court settlement. Sometimes it will be as simple as offering you an apology and a gift certificate. Talk to your lawyer before accepting any form of compensation.

7. I was 8 months pregnant and stopped for stealing a can of baby formula. Can Loss Prevention detain a pregnant woman?

Of course. An LP agent is expected to use discretion and store policy when it comes to making an apprehension. If you become sick or feel the need for medical treatment, ask the LP to call 911 immediately. The store doesn't want you to become ill or jeopardize your pregnancy, either.

Usually, senior citizens 70 and older and children younger than 7 are exempt from being detained by loss prevention. (This rule can vary by a few years, depending on your location).

8. I stole a small bottle of perfume from a package that contained three bottles. The store charged me the price for all three. How is this fair?

If you open a package, steal something from it, and leave the remainder, the store can no longer sell the package as one item, so they charge you the retail price of the one item as if you had stolen all three bottles.

9. I was arrested for getting a discount on a DVD player from my girlfriend who is a cashier at the store. Why wasn't she the one to get arrested?

You can rest assured that your girlfriend will most likely suffer the same fate as you. Under-ringing (or sweethearting, as it sometimes called) has been around forever. Most companies have strict rules against an employee ringing up a family member, spouse, or friend. That infraction alone could get your girlfriend terminated, but since the store had you prosecuted, you can bet they want to interview your girlfriend for an admission to this crime and others she may have committed in the past. If the store has enough evidence against her, she could be arrested and charged.

10. I dared my friend to steal some makeup. I handed her what I wanted and she took 2 items for herself. Why was I arrested, too?

Because even if you are not in possession of the stolen items, you took an active part in the shoplifting. You are being charged as an accomplice. Most stores will not charge another person who happens to be with the shoplifter when they steal unless they take an active part in the crime. You physically handed the merchandise to your friend, making you an accessory.

A Walmart Shoplifting Apprehension Gone Wrong

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Disclaimer

Please be advised: I am not an attorney and I do not dispense legal advice. All I can offer you is my professional opinion, based on what you tell me. If you've been caught shoplifting, please consult a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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  • newblender profile image

    newblender 5 years ago from Milwaukee

    Is it true that you can not be prosecuted for stealing deli meat? My uncle told me this, but he is in prison for stealing a live chicken from KFC.

  • The Scary Truth profile image

    The Scary Truth 5 years ago

    seriously? For how long?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi newblender,

    Sure you can be prosecuted for stealing deli meat. Providing it's packaged and priced.

    For example, I get a pound of ham from the deli and it's tagged $6.49. I place it inside my pocket and leave the store. I can be charged with shoplifting.

    Are you talking about someone who works there all day and is helping themselves to the goodies? A slice of cheese here, and a slice or two of capicola there? That's another story. It's difficult to place a price on unpackaged foods, eaten by employees. Every time I've come across that situation, the person with the eating problem would find themselves getting less and less hours and would eventually quit.

    The third scenario is the free samples a deli person hands you at the counter to see if you like the product, or if you like the way it is cut. (thin, thicker, etc.)

    A good deli person will also provide samples for your kids or other people shopping with you. And no, there is no way you could be caught shoplifting for samples.

    I still want to hear more about the chicken, though! :)

  • Paranoid 5 years ago

    Hey rockinjoe,

    So 3 days ago i drove me and a couple friends to a local gas station. He decided to take 2 candy bars and pay for a muffin. As he was checking out me and a friend notices an employee staring at us and he stepped out of his spot and just stood by the door. We walked out and the kid that took the candy bars came behind us. We got into the car and drove off, being scared. Our other friend was still in there so we went to get him and he said that they told him to tell us that next time they will be watching us. Can they get my license plate and convict me? Will the police be calling my house or knocking on my door? Im so scared !!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Paranoid....I wouldn't be concerned over a couple of candy bars. It's nothing you'll see the cops investigating, as I'm sure they're busy with real crime-and eating donuts and stuff of that nature.

    Had your friend been caught, you wouldn't have been in any trouble, anyway.

  • Paranoid 5 years ago

    Im really scared and i know i need to reconsider who i hang out with. But can i honestly rest assured that im safe? That they didn't track down my license plate and call the cops? Im pretty sure they have all of our faces on camera. The employees told my friend that to tell us that next time they will be watching us. My friend also said that after we left the employee raised up a candy bar and said to the cashier " this is what they stole". Im seriously scared and im not the kind of person to go around doing these kind of things. The guilt is eating me =(

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Paranoid. Consider yourself safe. No one is going to come after you for a candy bar theft-especially when you weren't the one who stole the items. The police aren't going to trace your plates to look for your friend. The theft was under $5.00. If you feel guilty about it, get your friend to donate a few bucks and buy a meal for a homeless person or a Christmas gift for a kid whose parents can't afford one.

  • corneliusgrey profile image

    corneliusgrey 5 years ago from UK

    well said rockingjoe.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks, corneliusgrey. I appreciate the comment.

  • Upset and Angry 5 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe,

    I would like to get your opinion. Yesterday I was at Albertson's grocery store when I was accused of shoplifting! I couldn't believe it! I had a handbasket filled and my reusable shopping bag on my shoulder along with my purse. I ran out of room and the handbasket and used my shopping bag to hold more items. This was also convenient because I had to make purchases on two separate credit cards. I use my reusable bag to hold items when shopping all the time there. I made no attempts to hide it, In fact I had nothing to hide, Even talking to a few employees while putting stuff in the bag. When I was done I went to the self checkout line that I always use and purchased the items in the handbasket using my husbands debit card. All the while an employee was helping me because the self checkout machine was not cooperating laying very light items. During this time I have my credit card's in my pocket and my purse, my oversized entirely too large purse on my right shoulder as well as the reusable shopping bag. The way they were positioned I could not see the shopping bag. I have degenerative disc disease and multiple sclerosis. This makes it impossible for me to turn my head very far in any direction. Unfortunately the multiple sclerosis also has damaged some brain function. It sounds kind of funny but it is a very annoying. It has severely inhibited my short term memory and the medications I have to take for the degenerative disc disease exacerbate this condition. While the employee was helping me check out the handbasket I kept saying I feel like I'm forgetting something. I very often have that feeling because I usually am forgetting something. I was an extremely sharp driven girl (valedictorian in college and everything) who is reduced to being a space cadet. I would think that the gentleman helping me at self checkout would mention oh what about your bag or something when he clearly saw me put items and it. After completing check out and paying for the items in the handbasket I went towards the door leaving all my purchases there with my purse and reusable bag on my shoulder still and grabbed a small cart to help me get the things to my car. I went back put the bags in the cart and said again "I feel like I'm forgetting something" standing at the the self check out the employee 5 feet away at customer service said excuse me can I see that bag I said sure and pushed the cart towards him not knowing which bag he was referring to so I brought them all. He pointed to my parents and I started to take it off my shoulder to give it to him and saw the reusable shopping bag. I said crap I almost forgot I have to get these on the other credit card. I started to walk towards self check out again and he stopped me took my shopping bag out of my hand and brought it to the computer that employees help self check out customers with. He called another employee over and she started scanning the items in. While she was doing that I noticed a few items that I had gotten too many of and told her well I don't need two of those or that one but I need everything house. She finished scanning everything and I held out my credit card to which she shrugged and pointed to the gentleman. He was on his cell phone and I was unaware of what was going on. He came over and accused me of stealing the items in the bag. I absolutely did not steal these I was trying her to pay for them. He then asked to see my purse which I gave him and he said what are those? I had to video games in my purse. I bought them at target a few days before along with other items for my son for Christmas and my husband left these games in his car that I used to get to the grocery store. I put them in my purse so my children would not see them next time they got in. He accused me of stealing them from the grocery store I said absolutely not, I bought peas at target, you don't even sell these here! He tried to confiscate them. I would not let him have them because I paid for them and have been with me when I came in the store. I asked him what was going on and he asked me to wait a minute. Then he asked for ID which unfortunately I had left at home. I am a space cadet after all. Then I said I have to go I have to feed my children dinner and this is taking too long then he informs me that the police were coming so I waited for a few more minutes because I had nothing to hide I haven't stolen anything. It was taking longer than expected so I told the grocery store employees here is my number you can have them come to my house if they would like but I have to go. I walked out to my car with the items I had already purchased when the police who showed up and blocked me and my parking space. The first officer asked me what happened and I explained to him he was very kind and said I understand these things happen. The second officer came and he spoke to the store workers. After several more minutes he came back and was an incredibly horrid to me. He accused me of trying to steal the items in my bag and would not listen to anything I had to say. He had not once interviewed me or talked to me the other officer had. He and forms me that I was extremely lucky because the store worker was not going to place me under citizens arrest. Apparently because I had walked past the cash register in the store I had unofficially stolen the items in the bag. The only reason I walked past the cash register was because the employee asked me to come over there when he said can I see your bag. At that point I was still standing there with my cart with a feeling of foreboding that I had forgotten something importuned that I needed to get. I was taking a moment to try to remember what it was. I never walked out of the store, never even attempted it with any items that were not paid for. I am there all the time I have made friends with a few of the employees there and I am appalled that now That I'm no longer allowed on the premises let alone shop in the store. I am so upset and angry, I cried for so many hours. I have never, not once, been in trouble for anything. I am the kind of person that goes overboard and does you way too much for people, that is to kind and tends to get taken advantage of. I feel completely railroaded! Worst of all this jerk of a cop was so mean to me and tells me to shut up he doesn't want to hear it, Tells me that either he or the store employee are going to send my information out to all the stores in the area. can they do that? I had not taken anything! Can they send my info to all the stores accusing me of being a shoplifter when I didn't take anything? I am guilty of being forgetful, that's it. I am mortified that I would be labeled as a thief add to any and all shops in my area. I had nightmare after nightmare last night waking up crying tears several times. I don't know what to do. my husband suggested calling a lawyer and filing suit with them. I don't want to have to go through that but I also don't want my name dragged you through the mud. Any suggestions?

    Thank you so much for your time and I am very interested to hear your thoughts on the situation. I apologize for the lengthy nature of this post. Thanks again and best wishes to you and your family. Yours truly, upset and angry

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Upset and Angry-I used to work for a chain of supermarkets owned by Albertson's, so if everything you stated was the truth, I wouldn't be too surprised that this happened to you there.

    If I read this correctly, you were not stopped outside of the store, but just after the cash register? Call a lawyer and check the apprehension policy at Albertson's. When I was with them a few years back, we made all apprehensions outside. No exceptions. I would also check into the employee looking through your pocketbook and accuse you of stealing the video games. He should never have gone through your bag. LP aren't cops. And to accuse you without seeing you conceal them, is a no no.

    Seriously....call a lawyer.

  • Upset and Angry 5 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe,

    Thank you for your response, it made me feel a little better. You give good advice. I'm still surprised at how much this is affecting me between the jerk-off Albertson's employee and the absolutely horrid cop,(I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for local law enforcement!!!) I still cry every time I think about it. I am definitely calling a layer!

    I'm still trying to find out if what the cop said was true. Can they send my info to all the stores in the area? I would be mortified!

    Thanks again for all your help! Rockin' Joe, you ROCK!

    Ever Grateful, Upset and Angry

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks Upset and Angry! You equally rock! I hope you are compensated for this incident. To be accused of something while knowing you are innocent can be traumatic.

    Try not to let one jerk cop ruin your perception of the police. Over the years, I've worked with a bunch of really great cops. I've also worked with my share of jerks in uniform. Every profession has their share of good and bad employees and cops are no exception.

    Sure the stores can share your info. Either officially or not. There's nothing preventing one LP from calling another and telling anyone your name, address, details about the stop, etc. I wouldn't worry about that in your case. The supermarket appears to be at fault here. If I were the person who stopped you, I don't think I'd even discuss this with anyone.

  • 101 G love 5 years ago

    One of my friends told me he stole 2 T-shirts and Guess jeans from a local clothing store ... Went into the fitting room and he broke of the security tags and put the cloths in to a other store shopping bag that the security of the clothing store closed with a stapler but he opened it and put the cloths that he wanted to take in it and staple it closed a gen but he didn't get rid of the tags and he then he went out the store but the security person went in the clothing room after he was there ... He does not know if the security persons got anything but he got away with it but he is scared they see him on camera and call the police and catch and arrest him and if he return to the store a gen and then arrest him? .... I did not know how to answer him ?..but I believe he learned a he's lesion... Must he be afraid that he can stile be caught ???

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I believe that any store that allows you to take a bag inside a fitting room (and has no attendant at that room) is asking for their merchandise to be stolen In the "old days" there were full-time attendants in these areas. Not anymore-and both shoppers and merchants are paying the price.

    Even if the cops were called the next time your friend enters the store, what are they going to tell the police? We think this guy stole some clothing from us last time and he may do it again? I don't know a cop on this earth who would answer that call.

  • SanXuary 5 years ago

    The number of people who shop lift is amazing. Seven out of every ten shop lifters is a minor and one out of every four kids in a class room is likely to shop lift at-least once. Most shop lifters give themselves away and the first time stupid me rule, and second time stupid you rule is why you most likely got caught. Reviewing surveillance, finding a shortage and the clerk who thought he should have trusted his instincts at the time seldom forgets your face if you our dumb enough to show your face in the store later. The number of cons and tactics these people try is also amazing. Getting caught is seldom worth some cheap or petty item. Getting caught is embarrassing, the store gets to keep the merchandise and charge you for it, you get a fine and will be banned from the property. If all these stores rent from one property manager, you can be banned from all of them. Some stores will ban you from all there stores for life. If you our caught on there property you can be charged with trespassing. If you get caught stealing again the charge in some places will become a felony offence no matter how petty the thief was because of the trespassing charge. There is no way that being a shop lifter is worth it. In most cases the Police are more then happy to arrest these people. Often times most adults who do this are people the police want to identify for many other crimes else where. Most criminals progress from the petty crimes to the bigger ones and have no problem committing the smaller ones at times.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    SanXuary-Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your stopping by.

  • straightscared123 5 years ago

    So today I went to Fred meyers and loaded up my cart with items I didn't plan on paying for probably about 250$ worth of items. I made it out of the store with my cart full of stolen items and when I got to my car a lp approached me and was like do.t even think about it so I just left the cart with all the merchandise and drove off in my car. Do you think Fred meyers called the cops and will be pressing charges. I never got any of the items that were in my cart I seen the lp grab the cart and return to the store but I'm sure he got my license plate number. I'm so scared I never do stuff like this but was in desperate need of some stuff for my house. I live in Oregon if that matters. Please let me know asap I've been just praying the cops aren't gonna show up to my door step. I've learned my lesson and will never ever do something like this again.

  • Scared to death 5 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe

    today i went to buy a few things from a grocery store, and because the que to the pay points was so long and i was really starving i bought a pie worth of R8.99 which is about $1.08. So i ate the pie while queing to pay for my groceries and left the packaging in the cart of which i decided not to pay for at the till point. So i paid for the other goods but just as i was heading for the exit a store detective called me and asked why didn't i pay for the pie i ate and i couldn't answer why, so she said she will call the cops and i'll have a criminal record. I offered to return one of the goods and pay for the R8.99/$1.08 pie. So she agreed and took me to the customer care till point and returned one of the goods to pay for the pie. Afterwards she asked for my name, age and address and i gave them to her and i didn't lie about them then she told me that they're banning me from coming to the store ever again but she didn't give me anything to sign besides asking for my name, age and address. She didn't call the cops but then she said she'll forgive me now but i must not do it ever again and i can come to the store on condition that i won't do it again. So i left the store feeling very scared of being charged with a criminal record because of $1.08 pie. What do you think she will do with my name, age and address? Would she give my details to the cops? Would she charge me with a criminal offence without my knowledge? I have learnt my lesson and feeling very guilty about it and that was the first time ever i did something like that and i will never ever do it. Please help i am scared that it might come back to haunt me one day.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi straightscared123, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It's my busy season this time of year. You're all set. The store got their merchandise back. If the LP wanted to (or could have) apprehended you, he would have. I would have taken your plate number, as well. I'd be looking for you to come back.

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 5 years ago from United States

    Shoplifting is a bad habit.. Everyone must try this..Great hub

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi htodd,

    Very nice of you to comment. I appreciate it!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi, Scared to death...My sincere apologies for not getting back to you earlier. For some reason, your post was not showing up in my queue.

    Someone put you though that for $1.08? This store detective must have been lacking in the apprehension area and needed to justify her paycheck to the boss.

    Don't worry about anything. She was trying to scare you. Lots of stores have a $5 and above shoplifting minimums and usually do not deal with consumption (eating on the premises cases) as they are usually for low amounts of money and cops don't like to deal with them.

    However, there was a story a few weeks ago concerning a

    4 year old child apprehended by a Safeway store for eating some dried fruit and a couple (one pregnant) charged with eating sandwiches before purchase. You can read about those here. http://ishoplifted.com/2011/11/28/safeway-supermar...

    Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Anxiety Attack,

    I seem to be getting a ton of Best Buy questions, lately. Apparently theft is up at BB.

    It's highly doubtful. I'm sure Best Buy has an elaborate camera system (I have not seen it, personally), but even if they have a top of the line digital camera system, it would be nearly impossible to catch you without someone following you on cam and zooming in and focusing, etc.

    Plus they blew their chance when you made it out of the store and to your car.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

    Rated Up and several others. Good info.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    You rock, Patty! Thanks a million.

  • unsure 5 years ago

    hello!

    i have two questions for you! if you are caught on tape, but leave the store, can they do anything but try & catch you if you come back? i am assuming that unless you have stolen hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of merchandise they are not going to try and track you down after you've left the store.

    also, if a stolen item is brought back and exchanged without a problem, but you show your ID, could there be an issue in the future, when they realize that the returned item was stolen?

    thank you!!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi unsure.

    It depends on the store. Kmart (for example) isn't going to track you down for a $75 electric shaver, (unless you're an employee), but if an on the ball store detective saw you come in again, he/she may watch you to see if you stole again and then either attempt to apprehend you, or call the police after you steal, so they'll be waiting for you outside when you leave.

    On the other hand, if you steal an item from a small business (such as local computer or clothing store) they don't play by the same rules as the chains. Small businesses get hit hard from theft and may chase you for blocks in an attempt to catch you and get their stuff back. (The same as if you were walking down the street and some guy grabbed your pocketbook and took off-you'd run after him and try and catch him.)

    As for your second question:

    Most stores require an ID to return an item without a receipt. In the old days, the customer service clerk would write down your name, address, license number, etc. and if you got greedy, they would shut you off when you reached a certain dollar amount, or a certain number of transactions.. Now, the software in the cash register system does this work and keeps track of your returns.

    So, sure, there could be a problem in the future. If you begin returning stolen items, I'm going to know what you look like (from the service desk cameras) and also have your personal info. I'm not only going to wait for you to come in and steal again, but I'm also going to call every sister store in the area (and perhaps friends of mine who work at other stores in the plaza) and let them know about you. I'm going to make sure that if anyone sees you in the store, they are to alert me, immediately.

    Simple shoplifting is one thing, but refund fraud is a whole different situation and not something to get involved in. Retailers and cops might give you a break on a simple shoplift, but refund fraud is definitely going to get you arrested and could get you multiple charges.

  • unsure 5 years ago

    Hey Rockinjoe,

    Thank you so much for your response, I really appreciate it. I wrote you back once but I don't think it went through, sorry if I'm double posting.

    A friend of mine had given me a $20 bottle of lotion from sephora for Christmas & I went to the store closest to me to exchange it for a different kind. I found out afterwards that she had stolen the original bottle and of course got very worried, especially because I had given them my ID. I'm sure I could have gotten into all sorts of trouble, as you said, and for a crime I didn't commit.

    I am assuming that since there was no trouble when I returned the item and left the store, and because it wasn't worth much I don't have to worry, but of course I am worried!

    Thank you again!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi unsure,

    You've got nothing to worry about. You'd have to be caught shoplifting the item yourself to be charged with its theft.

    Even if you had gone to the store where it had been stolen and successfully returned it you would have been ok.

    There was no crime committed on your end,

  • WorriedMom 5 years ago

    Hi Joe,

    Good articles. I'm searching for answers because I don't want my daughter to face legal repercussions, but...tonight I discovered that my daughter shoplifted a bra while with me at Wal-Mart (she is 16 and had gone off on her own when she apparently concealed the bra). She mistakenly dropped it once we got home and I figured out what'd happened.

    I'd like to make her return it in hopes of teaching her a big lesson about stealing, but don't want to go down that road if Wal-Mart will call the cops on her and she'll end up with something on her record. Do you know what their policy is on shoplifting? What should I do?

    Thanks

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Worried Mom,

    I don't know what their policy is on shoplifting, but I know there would be no repercussions for returning the item. (Other than a major amount of embarrassment.) If Walmart didn't stop her when she took the item, they can't do anything afterward. Don't be concerned about an arrest. The worst that could happen is they ask your daughter not to return to the store and I highly doubt this would happen, as it's poor customer service and Walmart wants your money.

    If you want her to return it, I suggest you call the manager and tell him or her what happened and what you want to do. You can also ask the store manager to assure you there will be no legal action. Then just set up a time that's convenient.

    I've seen this method work miracles with 10 and 12 year olds but I don't know how effective it would be on a 16 year old.

    You seem like a great mom. I hope this works out for you.

  • Tara 5 years ago

    I have recently been fired from cvs pharmacy and was wondering if the statement Lp had me signed if i can legally get a copy of it.?? please help anyone.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    HI Tara, I'm sorry, but I can't answer your question. You're going to have to discuss that with a lawyer.

  • Panicked 5 years ago

    Hey ok so my friend got caught stealing 2 items worth 20$. I had also taken something but as soon as she got caught I put it back. They didn't notice it. Can I get in trouble?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Panicked, If there is no merchandise on you, when you leave the store, there is no crime. You're not going to get in a trouble a day or a few days after a small shoplifting. They have to get you at the time of the incident. Looks like you made it out.

  • Panicked 5 years ago

    Thanks Joe!! I can finally sleep :) it was a stupid thing I did and it was to much of a close call. This is one girl that will never shoplift again! Phew!!

  • Elena 5 years ago

    I have been shoplifting for a year now and never got caught. I also sell the items to stores like plato's closet for cash. I was approached the other day by a store employee while I was shoplifting and was asked to leave the store b/c of a past incident. I had merchandise on me but nothing was said. I left the store but now I am panicking. Before I started to steal from this store I had bought something with no receipt and returned it and they asked for my DL and also Plato's closet asks for DL and gives you checks and I deposited them in to my bank. Now I paranoid I am going to get caught. I do not steal anymore since being approached by the store employee...but I am terrified.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Panicked,

    Sleep well! Get a few hours for me, if you can. I could use it. (Glad I could help!)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 5 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Elena,

    You mentioned that you were asked to leave over a prior incident? Was it a theft? Have you been trespassed from that store?

    You're not only dealing with shoplifting her, but also from the sounds of it, refund fraud and selling stolen merchandise. That's way beyond my scope of knowledge.

    I hate to sound like a broken record on some of these questions, but the only advice I can give on this one is to talk to an attorney.

  • WorriedSisters 4 years ago

    I have shopliftTheater Kohls for a couple years. It has always been in the dressing room. The security things at the doors have never went off. I had things in a buggy last week and wasituating at the front and my sister was with me, she came to the front and grabbed the buggy and we had some shoes and a couple shirts. A couple days later I had put some underwear and clothes in the buggy. I went in the dressing room and put some of the underwear and a bra in my purse. My sister was outside. I walked outside and a girl employee followed me I went back in the store, and in a dressing room, and took the stuff out. She followed me back out and got my license plate number. Do you think they will call the cops? I wasn't stopped, but I'm pretty sure she wrote the plate number down.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi WorriedSisters, If I were the LP, I would NOT have called the cops. She probably knew you were watching her from the car and wanted to scare you.

    A good LP would go to the dressing rooms, first and see if you brought back the merchandise (which you had done) and would wait for you to come back and steal next time.

    She can't stop you on stuff you took a couple of days ago. It doesn't work that way.

    But just beware, if your'e cleaning the store out on a regular basis and LP is having a tough time apprehending you (due to their rules) she may call the police. They don't have to wait for you to leave the store.

    All she has to do is call and say that she's had a continual problem with you shoplifting and they will show up to check you out.

    They could be waiting outside the dressing rooms for you someday.

  • scottish steven 4 years ago

    hi there,my and ex partner were arrested in the shop i was working in,i put some expensive items into inexpensive boxes and "helped" her find the items she was looking for she paid me for the items then i helped her to her car lp came out with centre securiy or mall cops as you guys would say they grabbed her and myself so i dropped the merchandise broke free and removed the security from her and left we were picked up by police any chance of us getting off with it or at least her? thanks.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I doubt it. You not only stole from the store, but assisted another person in doing so. Then you broke free, physically made the security guard release your accomplice and fled the scene. I think you'll both be visiting a judge on this one.

    Good luck!

  • Im scared please help 4 years ago

    Hi I was with some friends and they were shoplifting and I took a few items but we didn't get caught. The same friends went back to the same store and got caught and sent to jail luckily I wasn't with them.I was wondering if I go back to the same store( not to steal, it's Walmart by the way) to do some shopping will they stop me and take me to jail for stealing in the past? P.S it's been like 2to3 weeks since I was last there .

  • idiott 4 years ago

    Yesterday I tried to steal a shirt from Walmart by putting it over the shirt I was wearing (I know, dumb, but I'm in a rough situation) and I was stopped by a worker before I left. She started calling a police officer over so I took it off and ran and left my car behind. I went back later to get it and didn't see anyone by my car. Could I get in trouble if I didn't take it out of the store? Are the police going to trace my license plate number?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I'm assuming your friends stole the second time they went back. LP aren't cops and they cannot detain you on previous thefts. They can throw you out of the store, however.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    For a shirt? Doubtful. If the cop wanted you, he would have gone after you.

    However, running from a cop is never a good idea.

  • idiott 4 years ago

    Oh, I forgot to mention I also stole a belt. The first time I attempted to go get my car, there were two cop cars pretty close to my car, so I had to wait a while before I was able to get it back. Are they going to track me down? I'm kinda scared...

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I don't think anyone is going to come after you for a shirt and belt. It does not make any sense. If you had tried to walk out with a couple of TV's or a cartful of baby formula, I'd probably tell you something different.

  • Kevin 4 years ago

    Interesting thread!

    Just a quick question, I noticed that some of the most recent questions say that if you get away with shoplifting, and come back a later date, they CANNOT do anything but kick you out? I thought there was a statute of limitation, e.g. 2 years after the incident if you do not call the police with the evidence on tape, THEN you cannot take legal action. Or does this vary by location (state)?

    I read somewhere that if you shoplifted twice for example, both incidents caught on tape, and then shoplifted a third time the next week, they CAN take legal action, and use all 3 incidents against you.

    It just seems a bit odd that if you were not caught the first time, but then they find the evidence in the tape the following week, they can't take legal action except to simply tell you to leave the store.

    OH ONE MORE QUESTION!

    I also read that the LP officers can't search you. So for example if an LP isn't 100% sure that you took something, or if he is SURE you took something, but just didn't see it. (you had your back turned against the camera and you concealed) if he didn't see you conceal it, but he knows you did, he won't be able to search you, right? BUT, if they are 100% sure, can they still call the cops and have them search you? I saw this once on a YouTube video documentary about shoplifting. The LP did not see the person conceal the item, but they KNEW he had it somewhere on his person, so they called the cops to search him. I forgot what happened in the video though.

    Once again, it would seem silly that if there was just 1 camera facing you, that you would be able to simply turn your back, and conceal it in the most obvious way, and be able to get away with it just because you physically could not see the item being concealed. Even though you know 100% they just hid it.

    I live in New Jersey.

  • lucybgirl 4 years ago

    Yesterday I was caught shoplifting in Michaels. the cameras did not catch me, an undercover guy stopped me outside and brought me back in to search my bag and question me as well as taking down all my information and took my picture. After scanning all my things, the total was $34.44 he said it was enough to call the police. (I would have thought they called them if it was at like $50) The man was pretty nice, straight forward and easy to work with. He said he would let the cops know I was being very cooperative. I signed a paper from Michaels stating that I will receive a letter from Michaels and I could not set foot back in the store until I am allowed. When the cops came they asked if it was caught on tape. And it wasn’t. Then they searched my bag again and questioned me for themselves. (Everything was run pretty smoothly) and they gave me a citation for shoplifting they called it a misdemeanor and that I would have to show up in court in a couple of weeks. I know it was completely my fault and TRUST me I have learned my lesson because I was so scared. I just would like to know if I am going to have to pay two separate fees?? The one from my ticket. (Coming soon) As well as a fee from the store? (In that letter coming soon?) Or I also read something like, once the police are involved it’s the police matter now. I don’t know? A little confused and would like to know a heads up for what’s to come…. Thanks appreciate it a lot!!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kevin, Thanks for writing. I've mentioned recently in one of my articles, where I've never had an incident where the police have charged a shoplifting with a prior incident in one of my stores. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never seen it . I imagine if the police were to get a confession out of the shoplifter it could happen.

    As far as your second question. Sure. I've been in situations where I was positive a person had concealed an item and then called the police to apprehend them at the door, but I have also been in the situation where I saw a guy stuff a cartful of meat inside his coat and was forced to let him walk out the door because I did not have selection of the merchandise. There are a bunch of what if situations and you really have to be "in the moment" to decide what the best course of action is.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi lucybgirl, $34 will definitely get the cops called on you. Lots of stores have lower limits. Kmart will send you for a ride at $20. I used to work for a supermarket chain who wanted all shoplifters called at $10. (A bit ridiculous, if you ask me!)

    If you live in a state where they let merchants collect a civil demand fine, you'll be receiving a letter from an attorney's office demanding payment. The average civil fine in the US is $350. Add that to whatever the judge fines you and there's your total. You'll also (as you mentioned above) be receiving a letter from Michael's corporate office with a notice of trespass. Sounds like you got off pretty easily. Good luck!

  • Kevin 4 years ago

    Thanks Rockinjoe for your response!

    I am sure if stores found the time in the video recording that the theft took place, and recently saw the same person later on, they would take the opportunity to take legal action!

    I can't imagine if one person just walked into a store, stuffed a few bags FULL of merchandise, and walked out of the store when no one at the time was watching the video camera. Because if he managed to walk away with BAGS full of stuff, and the store wasn't able to do anything about it because they didn't catch him the first time, that would be a little scary. :P

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kevin, Yeah it is that scary. It's crazy sometimes! I was working a supermarket one time where the policy was to have all 5 steps on tape before someone could be detained. One day I came into work, turned on the camera system and saw a booster with a shopping cart full of steaks and roasts in front of him. He was concealing the meat inside a heavy winter jacket he was wearing and it was summertime. I had to let him walk out stuffed with hundreds of dollars worth of meat, because I did not have him on tape selecting the merchandise. I attempted to get him to drop the meat by making a "security page" over the intercom and had the assistant manager go up the aisle and ask him if he needed assistance. This guy was pro booster and he just walked out of that store with all the merchandise just as calm as anything. I was completely pissed off. I sent the boss a disc of the crime and he sent me an email saying that I did the right thing. He also said that if I had apprehended the suspect, I would have been terminated for not having all 5 steps on tape. That's when I realized I should start thinking about another career. Companies (especially public companies with stockholders) are petrified of lawsuits. They would rather lose hundreds in merchandise, than thousands in lawsuits. They've got a point on paper, but they keep allowing these shoplifters in their stores to repeat the process over and over again. If a shoplifter knows you can't touch them, the word spreads quickly.

  • scare 4 years ago

    hi when i wa 18 or around that age i took a sweater which was very cheap only $10 from clearance i don't even know why did i do it i had the money so i left the store and the security came and took me back to the store which was jc penney they took me to the asecurity room and show me the video ask me many questions and the cops the cop ask me more question check my wallet and well he gave me a ticket for court but at that time i didn't had a permit yet and i don't know if he had the right information anyway i never went to court and i didn't receive any letter for a warrant or something so would they have this on my criminal records even thu i never show a license or permit or any id just got my name also is this would be call be arrested or detained by law enforcement even thu we didn't went to the police station only stay on that room please answer asap

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I don't know how long it's been since you turned 18, but it's possible there is a bench warrant for your arrest. If you don't appear when the judge calls your name and there is no excuse for your absence, that's usually what happens. It's also possible that the wrong information was transmitted to the court from the ticket. If you call your courthouse or police department, they should be able to tell you if there is an active warrant for you. That being said, it was a misdemeanor crime, so I doubt the US Marshals are out looking for you. And to answer your question....,Yes, you were officially detained. Good luck.

  • john 4 years ago

    hi, i stole a $10 item from target about 5 months ago. I wasn't caught but when i left the alarm went off and i just walked away. If i return to the store even if it has been so long, will they detain me? thanks

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    No, you won't be detained. LP needs merchandise to detain you and missed their window of opportunity when you shoplifted the first time.

  • john 4 years ago

    will they kick me out of the store or anything? I would be shopping with my mom and that would be quite embarrasing

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    No you'll be ok. They didn't catch you doing anything. These guys aren't cops.

  • Ohni 4 years ago

    So i got caught shoplifting at walmart got arrested and all now im scared to death that i will get in trouble for shoplifting at a different store (it was about a year 1/2 ago, worth about $300). I think the employees knew i did it, but never detained me or anything... Can they see me in the paper or out in town and ill get in trouble for it? Im terrified, can't sleep... Think im being followed all that... Please lmk asap!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    If you were not detained for shoplifting, either the WM LP didn't see it, or they didn't have enough evidence to stop you. Unless you plan on shoplifting from them again, they won't be detaining you in another store either. These guys/girls aren't cops. It doesn't work like that.

  • Ohni 4 years ago

    It wasn't a walmart store the other time, more of a small, high end store... How do i know if the police are investigating me for it?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Ohni, I see. When you said another store, I assumed it was another Walmart. Six months is a long time and I'm guessing that you're in the clear. It's doubtful that first store has all the steps necessary on tape (or hard drive) to form a case. It's also my guess that the police would have questioned you about former crimes and presented you with their evidence about the $300 shoplifting, at the time of your arrest, if it had been reported.

  • Ohni 4 years ago

    Thanks... I will never steal again! Btw it was a year and a half ago, and im in a small town in south carolina... Make a difference?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Not really, but I wouldn't steal down south. Those cops are crazy down there. Good luck :)

  • Juan 4 years ago

    Hi yesterday my cousin and I were at the mall and we decided to go to Macy' to go look at some watches we saw last time. I showed him a watch I liked and he just took it out of my hand and put it on his pocket and stole it. now I'm scared that the camaras saw us and next time we go to the mall they will tell us something and arrest us. I'm also scared that they will think I handed him the watch so he could steal it. can they arrest me if they see me at the mall tomorrow? pls help. Thank you

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Juan,

    Nope. Macy's cannot stop you without evidence. They either didn't see the theft occur, or didn't have enough evidence to stop your friend. LP aren't cops, so they cannot detain you after the fact.

  • general Chicken! 4 years ago

    So the other day I was in wallyworld and I got a 1.81 of generals chicken from the deli. I was in walmart to kill time and just walking around well my phone begin to ring as i was looking at merchandise and it was my date saying she was at the restaurant so I had set the chicken down on the shelf when i was on the phone so I immediately left and on m yway out was stopepd by LP mind you I used to work there and I knew these guys. Well the LP wouldn't hear and it brought me to the back room and just scared the shit out of me and told me they were going to call my current job and tell them and they escorted me out of the store. Well i went to my jopb and the guy laughed his ass of about the chicken and said no worries mate. this was 3 weeks ago. Would wally world and its Mazis press any charges or any stupid shit for a 1.81 of chicken. Id lvoe to go to jail and be aorund a bunch of thugs who have killed like 3 people and then ask me what I did.. I stole 1.81 of chicken Bitch! Ya bend over -_-.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I don't think you'll be bending over in prison for serial killers anytime soon. In fact, I'd look into speaking with an attorney about wrongful detainment. If you left the chicken on a shelf and then walked out, LP had no right to detain you (whether you worked with them before, or not) and to then threaten you with calling your current boss is ludicrous. Escorting you out the door is yet another insult and was completely unnecessary. Walmart not only owes you an apology, but probably a few bucks, as well. Write down every detail, including dates, store #, employees names and the time of the incident. Don't let this issue go away on its own. Walmart would want to know they have bad LP in their store. You can also contact them yourself, here:

    Wal-Mart Corporate Office | Headquarters

    702 SW 8th St. Bentonville, AR 72716

    (479) 273-4000

    If they reach a financial settlement with you, don't forget to send me some of that General's Chicken. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thank you, naimishika. I appreciate it!

  • Scaredstraight 4 years ago

    Hello!

    So just tonight I was at my local Walmart and decided to pick up some few things. Leaving the store check out the alarm went off and the greeter stopped me and asked if he could search my bags. I declined and state that it's illegal for him to search my purse and how I'm familiar with how retail works. He kept trying to get me to come back into the store but I just kept walking. My concerns are: what are the odds of Walmart looking up my license plates? Another concern my license plates are under my moms name, she lives in a town about 45 minutes away from me. What actions can they do now? Especially if it is on tape and everything, and the items I picked up were less then 100.00 dollars.

  • cfin profile image

    cfin 4 years ago from The World we live in

    I have worked in loss prevention as an lp manager. It's a rough business. Great article. Well done.

  • helppp 4 years ago

    Ok, today I stole makeup from kroger, I made it out of the store, then a customer approaches me and says I saw yu take that makeup. I argued and said I didn't. Minutes after an employee came out and secretly took my plate number. Do you think they will call the cops and give them my plate number? I have learned my lesson ! p..

  • TurtleDog profile image

    TurtleDog 4 years ago

    Excellent post on a pretty unique topic here on Hubpages. Nice job. A long time friend of mine worked for years in a major cd store (do they still exist ? lol :-) in the inner city. He was in loss prevention (security) and man did he have some stories that would make some police officers blush. Great, well thought out post. Thanks! Voted Interesting

  • Trey 4 years ago

    can you be arrested for shoplifting some skittles if they have you on video stealing but leave the store without being caught? will the police try to track me down?

  • Concerned 4 years ago

    Hi Joe,

    I have a question. My friend went into waltmart took a 12 worth phone case and got stopped outside by the LP. The Lp than asked her to give it back she gave it back and said she didn't steal it that it was hers and still he didn't believe her so he asked her to go into the store with him she refuse to go in and he said that fshe didn't he would callth police. She left to her car and the LP followed her and she see him on the phone and maybe got her license plate. Think the lp or the police will try and track her down for $12? what you think can happen? by the way this happened about 12 hours ago.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    If LP saw you take something, but for some reason could not apprehend you, they could could call the police with your plates and see of they could have you picked up. If you were stopped and arrested by the police while driving your mom's car, the cops would have it towed and impounded. That would probably ruin both your evenings.

    Regular Walmart employees aren't going to call the police on you unless it's something big walking out the door like a TV or computer, or something. They're not trained to know WM's shoplifting policies, nor are they allowed to make an apprehension.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks for the comment, cfin. I really appreciate it. It is a rough business, but it was also the most fun I've ever had at any job.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I don't know Kroger's apprehension policy. But you had an eyewitness to the crime (the manager) and sure, he could have called the cops and asked them to pull you over if there was someone in the area. Depending on the amount of makeup you stole and how busy the cops were, it's a definite possibility you could have been pulled over.

  • nanderson500 profile image

    nanderson500 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Interesting article!

  • tedcrilly52 4 years ago

    I took a bunch of antibacterial cart wipes at a grocery store to wipe down groceries that I had just bought that the cashier spit all over them. She has a compulsive habit of putting her fingers in her mouth and then touching food that people are buying. The manager yelled at me and acted like I was stealing. I took the wipes to clean the spit off the food that employee and put on my food. Is taking cart wipes a form of shoplifting?

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Just hub hopping and noticed yours.

    To tell you the truth, I'm shocked. Not at the advice you're giving (it seems to be very professional and well thought out), but at the number of individuals that are admitting to shoplifting. What in the world is wrong with people? Have the values in the world dropped so low that this is now an accepted practice? My wife has told me that her CVS has a major problem with liquor theft. I always thought she embellished the numbers, but after reading these comments, I'm going to have to apologize to her. I admire the advice you're giving and the service you're providing to these folks. Good job and Great hub!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks Turtle Dog. I appreciate your stopping by and leaving the comment. You know? I have no ideas if those stores are still around. I remember them though. A place like that would definitely keep LP jumping.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Sure. If the store wants to prosecute they can call the police and prosecute you for any amount. Whether they will or not is another story. I don't know how old you are, but I do know that if you are apprehended for stealing something as stupid as a bag of Skittles, I wouldn't want to be you when the cops arrived. They will make your entire day completely miserable-and then you have to deal with parents after that.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks, nanderson500. I appreciate your stopping by and leaving the comment :)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Concerned, Anything is possible. If it were me, I wouldn't have called the cops for a $12 item, unless she had been hitting me for merchandise for awhile. But I've seen LP call for $1, so don't go by me.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I would have just left my groceries on the belt and left the store. Stores usually provide those wipes to disinfect the shopping cart handles. I can't see any store manager giving you a tough time over using more. It's not shoplifting. Find another grocery store.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi rcrumple. Thanks for the comment and the nice words. Surprised at the numbers? It's crazy isn't it? I don't know what makes people shoplift in the numbers they do, but who am I to judge? My paycheck for years was based on people stealing. I wanted them to steal. If people didn't steal, my job (and thousands of others) would be in jeopardy. Sounds insane, but it's true. I don't look at my comments here as helping out shoplifters, but by making sure the people who caught them were on the up and up. Some LP are just as crooked as the shoplifters they apprehend. It's a giant game and both sides play dirty.

    And your wife speaks the truth! I never had to work in a drugstore or supermarket with alcohol. Thank God for that!

    Once again. Thanks for your nice comment!

  • NK 4 years ago

    Is there such thing as a shop where every customer has their own little alarm in case they witness something,so they can report what they have seen,without everyone staring and making a fuss?

  • miskamoska 4 years ago

    I was at Target yesterday and bought a lot of stuff and the lipcolor I had picked up was in the corner of the cart , didn't see it while paying for the other stuff and walked out of the store . Saw it while putting the shopping bags into the car, but didn't notice that I hadn't paid for it. Thought it had fallen off one of the bags. Now I am scared like crazy. What do I do ? I want to pay for the item,Can I go back to the store and pay for it ? Can the store make a case against me based on any video footage they have of me putting the lipcolor into the cart and not paying for it at register? Can they have the cops come after me ? Please help.

  • miskamoska 4 years ago

    I would also like to add that i was caught n arrested for shoplifting a year back at jcpenneys.the case was downgraded to a disorderly conduct in the court. That was a grave mistake that i did, and i already suffered enough mental agony for it. What happened yesterday was purely an accident and I do not want to go through all of that agony once again.

  • cfin profile image

    cfin 4 years ago from The World we live in

    When working in loss prevention, it was not the people who made a silly mistake that were the big problem. It was the knife wielding, organized clowns, who stole who bundles of clothes and sometimes assaulted my employees whent hey faced them. It's a dirty business, and one that could be combatted so easily if the likes of platos closet stopped accepting clothes that are obviously stolen.

    Holes in the neck, where the scensors were cut out, and some even still have the tags on them when they buy them. Those crooks make a living off stealing from those stores. Its crazy.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    If every customer had a device to let store employees know of attempted theft, the shoplifters would be using them to warn the store about everyone but them. Good idea, though! Thanks for writing.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    miskamoska,

    If you want to return the item, by all means do so. Go to the service desk and either leave it there with an employee,or ask to speak to a manager. They're not going to do anything but thank you. Target LP cannot and will not pick you up. Trust me.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi cfin, As you know, boosting is a major full-time business. It is crazy and after more than a bunch of fistfights, knife pulls, needle and syringe pulls and a broken nose, I still kinda miss it. But yeah, as long as these places keep buying stolen merchandise, people are going to keep boosting. It's not just clothes, but razor blades, OTC meds, baby formula, Tide detergent and a bunch of other stuff people can move quickly and sell cheaply. Thanks for stopping by, cfin!

  • 34th Bomb Group profile image

    34th Bomb Group 4 years ago from Western New York State

    In New York (Western New York, at least) you haven't shoplifted until you leave the premises. This includes if you're caught at the exit by the scanners.

    I buy (too much) Nicorette gum which has a sensor on it to deter shoplifting. Nine times out of ten I'd set off the alarm because the check out girl hadn't swiped the item correctly. I started asking the check out person to really swipe the box which usually did the trick.

    When that didn't always work I started holding the bag over the top of the scanner when I left the store. Looked funny but no one stopped me at first.

    Finally someone decided I was a shoplifter and they came for me in the parking lot. Bad for them. I flashed my badge and suggested they review their tape to determine whether I'd really stolen the item. I gave them my card and said I'd be at work 'til at least 5:00 in the event they still wanted to arrest me. For some bizarre reason they never came to the District Attorney's Office to get me. I was furious.

    I subsequently received a letter of apology and a $20 gift card. I haven't been in the store since. Their Napoleonic behavior would have been hysterically funny if it hadn't had the possibility of losing my job attached to it.

    Bozos.

  • Lovelovemeloveme profile image

    Lovelovemeloveme 4 years ago from Cindee's Land

    I'm surprised so many peopl are commenting asking for advice on this. Stealing is wrong, but people will continue to do it until they get caught, get fined, sometimes sent to jail. And then they can join m over on the goody two shoe , scared-of-authority, side. I will welcome you guys then ;)

    Good hub! I

  • Lovelovemeloveme profile image

    Lovelovemeloveme 4 years ago from Cindee's Land

    ITCoach - it's not wise to shoplift in asia. lol police takes around 45 minutes to get to scene of the crime. by then, you'll be beaten to a pulp and no one will stand witness. lol can't sue for these things in asia

  • sad 4 years ago

    I was walking out the store the alarm went off..the man stopped me but I told.him he couldn't check my bags ..he followed me outside and I think he took my license plate number. Should I e getting a call or visit to my house? the value of the item was 10$

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    $20? Working for the DA, I would have sent the card back and held out for more, but that's just me. I guess even the possibility of a position like yours being associated with a crime could be detrimental to your career, You handled it very well under the circumstances. Time to get yourself off of the Nicorette. I was using it way too long, as well. Thanks for writing.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks, Lovelovemeloveme! You officially have the greatest name on all of Hubpages. Yeah, people are crazy when it comes to shoplifting. Some have amazing luck and don't get caught for years, but it will always happen. It's an incredibly embarrassing crime. Even as a kid, I was too scared to even attempt it. Thanks so much for writing in.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    lol, you'd never see me trying it. Thanks again for the comment, Lovelovemeloveme.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I often, get asked this question. Shoplifting is a fairly low level crime and most places (the big chains, anyway) are not going to use their resources, spend 10 hours, call the police, (who have better things to do) and tie up their LP when they have a store full of shoplifters and most-likely, one or two LP in their store. That being said, you may live in a sleepy small town, have stolen from an independent retailer and the manager may want your head on a platter. It's different each time. Shoplifting is a crime I don't recommend going to jail for. It's embarrassing, a ridiculous waste of police and court time and can be very expensive to clear up. Why people take amazing risks for $10, I'll never know. It seriously isn't worth it.

  • 34th Bomb Group profile image

    34th Bomb Group 4 years ago from Western New York State

    I still chew the darn stuff. I'd love to quit - I could put that money in my gas tank.

    If I'd done it I would have been fired outright.

    Not worth it.

  • omgwhatshouldido 4 years ago

    Hi, I stole $20 worth nail polish at Walgreens a couple days ago.

    I paid for my cigarettes but I stole the nail polish and when I came out of the store the security alarm went off and I just left. And just now, they called my house and i hung up cus I'm so scared. it's my first time stealing there. I think they tracked me down for the license plate. THEY CALLED MY HOUSE. what should i do????im so scared right now. will the police come to arrest me? or will they mail me charging fines or call me to come to the court?? please help me i can't do anything right now.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi omgwhatshouldido, Who called your house? The police, or Walgreen's? Walgreen's isn't about to call you over the phone and accuse you of shoplifting over $20. And they're certainly not going to trace your license plate number. It must have been for another reason.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    lol, It's still cheaper than cigarettes. Thanks again for the comment!

  • Ashley 4 years ago

    Hi so um 3 or 4 weeks ago my friend dared me to steal a bra from Victoria's secret. I put it on in the dressing room & walked out but I forgot to take off the sensor. I was cleared to go because they found nothing in my bag but I think the fitting room attendant might have been on to me... She noted that I had walked out of the dressing room with one less item than I had walked in with. I haven't been inside the store since & I'm scared. Can they find me & convict me? If I come back into the store can they charge me for it?

  • Me 4 years ago

    I went to a sears store with a friend she took a 15 dolla watch put it in her pocket n left the box... She then went to the fitting room got scared and drop the watch she then bought a dress but leaving the store and took 15 dollar tights n dropped n her bag when we exited lps stopped her she gave the tights to them and got really scared as they were telling her to go to the office..they tried to corner her but she ran off... They called the police i seen the cops circle the area where she ran

  • Me 4 years ago

    She was gone by then i waited to go to my car the cops were still in the parking lot.... I had to go so i walked to my car and left. She has no record they prob had her on video but she paid for what she bought in cash ... I told her never go back to the store and she is petrified so she wont steal again ...can the cops id her

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    No, they can't convict you without evidence-and you wore the evidence out of the store. Did the fitting room attendant give you a tag with the # of items you walked in with? If not, they are not keeping a good eye on their product. That doesn't excuse you from shoplifting though. They won't accuse you of shoplifting (and can't ) when you go back, but they will hopefully keep a better eye on what they let you walk in in and out with.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks, Athena Clara. I appreciate your stopping by and checking out the hub.

  • Josh Bell profile image

    Josh Bell 4 years ago

    Interesting read. Good hub

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    If the cops were in the lot when the stop occurred, it's possible they would take a report, but I highly doubt it would be a police priority to hunt down a $15 shoplifter. Still, it's possible she could be stopped if she's seen on the road or paid a visit by detectives. I'd have her call a lawyer for legal advice. I'm surprised that LP tried to corner her. That's a Sears no no. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Josh. Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

  • worried 4 years ago

    Hi great hub by the way, well I hate to say this but I usually pay a booster to shoplift for me, we were in kohls I was showing her what I wanted and she would take it well we got stopped by lp I had nothing on me and the camera just showed me handing her different boxes of shoes because she was trying them on he called the police and they charged me as well, they then went out to the car and found merchandise without receipts which yes some of it had been stolen from dillards but some was bought, some was old. They then put a swcond petty theft shoplifting charge on us and returned the merchandise to dillards who said they only seen us getting off the elevator on camera so they are not pressing charges. I do have an attorney but I was wondering what will go on in court?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I wouldn't even venture a guess. That's not really my department. It's going to depend on any past record you have, the mood of the judge and the luck of your lawyer in pleading down your case. Handing off the merchandise definitely gives you an active part in the crime. I wish I had an answer for you,but I don't. Good luck in court and thanks for stopping by.

  • worried 4 years ago

    Thank you for answering I am a registered nurse with no criminal back ground just traffic violations. What do you think they will do about the second charge dealing with the items in the trunk if the store doesn't press charges?

  • 34th Bomb Group profile image

    34th Bomb Group 4 years ago from Western New York State

    I'm absolutely amazed that most of the commenters here have shoplifted & only seem to be concerned that they'll be caught!

    Despite being in Law Enforcement for years, I do shop & am paying more for my items because of you. That stinks.

    I don't handle shoplifters. Good thing. I'd throw the proverbial book at them.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi worried, I'm not sure. Every time I've had an incident where I missed something and a shoplifter was caught with merchandise, I've pressed charges for the company. It was mandatory. I would hunt around for some legal forums online (there are quite a few) where you could ask your question and get a better response from someone other than me. My experience ends when the shoplifter is turned over to the police. Please stop back, if you have a chance and let me know how everything went.

  • 34th Bomb Group profile image

    34th Bomb Group 4 years ago from Western New York State

    1. Get a lawyer.

    2. If you have a clean record you'll probably have to pay the store back & receive an ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. )

    During this time tou might have to do Community Service and go to a "Naughty Shoplifter" program.

    That's what happens here.

    3. Get a lawyer. The $$ for the lawyer will be VERY well spent.

  • Dummy 4 years ago

    Hi. I was in walmart with a friend of mine last month and we dared each other to steal some stuff.. Stupid on our parts, and won't be doing it again, but we were stopped by LP inside the garden center... We were very cooperative and went with them into the security room. They took our pictures and we signed some papers. A police officer later came in and gave us a summons to go to court. We spoke with the DA and they sent us a certified copy of a letter that stated that 1) the cases would be placed on a 90 day probationary period 2)we are advised not to go to court 3) that it should be noted that we were, in fact, still inside the store when we were confronted. I received a letter today from Walmart's lawyers/legal department with a "request to settle a claim for statutory civil liability damages". I am wondering if there is any way we can fight this? At the very top of the letter from Walmart, it states that "retailers may request statutory civil liability damages from 'any person who unlawfully takes merchandise from a merchant's premises' ".... Since the merchandise had not in fact left the premises, do you think there is a fighting chance that we will be able to fight this?

  • worried 4 years ago

    Ok here is some new information, the friend that was with me went to court today, he didn't separate the charges he just said u are charged with theft of property how do u plead, she pleaded not guilty because she had not stolen 100% of the items they claim. Do you think they just combined this into 1 charge? And thanks rockin joe u have been so kick ass at answering questions

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Dummy,

    You're being stopped while inside the store (and the Garden Department counts as being inside the store) bothers me greatly. I would contact an attorney. This isn't officially against the law, but it's against Walmart policy for their employees to apprehend a suspected shoplifter inside the store.. Their LP jumped the gun and didn't wait for you to leave the enclosed area. That's a very big Walmart no-no and a potential liability for the company.

    As far as the civil demand letter you received, I used to recommend that shoplifters pay them to avoid being mercilessly hounded by the collection company (disguised as a law office) by phone, a hundred times a day. Just today, I read an online article (and I no longer have the link, unfortunately) where an attorney recommended NOT paying the fine. His argument was that the company sends out thousands of these letters each month and suing non payers would be too expensive and non productive. In other words, no one is going to drag you into court for non payment-no matter how much they may threaten.

    Don't feel too bad.....

    The store and the law office split this money.As far as the store is concerned, their half goes to the bottom line. It's all profit for them.

    Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi worried,

    I appreciate the compliment, but I wish I could have been more "kick ass"in helping you with your question. I may be a Loss Prevention consultant, but I'm a long way from being a lawyer or a police officer. It sounds to me like they combined the charges. Now your friend will have to go to trial and prove herself innocent.

  • Hezekiah profile image

    Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

    I remember a guy looking at a magazine and somehow, the Free CD slipped into his pocket !!! I didn't say anything however somebody else who saw it quietly said "Put it back or I will call security". I think that would be none of his business since he wasn't staff. He be attacked by the criminal, you never can tell.

  • Anjo Bacarisas II profile image

    Anjo Bacarisas II 4 years ago from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

    Thank you so much, I'am very interested to read your hub even twice :) very useful and persevering articles you have...

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hello Hezekiah, and thank you for the comment. I worked in a department store once, where you could not detain anyone who had concealed or stolen a magazine or newspaper. The items did not officially belong to the store until they were purchased.

    And you're correct. It's never a good idea for a customer (or store employee) to approach a shoplifter. Anything can happen.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thank you, Anjo Bacarisas II . Very nice of you to leave the comment. I appreciate it.

  • Ashamed and scared 4 years ago

    Hey Joe, my sisters were at Target and they decided to steal (dumb mistake) they were approached inside the store by undercover lp and a guy in uniform who said they saw them on video and asked them to relinquish every concealed item that they had. Undercover lp and cop told them never to come back or trespass. They apologized and hurried out. No names or information were taken. I parked in the front of the store right by the security cameras and my license plate was in plain view. The two guys escorted my sisters out the door.

    I'm pretty sure they have my license plate. One of my sisters had a small mascara that was still on her when she left the store. LP didn't know about it, i'm guessing. I'm insanely worried for these two. What will happen?

    Will they get a Civil Fee thing in the mail?

    Will security review the tapes and realize that she didn't return everything she took?

    Will security track down my license plate number?

    They are terrified. I am supposed to be responsible for them so i'm worried as well.

    They were apprehended in the store, nowhere near an exit. No names or any info were exchanged.

    AND are they REALLY banned from the store, since none of their info was taken down? Is there any way the cops could find out where we live? What action do you think will be taken? To the best of my knowledge, my sisters left empty boxes in place of their merch.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    No they'll be ok. If Target wanted them, they would have let them walk outside before apprehending them, taking them to the office and writing them up. With no paperwork, there is no shoplifting and therefore, no civil fine.(They won't use your license plate to track you down) I'm assuming your sisters are young kids or teenagers? It's probably one of those situations where LP was busy with something else and just decided to get their merchandise back.

    Is the no trespassing order real? It could be. You can verbally trespass in some US states. Whether Target will pursue a trespass is another story. It's highly doubtful. I never have.

    Your sisters SHOULD be terrified. They were extremely fortunate not to have been apprehended. They really lucked out.

    Thanks for writing.

  • freaking out 4 years ago

    Hi, I don't know if you could help me but a few days ago I picked up someone's bank envelope and set it in a drawer near by because I didn't know who's it was and I had customers waiting. Now I never said anything to my boss although I did to an employee so he knew about it too but when I took my phone and keys out of that same drawer it looks as if I took the envelope. I never did take that though and it's not there anymore but now I'm in trouble, got suspended for a week without pay and have been waiting to hear from my boss. But as much as I say I didn't take the envelope no one there believes me, I just don't want to show up there one day and get arrested for doing nothing wrong. The

    Camer shows me picking it up and placin it in the drawer but looks even worse when I grab my stuff out of the drawer. I don't want to get in trouble with police over something like that. I am 100% innocent

  • checkers 4 years ago

    Hey. I'm 15 and I have been shoplifting a lot lately. I have a question though. I was hungry and decided to shoplift at walmart, I always bring backup money in case they stop me and I can pay for it. But if I can possibly get it for free and spend my money another place, why not. So one night I went there and got an idea, I can drink and eat the food in the store, then put the empty container back and leave, I did this the first time with a box of cookies and two sodas, and no problems, but he second time I decided to bring my cousin along, and he made us look so sketchy, he like tried talking to all the employees and stuff, so an older male employee came up after we ate the food and said that the people watching the cameras told him to check on us because we were starting trouble. We played innocent and said we'd leave and we did, but anyway the point is that I visit there frequently and my cousins all scared thinking he will get caught. Will they stop me or him next time we go in? Everything we stole together is about $20 . I think we are fine but he wont stfu. I stole a tshirt from JC Penneys and didn't get caught so I'm pretty confident.

  • Kim 4 years ago

    Hello,

    Today, I was with a friend at TJMaxx as she was returning an item. The tag on the item matched the receipt, but apparently it was the wrong item. The cashier gave her the old receipt and the old tag back, and then retagged the shirt for the sales floor and issued her a store credit in the amount of the new price.

    I know she has made numerous returns in the past few months, some of which have been brand new, unworn items with different tags on them then when she purchased them. There has never been an issue made at the register, but now she fears that a file may be created in her name and cops can show up at her door at any time and arrest her on the spot. Now I know this CAN happen, but do you know how serious these types of laws are in Maryland? It's been probably a couple hundred dollars over the course of 4 months or so. And I am asking this solely out of interest AND because I have been with her many of the times, sadly naïve to the fact that she's been doing this.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kim, Of course there's file on her. Most stores track their returns. Some have different ways of doing it, but a common method is your driver's license or state ID number. With the current recession in the US, stores have been more stringent when it comes to returns. Stores that once took back anything are refusing items without receipts, unless it's one of their store brands.

    Is she also shoplifting?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey Checkers, I can tell you haven't been picked up for shoplifting yet. Once you get caught, you can't buy the stuff you stole. Depending on the amount, you'll either be written up and released to your parents or a guardian, or be arrested and charged. Your parents will also get a hefty fine.

    A lot of stores don't prosecute "snacking" as we used to call it. I used to kick kids out for it, or If I had a serious problem with the same kids, I'd just call the police when I saw it on camera and let the cops take you in and call your parents to come and get you.

    You can be as confident as you want about shoplifting, but you will get caught. Your odds of getting caught increase each time you steal. You know what cops hate worse than arresting a shoplifter? Arresting a juvenile shoplifter. Want to know why? Get caught and find out.

    Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi freaking out, Your question got lost earlier. I apologize. Ok, so you didn't take the envelope but it still looks bad for you. The camera has you placing the bag in the drawer and then taking your stuff out and the bag was missing after that.

    All someone has to do is watch the video from the time you placed the bag in the drawer until you reached in for your phone and keys. Whoever took it out will be on tape.

    Good luck!

  • tmillard07 4 years ago

    Ok I got a question I was in walmart and had got a basket full of groceries and and get a box of diapers and a blanket and put them underneath the buggy well I check out of walmart and as I'm walking out of the store I get approached by an Lp I'm assuming he asks me if I had paid for the items I say no right away and say I'm very sorry but that I would pay for them right then. He tells me there is no way I forgot the items and asks to look at my recipe I tell him I was sorry again and that it was an honest mistake he then tells me that I was going to need to go with him to the back so I go to the security room I ask what's going to happen he says I'm going to get arrested for shoplifting so I went to jail..... but how did I get shoplifting charges if I never left the store and was anywhere from 10-20ft from the door and I was going to pay for them once brought to my attention.. but I also found out today that in his report he said I had attempted to run or acting as if I was and that never came close to happening and at one point he told me that if I had got past the door he would not have chased me but he couldn't see me trying to run with all those groceries. I haven't went to court yet but want to see what's best for me to do?

  • Kim 4 years ago

    Rockinjoe,

    Thanks for the quick response! No....as far as I know, she isn't shoplifting. She claims she would never do that (kind of a funny coincidence, right??).

    Apparently all she is doing is either making legitimate returns more frequently than usual, or other times unfortunately putting tags from items she has just purchased on other items she owns, but being sure to tag a skirt with a skirt tag, a dress with a dress, etc. And I think it is all brands that the store carries....just stuff she has had for awhile and never wore, etc. I just worry that she is so cavalier about it all and it might catch up to her.

    She has never had any trouble returning the items, meaning I guess that she is not blacklined in the system yet. My question is that is there more that occurs once an item is taken back? If the item is tagged wrong, do employees actually look into the system to see who returned it after the fact, if it is, say, a $29.99 tag on a different item that is likely close to worth that much? Realistically, how strict when retagging and inventorying are TJMaxx employees? Could they eventually send the police to her door unbeknownst to her, or are they more likely to stop her during a return in the future and penalize her there? Thanks!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Placing items in the bottom section of a shopping cart and claiming that one forgot to pay for them is a common method of shoplifting. Unfortunately, It's also common that people actually forget to pay for items placed in the bottom of a shopping cart. It's up to the store detective to determine if the customer had made a mistake, (in which case, they would call up front and have the customer service manager stop the customer to pay for the merchandise),or be stopped for shoplifting. Having made both decisions many, many times, it's something one would have to actually see before making such a decision.

    Your being stopped 10-20 feet from the door bothers me. It wouldn't make a difference as far as the police are concerned, as you passed the last point of purchase without payment, but Walmart doesn't stop their shoplifters inside the store.

    Consult with an attorney and let him/her know your situation. I'm afraid I don't have a better answer for you. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kim,

    TJ Maxx makes the deciding factor when it comes to which merchandise to accept for return. If they're not handling their returns properly, it's their loss-which they pass onto the consumer. Your friend is making fraudulent returns. Depending on her method (and I can't make a determination here, because I do not know the exact methods she is using), she'll either get caught and shut off (by the store) or caught (and arrested) by the police.

    There are a million and one ways to commit fraud at the service desk. Once the stores figure out which ones she's using, they'll stop it. One way or another.

  • Kim 4 years ago

    Tjanks again for the quick response. Are they more likely to stop her in the store, or is it possible that she could randomly be arrested at home? Thanks!

  • kim 4 years ago

    I guess what I am trying to ask is what kind of method woild she need to be using to get police involved? And would they arrest her in store or find her at her home?

  • Ifeelterrible 4 years ago

    Hello rockinjoe, I am from a small town in Canada. 5 day ago I went to a local convenience store and stole a bag of beef jerkey. I feel terrible for what I did but regardless an employee outside having a cigarette witnessed it happen. I left the store and the guy who saw me just said have a good night. I know the store owner by the way. I actually used to work at the store. I retuned 4 days later and The store owners husband told me to have a woe with him. He told me they have evidence on camera of me stealing the item. He also said that they asked me to stop the night it happened but that didn't happen. The employee just said have a good night. I handed him all the money I had which was about 7.50. The jerkey is around 9 dollars. I'm wondering if they will take any legal action. I am 18 btw, and your expertise would be much appreciated. Thank you

  • SH16Music 4 years ago

    I've been reading your excellent hub and it reminded me of some experiences that I'd like to ask you about. About a year ago I was out with some friends, one of my friends in particular was on a lot of drugs, and was acting really spacey. We went to Walmart to wander out of boredom and I noticed an employee following us around and watching us. Which is understandable, when a group of obviously intoxicated teenagers walk into your store at 2 am, you get suspicious. As we were leaving, one of the greeters stopped my friend (the one on all the drugs) and asked him what he was hiding in his shirt. It turns out he had been trying to steal a hat. He handed the hat to her and we all walked out with no trouble.

    But a few months ago my best friend and I were grocery shopping at the same Walmart. She stole makeup and gum. Immediately after we left the register, lp approached us and escorted us to their office. I was released because I didn't know she was stealing, but she was fined and all that jazz. I was wondering why she was charged over less than 20 dollars worth of stuff and my friend from before walked off scott free after trying to take a 40 dollar hat? Thanks!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kim,

    I cannot get into specific methods of shoplifting or fraudulent returns, as I do not wish to pass on that information to the thousands who read this article each week. I will say that any type of fraud is illegal and will eventually catch up to her. It's not a question of "if" it's a question of "when"

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi SH16Music, Thanks for writing. There could be any number of reasons why LP came after the $20 theft instead of the $40 theft.

    1.) There was no LP in the building when the $40 theft occurred.

    2.) LP was at lunch, in the bathroom, on the phone, having a cigarette or watching someone else.

    3.) They just plain didn't see it.

    LP (usually) keeps an eye on their most stolen products. Electronics, Health and Beauty, Jewelry, Power tools, etc. and less of an eye on on their least stolen items, (like baseball bats)

  • Ifeelterrible 4 years ago

    Hey rockinjoe. Can u answer my question please I'm in new of some advice. I know the laws may be different in Canada and u.s but whatever you can tell me will help

  • Soph 4 years ago

    Hi there,

    My friend's friend (I know it sounds so cliché, but it's true) has been making fraudulent returns (ie retagging other items and bringing them back with receipts that match the tags) and they have been accepted at the return counter. She said she has been doing it for awhile. Is there a chance that the returns keep getting accepted so a file can be created for her and she can be arrested anywhere anytime, or is it most likely that on one of her future returns that she will be stopped at the counter then? I just don't know the protocol, but if quitting while she is (NOT) ahead may help her, I'd love to try to have her take the moral road from here on out.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Ifeelterrible, Sorry about that. I answered your question last night but somehow it disappeared.

    I wouldn't worry about it. If they wanted to call the cops on you, they would have done so by now. I don't care how small your town is, I don't see a cop bothering you for such a small amount-especially when you paid back most of it right away.

    Convenience stores get hit for merchandise all the time and most of them are family owned and operated, so shoplifting definitely hurts their business. I don't blame the guy for being pissed off at you. I know a guy who owns a store near my house who regularly chases down shoplifters. He always either ends up with the item or the money. These guys don't mess around.

    You may either want to apologize in person (or by letter) along with the other $2 you owe or find another place to buy your jerkey. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Soph , Thanks for the question. The store would not willingly accept a fraudulent return just to start a case. (or build one)

    The reason people get away with fraudulent returns, is due to the laziness of the service desk personnel who do not check the merchandise they are refunding with the person in charge of the department.

    When your friend reaches a certain dollar amount of refunds (depending on the store) she'll be shut off. She won't be arrested, as there is no proof of her retagging items. The store can suspect all they want, but they can't prove anything. They'll just prevent her from making further refunds.

  • bigdummy 4 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe,

    I was at walmart with a friend last night, and I had no idea that he was gonna steal things, and I was with him while he stole some items. The things he stole added up to around $50. I didn't steal or have anything on me, it was all him that stole everything. Me and him both got detained, but we weren't fully out the store yet when we got grabbed by the LP. We were about a step or two away from the exit doors when the LP officer grabbed and shoved us out the exit doors. Is there any way I can fight out of this? Im scheduled for court next month and I was wondering if theres anything I can do or say to prevent them pressing charges over something I didn't even commit.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi BigDummy, This doesn't sound right. Did you handle any merchandise, by passing it off to your friend before he concealed it? If not, WM had no reason to take you in. Were you arrested, or did the cops just summons you? Did you explain to the police what happened? Did they see any video before you were taken out of the store?

    I don't know how old you are, but I would get a lawyer and tell him/her that you were apprehended with no merchandise and charged with shoplifting. Also mention that you were physically handled by their LP.If this happened at the door, they'll be video of it. It's a Walmart no no.

    If you didn't do anything, there's no reason for you to go down for it. Fight it.

  • purselady 4 years ago

    I went and exchanged a dress I bought for a purse I had paid with cash for the dress well when I had left the lady asked if I wanted a receipt and I said no and walked out of the store well my niece wanted a purse the same one so after I did everything I needed to I drove her back to Macys and stayed in the car because it was late and had my soon with me I forgot to give her money and went in I guess she had tried to steal the purse I went in filled out paper work now I am worried they are going to think I stole my purse I didn't get a receipt or have the lady put it in a shopping bag I was in a hurry well they have all my info I am worried they are going to turn me in and I have no proof I paid for out but I did pay for it I exchanged my dress that I had paid with cash for if gggrrt I am so mad right now

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    There are steps required to apprehend someone for shoplifting. You paid for the dress. it's in the system as being paid for in cash and it's extremely easy to check. Don't worry about it. No one thinks you stole anything.

  • asmaiftikhar profile image

    asmaiftikhar 4 years ago from Pakistan

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing hub.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi asmaiftikhar. Very nice of you to say. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Help me 4 years ago

    Can someone be convicted of shoplifting after leave store parking lot?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Sure. The store could call the police, file a report and request charges. It all depends on what was stolen, the dollar amount of the item(s), the store policy and how busy the cops are.

  • Mistake 4 years ago

    In regards to cops like "hunting" you down, what is the usual dollar amount ?

    Just wondering due to mistakes made earlier that I wish I could take back.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mistake, That depends on a lot of factors. There is no set dollar amount. It's up to both the store (who made a report) and the police who act on it.

  • Mistake 4 years ago

    Okay thank you. Is it usually under 100$ ? Sorry not to be annoying or anything I am just feeling awful and guilty. Thank you for your help though!

  • Mistake 4 years ago

    Also it has been 4 days I don't know if that makes any difference.

  • Mistake 4 years ago

    One more question, do you think there is a warrant out for my arrest ? It was under 50$ and no one stopped me in store.

    No idea if they got my license or found out later. My first and last mistake..

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mistake,

    I wouldn't even know how to guess at that. Put it this way, if it were a big chain store like a Walmart, or Kmart, it's doubtful. They would have apprehended you at the door if they had evidence. It's also possible no one saw you. If it were a smaller store like convenience or dollar store, it's more likely they'd call the cops on you.

  • Regret001 4 years ago

    Hi.

    I feel so very stupid for what I did yesterday. The shame and guilt is killing me. So I need to tell someone about it.

    I was in the shop yesterday. And I saw those earrings that I really liked And we have A store next to that shop about to be opened and I went back to my store and grab some money and was going to buy that earring. But the thing is I just saw this other earring hanging loose so I took it. And went to the cashier to pay for the earring I was going to get and put the other one in my purse. The the cashier told me the total and held up the packet the other earring was supposed to be in. And I went blink. I told her I was sorry and I only have 10$ could she wait for me to get the money. And she said either I could call someone or she'll call somebody. But later she said that just give her that 10 and take the earring that I wanted at 1st place and never come back again. But after I got back to my store which is just almost next to that shop. I felt so ashamed. I grand more money and went to that shop. Gave it to her. And she offered me change but I didn't want it. I know how it feels to have people stealing in our store and I didn't know why I did it. Now I'm at home. Don't ever wanna go back to work. But I know I have to. And I have to do something about it. I'm afraid she'll tell people about it or tell my family about it. I feel very bad and regreting it every minute. I think i need to go apologize. But not sure if I should ever show up in front of her. Please help

  • Sad, disappointed, and worried 4 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe,

    I was caught of stealing a pair of earrings from Icing in the mall; the girl that caught me called th security, I was handcuffed and walked with the officer to their office inside th mall. The officer told me I was banned from th malls in the area for three months, pay a couple hundreds, and a letter will come to my house.

    Will I have to go to court since i read that many, almost all, went to court but the officer never said anything about that?

    And will this get in my records?

    I am 19 in September.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Regret001, If it were me, I wouldn't be going back. The embarrassment alone, would keep me out. However, you did pay for what you took and there is no legal problem, so it's up to you should you decide to go back into the store. You'll probably be watched, though.

  • Brandee 4 years ago

    Hello rockinjoe,

    I was recently with my sister in Walmart and she decided to shoplift,I didn't even know.when we were leaving they brought us both in the ba k and she removed the items from her bag.they said that they saw me select items for her to steal.but I didn't I was trying to find a hair product and I had a few things in the cart I never even handed anything to my sister.my sister even tried to tell them I didn't have anything to do with it.and he said she knew what was going on.i was caught shoplifting a year ago,it was my first and last time,can I fight this?

  • confusedgee 4 years ago

    I took my neighbor to walmart today, she is new to the country but she did self checkout. However, on leaving the store LP stopped us and took us to their office, the said she had some unpaid items. I was confused. She was too. I am guessing what happened was she did not know how to work out the self machine thing and had some unscanned items, which were about $10

    They took down her information, but did not call the cops and informed her that she may get a ticket. Would she actually get one or was it just a scare.

    Basically what is the proceedure for issuing a 'ticket'? Thank you

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    If they did not notify the police, you shouldn't be going to court. You will, however be receiving a bill in the mail (from a law or collection office) demanding payment of a civil fine.. It's up to you whether you pay it or not.

    Your record will remain clean (as there is no court case) and will not affect you in the financial aid department, as far as school is concerned. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Brandee, Walmart LP (like most other LP departments) work on numbers. The more shoplifters they apprehend, the better the department looks to the suits, upstairs. To be considered an accomplice to shoplifting, you are supposed to have an active part in the crime. Usually, that's selection and pass off of merchandise to the person concealing, or acting as a lookout, while the other person is concealing the merchandise.

    Were you arrested by the police?

    If you were, I would take an active stance and hire an attorney and fight the charge. It would be up to Walmart to bear the burden of proof and prove to a judge that you took an active part in the theft.

    If you were not arrested and want to fight this directly with Walmart, as being unnecessarily detained, here is their contact info. Good luck!

    Wal-Mart Corporate Office | Headquarters

    702 SW 8th St. Bentonville, AR 72716

    (479)273-4000

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi confusedgee, Inside any well-equipped LP office, there will be software that monitors purchases made on the self scan. A receipt will print out (just like at the cash register) showing the items scanned and the amounts of those items.

    Do customers intentionally not scan items in an attempt to steal them? All the time. Do customers also make mistakes and think an item was scanned when it wasn't? Or do these machines malfunction on a steady basis and cause items to not be scanned? All the time.

    Self scan prosecutions are difficult to prove in court. Many stores have discovered this and don't prosecute these cases any longer. Some still do.

    Your friend may or may not receive a summons to appear in court. More than likely, she'll receive a notice of civil fine from a law or collection office.

  • Sad, disappointed, and worried 4 years ago

    What do you mean it's up to me to whether to pay it or not? I don't have to pay? What would happen if I don't have to pay? Do u know the min and max $$ that I may have to pay?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Your bill could run anywhere from $200-$1000. I used to encourage people to pay them as soon as possible, because the collection company will hound you until you do. But, I did read a recent article from a lawyer who tells his clients NOT to pay them. His reasoning was, the collection company will never take you to court to pay it, because it will cost them more than the fine.

  • jj2525 4 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe, I've been reading thru the posts above, thanks for all the advice. My 19 yr old daughter followed the actions of her friend and attempted to steal eyelashes and eyelash glue from CVS in Phila, PA. when walking thru the doors the alarms went off. The guard took them to the back and emptied their pocketbooks and bags and told them they were luck that the police wasn't called. We rec'd a letter in the mail yesterday stating that she stole $37.00 worth of stuff (which she didn't). The fine noted is $189.00. And there is a paragraph in bold that states that this notice will not prevent criminal prosecution under a related criminal statute provision-seek advice of lawyer. My ques to you...Why would they say she stole more than she actually tried to steal? Is the letter stating that there is definitely criminal prosecution pending? Should we pay the fine? Should we attempt to go to the store where it happened to try and talk with someone? Can I request a list of items they are saying she stole? She leaves for college on thursday, should she still go? We just really don't know what to do at this point. Help.....thanks

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi jj2525, I don't know why they wrote her up for more than she took. If I were to take a guess, I'd say it was either the total amount taken by your daughter and her friend, together, or perhaps CVS used the manufacturer's suggested retail price to determine a total. I wouldn't worry about that., since no police were involved. Since there was no legal action taken that day, I wouldn't worry about CVS pursuing criminal charges, either.

    The $189 fine you received is a civil demand notice. Most US states allow merchants to institute a fine through a law or collection office to regain the cost of merchandise, pay for their costs, their LP department, etc. What it comes down to is usually a 50/50 split between the store and the office making the collection. I used to suggest paying these, as the collection companies will continuously hound you, if you don't., but I've been reading online, comments from some attorneys who recommend to their clients to NOT pay the fine. They won't take her to court, because the cost of doing that exceeds the fine. Before you (or she) dishes out the money, you may want to pick up the phone and consult with an attorney. Good luck.

  • jj2525 4 years ago

    Thanks, I have consulted a lawyer and just waiting for a call back. My main concern was the paragraph that says: Important Notice: The payment of an demand made upon you does not prevent criminal prosecution under a related crimal statue provision. You don't think they will prosecute?

  • PanickedMess 4 years ago

    So about a month ago I got in trouble at work for giving someone an unauthorized discount. I have done it before using a co-workers employee discount number and wasn't caught. But was caught when an employee gave their mom their discount card and then got it back after I input it. It didn't work Becquerel she wasn't paying with cash but then I proceeded to give her 10 dollars off. Can they take legal action if they find out about the other times?

  • iguidenetwork profile image

    iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

    Unusual topic, but very interesting. A good read. :)

  • John 4 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe, hope you can give me some advice. I was in CVS to buy a 99 cent bottle of water, a half gallon of milk and a breakfast bar. I was extremely thirsty so I quickly drank the bottle of water. While I was picking through my breakfast bar options on the shelf, I put the bottle down next to the bars and forgot to pick it back up after selecting one. I walked to the register with my milk and the bar, scanned them myself and on my way out of the store was stopped by a night shift lp guy in normal clothes. I tried to explain that it was an honest mistake and that I would like to go get the bottle so that I could pay for it. He asked for my driver's license and write down my name and license ID number. He explained that I would be banned from all CVS stores. I kept trying to explain that it was an accident, that I've never stolen a thing in my life and that I wish they would at least let me pay for it, just for my own moral code. He said that I would receive a ticket for $75 and refused to let me pay for it no matter how hard I tried to level with him. The assistant manager didn't even want to talk about it. He said it's not a big deal and insisted that I walk out the door without paying. So I walked to the ATM in the store, took $20 out, and said "here, this is for the water". He refused to take it, so I put it on the ground as he physically shoved me out the door. He threw the $20 outside. I called the police because I didn't want to be banned from every CVS store--they came, the lp officer didn't even want to talk to them, I walked up to the police car, explained the situation, they didn't even bother getting out. They said it was fine, and if I didn't sign anything I should have no problem going to that CVS or any other. They said I should wait a few days because he might try to give me a hard time if he sees me back anytime soon. Is CVS really going to send me a civil fine? If I don't pay it, will it go on my credit report as a collection?

    Thanks for your guidance,

    Travis

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi jj2525, No there won't be a prosecution. It would have happened at the time of the apprehension. They put language like that in the letter to let those who have been prosecuted know that paying the civil demand won't get them off the hook from any kind of judgement against them. Everyone gets the same letter.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi, PanickedMess, Sure they can take action. And they will if you keep doing it. Discount cards are easily tracked. When I was with Kmart, I used to get a printout of discount card activity once a month. If you're caught, it could be a simple termination or a prosecution depending on the circumstances. It's stealing and as an employee you should be aware of the consequences. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi iguidenetwork , I appreciate the comment. Thanks for stopping by.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Travis,

    That's a difficult situation you've found yourself in. You did consume a beverage without paying for it and left the premises. Officially, you've shoplifted. After you've shoplifted, a store won't accept funds for the item because if they accept payment, they can't proceed with charges.

    It's pretty obvious that CVS wants to lose a customer over a dollar bottle of water.

    You can contact them, but I wouldn't expect much. They probably (like the manager in your store) won't discuss a shoplifting case.

    Here's their contact info. Good luck.

    Cvs Caremark Corporation Corporate Office | Headquarters

    1 CVS Dr. Woonsocket, RI 02895

    (401)765-1500

  • JOhn Doe 4 years ago

    Hey rockinjoe,

    I was recently caught shoplifting at Wegmans, a huge supermarket chain. I stole a salad worth $7.20. They fined me $75 and banned me from the store for 2 years, they also took my picture. I live in a failry large city, Buffalo NY, however, this is the only grocery store right near where I live and I don't have a car. Will they really catch me if I return to the store?

    Thank you

  • Travis 4 years ago

    Rockinjoe, I didn't leave the premises. The lp guy stopped me before I walked out. That's why I was confused--because he physically forced me out of the store after refusing to accept my offer of payment.

  • Beautycrime 4 years ago

    So my friend one day went into sephora and purchased a spray. She later opened the bottle and put the liquid into an empty bottle and refilled the purchased one with water. She then went back to return it. Do they have any way of finding out what she did?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi JOhn Doe, I don't know anything about Wegman's , but it's doubtful that they will follow up on a no trespassing order. I've worked for companies that have issued them, but not one who has ever followed up with one.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Travis, You were stopped inside the building for consuming a bottle of water? I would either contact an attorney or write a letter to CVS telling them everything that happened. Include the date and time of the incident, the name of the LP or manager involved (if you have them) and how you were mistreated. They shouldn't have stopped you in the first place (in my opinion) but putting their hands on you inside their store is unforgivable. Send your letter via registered mail so there is a paper trail and wait for an answer. There's no excuse for a company treating a customer this way.

    Let us know what happens.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi BeautyCrime, Probably not, they took it back. What your friend did was commit refund fraud and I seriously hope she gets caught someday. If that bottle ends up back on the shelf, some other customer is going to buy it and get screwed over.

  • james 4 years ago

    I went in a store and took something and 10 days later I went back to the store and on my way out of the store a police officer was there and asked to talk to me and told me to give him my ID and I did . Well he told me they had me on video Sterling something and said I might rbd up having a warrant out for my arrest. Well they didn't even have any merchandise and I know there was no camera but will the DA pick up charges on something like this ?

  • How can I get 4 years ago

    Do you have a direct email address?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    This is a question for a lawyer, James. I'm a Loss Prevention Consultant, not an attorney. Once the police get into it, it's a whole different story. Sorry I can't help you out.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi, How can I get, Unfortunately, I cannot answer questions outside of my articles. Sorry.

  • scared 4 years ago

    Hi, I was shopping with a friend@ Kohl's, who I knew was shoplifting she does it all the time. I asked her to get me a pair of earrings. She dud as we were leaving a female and male came around the corner and stopped us. She told me to keep walking to the car, so I did. Which was my car they definitely got my plate #. Will the police be showing up @ my house soon? She probably had 200$ worth of clothes in her purse.

  • jane 4 years ago

    Hey I love your articles well I was at target and while I was walking around I was taking the tags of stuff well someone was following me because when I finished paying this guy in a uniform took the tags I had taken off from what seemed to be an undercover employee or something another guy in uniform approached me and asked if I needed help I said no and continued to walk then

  • jane 4 years ago

    SoRry it submitted. So then what looked like the manager approached me and asked if I needed help. I automatcally gave some earrings and rings back and told them I wanted to pay for a backpack. Well I did and I though t they had left so when I went outside they did too and took my license plate number when I got in my car I realized I had a tshirt and a wallet but I was scared I forgot. Now IM so scared thinking the y called the cops and th eyer gonna show up to arrest me. Can they do that. It was like $20 maybe $30 worth. I live Kb Texas. Please help me IM so scared. What else can they do to me. I will never do it again. By the way I was there about 3 weeks ago and stole some stuff. Is it possible th EU have me on camara

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi scared, It's highly possible. Kohl's doesn't (or is not supposed to) physically apprehend you, so if they have evidence of your friend stealing, the next obvious thing to do is call the police and file a report. I would have called the police on a $200 shoplifter that kept walking.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Jane, Target definitely knew what you were doing. Approaching you to ask if you needed assistance, was to let you know that they were onto you. The best deterrent a store has to shoplifting is exceptional customer service. If everyone had an employee approach them and ask if they needed help, shoplifting would drop dramatically.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Your shoplifting is probably on a hard drive in the office, but they're not coming after you for stealing three weeks ago. It doesn't look like they'll be coming after you this time, either. You offered up some merchandise to the manager and they let you go. Taking your license plate is usually done just to scare you. You're pretty much done shoplifting at this Target though. They'll watch you every time, now. Target used to have the best LP in retail until a few years ago, but most of them are pretty much on the ball,

  • Scared 4 years ago

    I had a couple beauty products I planned on stealing, I opened a eye pencil package and a worker saw me, i dropped the package, (the rest of the products were on the floor already), and took the pencil, I ran away immediately to go ask a different worker where the item my mom sent me to get was, and the worker who saw me had brought a manager and she had the products in her hand, she pointed at me! So I went to get the item for my mom and they were like stalking me from a distance! After I went to sit in the car, they didn't see me leave. Should I be worried about the police showing up at my house? Or my parents being traced and called???? PLZ answer, I'm super scared.

  • deepak2u profile image

    Govind Deepak Kumar 4 years ago from Andhra Pradesh,INDIA

    i like your article

  • Danni 4 years ago

    Hi I got caught shoplifting at myer and I'm just wondering if i can get fired from my job(I don't work at myer) for this offense

  • TheKatsMeow profile image

    TheKatsMeow 4 years ago from Canada

    Wow I can't get over how many people have shoplifting stories on this Hub! I have a friend that used to work in the same field as you, it really sounds interesting.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Scared, You came pretty close to being caught. I don't think the police will be showing up at your house, as you would have been apprehended if they saw you take the pencil, but it seems like the employees of that store know how to look for shoplifters. They already know what you look like, so you'll probably be watched each time you go back to that store. Makeup items are high theft items in many stores, so they are usually watched pretty carefully.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks deepak2u. I appreciate it.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Danni, Did you get arrested? Was your name in the paper? Did you discuss it on Facebook? It's tough to tell. If an employer finds out about your theft, it's possible you'll be fired or let go, but they wont tell you that your theft from another store was the reason. Usually, they'll just keep cutting your hours until it's not worth showing up, or terminate you for tardiness or absenteeism.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi TheKatsMeow , Thanks for reading my hub, I appreciate it. It used to be fun and interesting. The business of protecting and recovering merchandise is definitely in the shoplifter's favor these days. It's a shame. Corporations are so worried over lawsuits, they'd rather lose a cart full of merchandise,instead of recovering it, catching the shoplifter and making sure they go to jail.

    On top of that, there are so many badly trained loss prevention people in the US that I can earn a decent amount of money by answering questions from shoplifters on whether they were apprehended correctly. It's crazy!

  • worried 4 years ago

    I stole from walmart and a worker saw but I got away, what can I do now? Can I still shop there with my mom? Will they remember and question me or tell me mom? Plz tell me....

  • Danni 4 years ago

    I haven't been arrested yet but I will be as the police have already spoken to me about it, my work knows because my bosses daughter works at myer.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Worried, You won't be questioned unless you are caught shoplifting. You'll be ok going shopping with your mom, but be prepared to be watched.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Danni, That's not good. If you have not done so, get yourself an attorney right away. Good luck.

  • Ashamed 4 years ago

    I'm 20 and me and my friend got caught shoplifting $1500 worth of stuff, it both of our first offenses what will happen to us? We live in australia

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Ashamed, I couldn't find much on shoplifting laws in Australia. From what I've read, the police will only charge you with a shoplifting offense if the amount is $150.00 or less. If the amount is more (which it obviously is in your case) you should be charged with (I'm told) stealing-which is a higher offense. Of course, this will all depend on your previous record (if any) and the manner in which they were stolen. Was all the merchandise taken at the same time, or was it several different thefts?

  • Piper9900 4 years ago

    My 12 year old daughter was with two friends (12 & 13) at a local drug store. One girls was trying on sunglasses and ended up ripping the tag off the pair she was trying but at no point did she attempt to conceal the glasses. The girl stayed by the sunglasses while trying them on and did not walk away wearing them.

    Anyway the manager saw the girl rip the tag off and came over and accused all three girls of attempting to shoplift. The girls were hauled into the managers office where the store owner and local police soon joined them. The woman that had confronted them was yelling at them and telling them they were stupid. They were told that they had damaged store property. The owner took their pictures and made them all sign papers saying they were caught shoplifting, the paper stated that they were banned from the store for two years and if they were caught there during that period they would be charged with trespassing. My daughter had no intention of stealing anything. She had not tried to conceal any merchandise and had nothing even in her hands at the time. The store made no attempt to call me or my husband and they released her to the dad of one of the other girls. Does the store have the right to take her picture and make her sign a document she didn't even understand? She was told if she didn't sign it she would be charged, how is this an acceptable thing to do to a 12 yr old? Just curious as to what her rights are in a situation like this?

  • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

    Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

    I was a store manager for a big box retailer for 15 years I swear half of this stuff happened in my store. The sad thing is the Store Manager in most cases is responsible for their shrink numbers. In my case I did not have any LP,it was just me. Shoplifting really impacts more then what people think. Most people think that because it is a big company that it really has no impact on their bottom line where in fact it increases the price of the goods sold. My store was a 5.6m store and our shrink amount was a 3.4% ($249,000).

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Confused, I'm not familiar with the penal code issue, but I'm guessing that Walmart may file criminal charges after the fact. I've never dealt with that in my past and don't want to comment on a legal issue without knowing what I'm talking about.

    The restitution paper, on the other hand, is a civil fine. Your friends will receive a "fine" in the mail (usually anywhere from $100-$1000 depending on where you live in the US) from an attorney's office or collection company. That money is usually a 50/50 split between the store and the company. Check with a lawyer (or perhaps an online legal forum) before you pay this. They usually won't take you to court for this-no matter how much they may threaten you.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I would contact an attorney immediately about this incident. Accusing someone of shoplifting without evidence and then taking 3 juveniles to the LP office and having them sign paperwork and then taking pictures of them not only sounds illegal, but very creepy. From what you described to me, this incident was blown way out of proportion and should be looked at by a lawyer. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Rhonda. Welcome to Hubpages. 15 years in a big box? You should receive a medal. The store manager position in any big box is perhaps the most unappreciated and hardest jobs in retail. When you're not getting screamed at by those above you, it's the customers who are laying into you. I could never ever do that job. The hours are horrid and you have a million responsibilities.

    Quarter million shrink on 5.6 mil is pretty high. Obviously, it's not all shoplifting shrink, but without LP. I'm sure it wasn't easy owning those numbers.

    Thanks for checking in and leaving your comment.

  • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

    Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

    You are exactly right about the horrid hours. I ultimately was (what they called) involuntarily retired. (Note, I am not old enough to retire.) this was the retailer that has been in the news ALOT lately for changing their pricing strategy. Thought I can't talk about it or I will loose my severance.

    You are right the shrink was not just external, I had two employees that we setting up for others to come in and take,not to mention what they were walking out with. Once I finally had a DLPM who had the gonads to take my word and interview them, they copped to it right away. They admitted to taking over $1000 each for over two years. they were prosecuted and charged with a felony with the condition that if they paid all of their restitution and did their community service their sentence would be reduced to a misdemnor

  • Taylor 4 years ago

    Hi I got caught shoplifting in WalMart a couple days ago. I went to the cleaning isle first and pick up cleaning supplies all together the cleaning supplies cost about $25.00.. But I paid for all my cleaning supplies.. After I left the cleaning supplies I went to cosmetics and took 3 items worth about $15.00 and put it in my purse.. After I checked out my cleaning supplies I was leaving and once I got to the door lp approached me with a woman and to me to come with him I told him no, I told him I didn't have to go with him.

    So as I began to walk out the door he grabbed my arm and I told him not to put his hands on me. I walked to my car which was not mines and l left my paid for items at the door in WalMart n left he followed me got the license plate and I heard him call the cops.. Do you think the cops will be looking for me????

  • QuickQuestion 4 years ago

    I'll make this quick.

    I got caught shopping at Urban Outfitters for a $5 item. I was not arrested but I did sign a form (saying I would not enter an UO for a year) and I did put my social security number on it.

    Then I got a call from a law office saying that I owe a civil fine of $640.

    Am I legally obligated to pay this? I don't want to pay this, but I don't want to go to court either.

  • Mmil002 4 years ago

    I was an employee at a major cosmetic company that is located in a few department stores as well as having their own freestanding stores. Last week while I was off on one day, one of my coworkers whom many of us suspected of stealing was called in to the loss prevention office and was later released from work soon after. I heard that she was let go by our cosmetics company. The next morning I come in to work and about two hours into my shift, I too get called in to the lp office. Long story short, the lp offIcer accused me of stealing ten thousand dollars worth of products which he said was an estimate and that I needed to bring in whatever it was that I had at home do he can adjust the amount. I had to sign a statement that he typed up and I was suspended from the department store. He did not catch me in the act of stealing and I had no stolen products in my bags, which he didn't even search. What can I do?? I signed the statement because I didn't know what else to do, I was scared and felt pressured into agreeing with him. I have not been back there and wrote him a letter telling him I felt forced into signing and agreeing with him.

  • Mmil002 4 years ago

    I wanted to add that it was a Macy's and while I was in the lp office the guy kept telling me he had evidence, but if he had evidence why would he place an estimate dollar amount?? They also kept trying to get me to incriminate my other co workers , which I didn't do. He also kept asking me if I stole clothes or shoes or if I was selling stolen goods on amazon or eBay. I would also like to mention that it happened on a Saturday and I dropped off my letter to him on that Sunday but he was off. That Monday he called me twice and I called him back to tell him I would not be coming to drop anything off as I do not have anything. Since Monday he has called me everyday sometimes even twice a day. I received a phone call from him on Friday from his own cell phone and he threatened that if I do not call him he will be forced to invite authorities. Can he really do that? I sent him a text telling him he would not be hearing from me as I am consulting with a lawyer and until my lawyer has had ample time to review the case, he would then hear from my lawyer. I have tried contacting a lawyer but have yet to hear from them. Can you tell me anything ? I don't know what's right or wrong and I feel harassed and bullied by this guy, not to mention I list my job. One thing I would also like to point out is that two weeks prior to this happening they did an inventory and I remember one of my co workers telling me our inventory loss was ten thousand dollars.

  • Hareshpahuja profile image

    HARESH PAHUJA 4 years ago from MUMBAI INDIA

    Shoplifting is a Bad Habit , But will try it someday :) Great Hub, Vote up & more.

  • worried 4 years ago

    Hi, I live in NJ and went to a Shoprite in a poor high crime area. I went to but some flowers. At the register, a magazine looked good, I put it in my bag. It was one of those more expensive ones, maybe #6.99 or $7.99. I paid for my flowers but got stopped by LP before Ieft the store, and after I ob passed the registers. So he says come with me and has a door open. I said no, he saidhe then he'll call the police. I took the magazine out and put it on the candy machine where I was standing and walked past him. He grabbed my arm and I shrugged it off. Like I shook it free. I kept walking. I got on my bike and drove home. So 2 questions, one is that concealment is not a crime? I can't remember if my customer card has my info on it. I think when I lost my keys a whiledidn back, I got a new card but didn't fill out the paper application. I don't want to double check with them. The LP didnt follow me. But will he call cops. Like I said, lots of more high crime in the area. Plus, you said something in another post about magazines not being merchandise of the store until paid? I left it there. So I'm scared cops will show up at my house even though it seems kinda unlikely. I'm a 100 pound girl and he was a muscular man.Can rhe lie and say I shoved him? If I shrugged off his grip that's not assault? But I guess I got away, but not with anything. I think I'm paranoid. Never want to steal or try to. again.

  • stacy ann profile image

    stacy ann 4 years ago

    I have two questions..

    My foster daughter had an expensive camera she said her mother got her for Christmas. She brought it to me stating it no longer worked. I called Wal-Mart to see about replacing it. The nice lady asked me when I purchased it. I explained that it was my foster daughter's camera, and that I was unsure of the purchase date. She said, just bring it in, we can scan it, and find out when it was purchased. I said OK. I hung up and explained to the girl that I might get it replaced if it was within a certain time period that her mom bought it and that the store would know. She freaked out. She said her mom stole the camera for her. I should have known cause her mom was in jail on felony charges of shoplifting. If the child had not warned me, how much trouble would I have gotten into for returning the camera?

    I have caught this child shoplifting once. She had stolen from several stores in one day. She was doing what her mother taught her to do. I dragged her back to every store, and made her return the merchandise and apologize. Three employees were nice about it, one acted angry, and another banned her from the store. She says she has learned her lesson.

    Also, I read a post about eating food in the store. I am a diabetic and I stay thirsty. It is common practice for me to grab a drink or something while shopping. I will then keep the container and pay for it at the register when I pay for my other purchases. So far no one has said anything to me about this, but could I face charges if an employee wants to raise a fuss?

  • Claims-Advice profile image

    Jim Loxley 4 years ago from London

    Wow.

    Some people have written hubs in the comments here!

    All I'll say is, I'm sure many will find this a great recession buster!

  • scared_teen 4 years ago

    today my friend was with her grandmother and stoled sunglasses from kohls she was stopped by an LP gave back the sunglasses and signed a paper saying she acknowledged she shoplifted and was not allowed in the store , she was driving her mothers car. no cops were called or anything but can her grandmother still shop there ? and can her mother still park the car in the kohls parking lot and shop without any worries ?

  • peachpower profile image

    peachpower 4 years ago from Florida

    That was a very interesting piece- far more interesting are some of the comments that followed!! Well done!! Maybe you SHOULD be a lawyer (if you ever tire of Hubbing).

    :)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    What is it with Walmart.? They're getting awful grabby lately. It's possible but not likely, he called to bother the cops for $15. Cops are busy and have better things to do thank run around wasting their time with $15 shoplifters. Just my opinion, though. I wouldn't have called the cops in you for that.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I read online in a legal forum that most attorneys will either tell you not to pay it, or they will handle the case themselves for less than the price of the fine. Check with a lawyer before you do anything, but be prepared for them to call you relentlessly.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Very rarely, will an LP investigator pull an employee from the floor and interview them formally without evidence. They don't have to tell you what that evidence is, either. Either Macy's has evidence of your stealing on camera, or perhaps the employee who was fired mentioned your name as a person who was stealing. Perhaps she also wrote a statement saying that you were a thief. Perhaps other employees have statements against you, as well.

    The LP mentioned the estimated amount, because he does not know the total you have allegedly stolen. That's why he wants to speak with you. He needs a confession. If he has evidence of you concealing or pocketing one piece of merchandise, he obviously wants to discover if you've taken anything else. That's why he wants the alleged merchandise back. What was on the statement Macy's had you sign? Did you admit to a theft? Was there also a female witness in the room with you and the LP?

    Now, can he call you everyday and harass you until you return merchandise you have allegedly stolen? No. He's not a cop and Macy's isn't a police department. Any lawyer will make harassing calls stop immediately.

    The other question: Can Macy's bring the police into an investigation? Sure. If you're an employee and have been embezzling money or merchandise from the store (and they have enough video evidence, or statements from other employees to make it worthwhile for the police to look into it), the cops may want to question you.

    It's doubtful that he will though. If he gave you a chance to return merchandise and you didn't and now he's calling and threatening police he probably doesn't have enough evidence on you. Otherwise, he would have called the police and just let them handle it.

    Now knowing the full details of the case makes it difficult for me to comment and offer an opinion, so the best I can tell you is to make sure you get a hold of that lawyer, ASAP.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks for the comment, Hareshpahuja. Careful, you may end up in jail.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    First of all, the cops aren't coming after you for a $7 magazine. If you're a store detective in a high crime area and you call the police to go after a 100 lb. girl who stole a magazine from the floral department, all you get is a pissed off cop.

    It also bothers me that we're coming across "grabby" LP these days. More and more, I'm hearing about LP grabbing onto kids and other small shoplifters when it's most-likely against their policy to do so. Many LP big shots read my articles (and these comments) here on Hubpages and I hope they're investigating these grabbing incidents.

    The answer to your first question is: Yes, concealment is a crime in some states, but even if it is, it's usually not used as one in shoplifting cases, because it's easier to prove intent to steal when the suspected shoplifter has left the store.

    And yes, I did state that magazines don't become the property of the store before they are purchased, but that was with the company I worked for. What other policies for other stores are, I don't know. We were prohibited from catching shoplifters who stole magazines at a grocery chain that I once worked for.

    I wouldn't worry about the police, but I also wouldn't shoplift $7 magazines anymore. It's not worth it. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Stacy Ann, Congratulations for taking in foster kids. It's a tough and often thankless job. I'm glad you're trying to help this kid out and get her on the right path. I know it can't be easy.

    Don't worry about Walmart coming after you for a stolen camera that you didn't take. Even if you were the one who stole it, they couldn't prosecute you after the fact. If you want to return it, you could always ,ail it (anonymously) to the store, or leave it at the service desk, saying that you discovered it in a shopping cart out front. No one has to know anything.

    And as far as coming after you for opening and consuming a drink in the store or a snack, or something, don't worry about that either. Remember, you're the customer. You're giving the store the pleasure of your business. You should always be treated politely and professionally. Lots of people open drinks and snacks while shopping. How can you keep a box of cookies in a shopping cart away from a 4 year old? You can't. Stores know this. They also know that people get thirsty or have to take medication while they shop, so don't worry about anything. Just keep the empties handy to ring out at check out and don't let anyone give you a hard time-and if they do, bring your business somewhere else. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Claims-Advice, Welcome to Hubpages! It's crazy, isn't it? 3 or four hubs on the dangers of shoplifting have turned into a part time job for me on Hubpages. I look forward to reading your stuff/

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi scared_teen, Sure. Her grandmother, mom, uncle, second cousins and anyone else in the family who didn't shoplift sunglasses will still be welcome at Kohl's.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks, peachpower. I don't think I'll ever tire of hubbing. It's become a very nice little side business. I don't think, however, that I would make a good lawyer. I'm much too human for that.

    Thanks again for your comment.

  • Doodlehead profile image

    Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

    I walked out once with an eye pencil and totally forgot to pay for it. I am usually thinking about somethng way elsewhere.

    I thought about bringing it back in, but I was afraid they could still arrest me. Could they arrest someone if you are coming back to tell them you forgot to buy it?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    That's not going to happen. If they wanted you, they would have gotten you on the way out the door. These people aren't cops, People accidentally walk out with stuff all the time. Pencils, pens and especially those little non prescription reading glasses everyone sells.

  • Wondering 4 years ago

    I was shopping in Kohl's the other day in the shoe section. There was only one camera in that section and as I was browsing through the shoes, I decided to put a pair of flats in my bag. I had crouched down in the aisle to do so, so there was no way that they saw me on camera. I'm sure they suspected something and sent an LP guy over to the section to check it out. He stared at me and went over to the aisle I was just in and found the empty box. He obviously didn't say anything. I walked around the store for another 20 minutes and then as I walked out, an LP woman came up to me and told me that I had her shoes and that she wanted to check my bag. I told her no and that I had not taken anything. I repeated that several times on the way to my car and she took a picture of my license plate and said I was being uncooperative. I turned around and told her I did not take anything and that I would show her where the merchandise was. I walked back inside the store to the dressing room and put the shoes in there. As I walked out I told her that anything she was looking for was in there. She told me to come back to her office, to which I told her I hadn't taken anything and I was leaving. I then went to my car and she told me she was calling the police. They came to my house and asked if I had taken anything from Kohl's and I relayed my story to them. The officer kept trying to get me to admit to stealing and I kept telling him I did not. He said he would review the video and that I would have to contest it in court.

    Is it possible for them to have a case without video footage of me taking the items...especially when the items are in the store?

  • Concerned 4 years ago

    I took something from target about 3 days ago, left the store and no one stopped me. It was anout $5 and I am assuming it was caught on camera. A few days later I got caught with a friend at a different store and now I'm terrified. If I go back to target and someone saw the tape, could they stop me and will I get in trouble? Or will they see if I do it again?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Wondering, Just because there is no camera (one you can see, anyway) in the department, doesn't mean there isn't video. Pan, Tilt and Zoom cameras (called PLTs) can see clear over from one side of the store to another with ease. You can bet that Target has its shoe department covered. Your problem is, you dumped the merchandise, but no one saw you do it. Then you lied to a cop who had (most likely) seen the video before he went to your house.

    That being said, I would contact a lawyer and get an opinion. I doubt that Target will pursue a shoe case, but you did lie to a cop and he way follow up with you. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Concerned, Either Target didn't see you shoplift, or they didn't have enough evidence to apprehend you. You will not be stopped when you return to the store on a prior theft. Be prepared to be watched, though. There have been many times when someone has gotten away from me for one reason or another, but I was able to apprehend them later on. You were just caught at another store. Why would you want to try this again?

  • Concerned 4 years ago

    Thank you for your help. My concern was because I got caught I am afraid to go back to target and get in trouble. I will never do if again, I haven't gotten sleep yet since I got caught.

  • Sostupid 4 years ago

    I recently got caught shoplifting :( I took a sanitary napkin from the pack and left the rest it was at a Walmart will they put that on my record

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Concerned, You're welcome. Glad I could help. Thanks for writing!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Sostupid, Walmart apprehended you for stealing a sanitary napkin? Are you serious? Are things that bad? No, it won't go on your criminal record, but you may receive a civil fine in the mail. I would fight paying it, if I were you. Walmart does a lot of stupid things when it comes to their shoplifters, but this one has GOT to be in the Top 10.

  • not trying to get in trouble again 4 years ago

    Hello rockinjoe I live in TX I made a mistake at walmart by taking an item priced at $49.99 was not followed or caught on camera taking the item or stopped by anyone its been 4 days but im nervous as hell cause I use Walmart as my pharmacy and im scared to go back in or hav a knock at my door. Am I ok?

  • Henry! 4 years ago

    Hey Joe,

    I'm from Pennsylvania. Yesterday at the grocery store where I work, they I will be suspended for the rest of the week and that LP will do an investigation on me. The manager on duty was unable to tell me why I have been suspended...but since it involves the LP...i'm guessing it's due to a few things I stole (Our store manager hasn't called me yet). See, our supermarket is fairly big and we have a deli/food section where things like Pizza, Chicken Fingers, Chicken Sandwiches, Hoagies, etc are made IN the store... and put out on the shelf.

    ...Not everyday, but for the last two months or so, (with me being on a tight budget and getting no store discount at all) when I went on my lunch break, I would grab a chicken sandwich (or 1 of the items stated above) and walk to the back room and eat it...without paying. I didn't think it was possible to get caught stealing small items like this, but I guess LP is on top of things. I'm just a little worried because I don't want any court trouble. I do a lot for the grocery store I work in..I help out when I can.

    I was just wondering if you could tell me what trouble i'm looking at in the future to come? I would say the amount I've taken over the last few months isn't anymore then $70 worth. I just didn't think it was even possible to trace food items of this nature..how?? (chicken fingers, sandwiches, etc that are made IN the store). I'm a current college student with many goals ahead...and simply don't want any trouble with the law. I have no history of theft.. and don't consider myself to be one :(

    Is there anyway I can just pay them back for the items I took over that period? Do you think I will end up losing my job? (they said i'm currently suspended) What are my options?

    Thank you!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi not trying ti get in trouble again, $50 shoplifting in most places (including Walmart) is jail. If you weren't stopped, they either didn't see you do it, or they didn't have enough evidence to stop you at the time. Don't be too sure that you weren't seen on camera though. Even though there may have not been one you could see in the area, most pan tilt and zoom cams can usually see all the way across the store. Either way, it shouldn't affect you.

    If they did happen to see you steal, but for whatever reason couldn't apprehend you, they could be waiting for you to come back and steal again, but they won't be able to apprehend you for prior thefts.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Henry, Any theft by an employee is cause for concern. I'm assuming LP caught one of your thefts on camera and continued surveillance on you. Each time you steal something, they write down the date, the time, the item and the price and keep a running total. When they feel they have enough evidence, they would most-likely call you in for an interview. Here, they would try to get you confess to thefts they don't know about, or missed during surveillance.

    I'm surprised they suspended you before you were interviewed. Are you by any chance a union member in the supermarket? That's usually what happens in a union store. If that's the case, you'll be called in for an interview and your union steward would probably tell you to resign immediately to avoid prosecution.

    If you are not in a union supermarket, getting suspended doesn't mean anything. You're an "at will" employee and can quit or be fired at anytime, for anything for any reason. Options? Not many.

    1.) You can quit.

    2.) They may never call you back

    3.) If you're called in to be interviewed, you won't be leaving with a job and may possibly leave with the police. They wouldn't interview you unless they had evidence. They'll want your confession on paper along with a promise to pay the money back. Plus they'll probably whack you with a civil fine on top of it.

    I always tell people to check with an attorney anyway. but the above is basically the way it's going to go down.

    Good luck.

  • Henry! 4 years ago

    Thanks Joe,

    I'm actually going in for an interview now. The store I work at does happen to be a member of a Union...so hopefully no prosecution will take place. I will let you know how it goes!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    good luck, henry!

  • Chihiro 4 years ago

    Hi there Rockinjoe,

    My friend and I went to Kohl's to steal one day, since we had done it before and it was really easy we decided to do it again. We took everything into the fitting rooms and waited for the attendant to leave. There's no way anyone directly saw us do anything but they stopped us outside in the parking lot. My friend told me to get in the car and ignore them and we drove away. They must have gotten her plate number because she had a warrant out for her arrest and is now in court. I told her that I would split the civil fee with her since it could have been me driving but she says they won't let her take any plea unless she testifies against me. She says they told her they have a video as well but can they videotape dressing rooms? This happened almost a year ago now and we have never done anything since. We could both loose our jobs, I work in retail now, and she needs no criminal background. If she decides to testify against me can they arrest me then? I don't know what to do and am really scared.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Chihiro, You've got to get a lawyer right away. You've got a friend with a plea hanging over her head and it sounds like the prosecutor is playing hardball.

    Kohl's (like all the others) have no cameras inside their fitting rooms, but you'd better believe they have them pointed at the fitting room entrance. Therefore, they have you and your friend bringing merchandise inside the fitting room and leaving with nothing. You can also bet that they checked the fitting room for the merchandise before you were stopped to make sure you didn't dump it. AND they also may have tags, labels or EAS tags that you pulled off the merchandise. Even though some department stores prohibit fitting room apprehensions (due to the "If you didn't see it, it didn't happen" rule) that rule doesn't apply to the police.

    I'm not a lawyer or a cop, but I'm guessing you could be charged along with her if she testifies. What I don't understand is why they're taking so long for her decision.

    Good luck.

  • Psi 4 years ago

    Thanks for #6! I know that you're not a lawyer, but could you offer some perspective on my situation?

    I set off one of those sensors in a store and I was held by an employee and the manager. During this session, I had to take out all the contents from my bag and show them. It was a clothing store and I had absolutely no clothing on me, aside from what I was wearing of course, and nothing even remotely close to what they sell. They kept on insisting that because I set off their sensor (and apparently, it is incapable of giving false positives), I MUST have something. They even went as far as to say that I must've been WEARING something after they found no evidence in my bag. That was also disproved. No matter how much evidence (or lack of) went against their claims, they kept telling me that I MUST have something and they wanted to look through my stuff AGAIN and AGAIN. I denied their subsequent search requests. They even tried manipulation: "if you have nothing to hide, you would let us search again". In the end, they found absolutely nothing. That was embarrassing and felt like a complete violation of my rights. Is there any action I can take? Thank you.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Psi , If you were shopping in Iran or possibly Syria, I would say you were probably treated very well. But since I'm assuming you were not, I believe your rights were violated.

    That would have been the ideal time to call the police to document your unfortunate encounter. But since many people do not think of this during such an incident, it's now is the time to call an attorney and make sure you tell him/her everything you experienced and let them take care of the issue. I'm completely shocked that a retailer would act this way in this day and age.

    Here's an article you should read on the ineffectiveness of those EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) towers that set off that alarm on you.

    Basically, anything can set them off. Good luck to you!

    http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Department-Store...

  • emberannon 4 years ago

    About 2 months ago I wanted to purchase a few small items at a mom and pop type shop - small town, maybe $30 if I think back. I know the owner a little so when I didn't see him around, I went to look outside with the items in my hand to see if I could see him the street. coffee shop close, I thought maybe he had gone to purchase a coffee or something, there were a couple of kids in the back of the store looking at something else, it's a rather long store, and you can't see the front from the back as it is totally cluttered - I also saw a couple, a guy and a girl pass me on the way in. With no sign of the owner,without a second thought once I was outside, I placed the items on a shelf that was for sale outside the shop sitting on the sidewalk - he has a ton of merchandise out there. I then proceeded to my next stop and picked up a take out meal I had ordered 10 minutes earlier.

    I hadn't seen the shop owner until today. He doesn't know my name but I know his. I'd forgotten all about this as it was 2 months ago, but he started following me around the thrift shop I was shopping in today, finally he caught up with me twice, the first time, I thought it was a coincedance and we had just bumped into each other, but he followed me again.

    This time, he stood in front of me while I was looking at an item asking me if I was still looking for said items (I make projects so he knew all along what I needed, but pretended not too is my guess - in the past he had always sort of looked at me blankly and pretended he didn't know me when I asked do you have any xxxx. He's an odd, strange individual, the shop is a junk shop and boy does he carry a lot of junk.

    I am now suspecting he was told by the couple who saw me leave with the items, or the kids in the back of the store that I had walked out of the store with the items? Does he think I stole them, or does he have a camera to the front of the shop and saw me - now I have to wonder and am worried about it?

    He asked me to come on by anytime and was much more overly friendly than usual - on his territory, I suspect he would confront me or question me, but does he have any rights in firstly questioning me only on suspicion?

    If he were to ask me about said items, what are my rights.

    I did nothing wrong, but I feel maybe he is thinking I am guilty of a crime.

    With or without evidence of me walking through the door with merchandise, could charges be laid for something I didn't take 2 months later or does he need proof?

    I have enough on my plate and am waiting on a rather complicated surgery so I don't want to worry that he may try and get me charged, cause stress etc.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    I'm in Ontario Canada

    Thanks

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi emberannon , I wouldn't worry about this at all. No one is going to come after you two months later for a misunderstanding. If he were to have made a complaint to the police (which I also doubt), they most likely would have told him to keep an eye on you. And as you mentioned, he's an oddball. Don't worry about it.

    I hope your surgery goes well! Get better!

  • emberannon 4 years ago

    Thanks so much rockinjoe - your answer has definately put my mind at rest and thanks for the well wishes

    This is a great fourm )

    Ember

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Anytime, Ember! Good luck to you!

  • thetoy2010 4 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe.. great hub! My issue is 3 weeks ago I was in a meijer in indiana about 4am grocery shopping. I rang all my items up and swiped my debit card in the self check out lane. I bagged my items and cancelled my debit card payment because I had 2 items I couldn't get to scan. Attendant came over and got the 2 items scanned for me. I swiped my debit card again finished bagging items and left. No one followed me or wrote down my plates (or I didn't see anyone) or anything like that. The next day my bank (actually a credit union) contacted me about possible fraudulant charges on my debit card. I verified the last 5 transactions. The credit union had shut my card off as well as visa for potential fraud/theft. I never reported card Stolen or lost cause it wasn't. It's been 3 weeks ago this occured. I just got the debit card issue cleared up today finally with credit union and visa.. my credit union informed me the charge from meijer was declined. Am I in trouble here? No one has contacted me from meijer or representing meijer and nothing in mail either. The total was for $84.43.. guess it's my fault for being in a hurry and not taking receipt.. should I call store.. are cops coming for me? Should I call corporate meijer..

    Thanks for you time and advice!

  • onthego 4 years ago

    HEY... i sent a question yesterday... Have you received it? I would really like to hear your input please?

  • giraffe610 profile image

    giraffe610 4 years ago from Edmond, OK

    I have a question about being caught and arrested for shoplifting but it was an honest mistake. I know everyone says that but its true. It was 60 dollars worth of stuff. I have multiple sclerosis and PTSD along with a TBI from my 2nd tour in Iraq. I'm now medically retired from the Army. My memory and the things i do are sometimes a little out there. I want to ask you my question but not so everyone can see. I am getting a lawyer so I don't want to put to much out there. I'm only a 31 year old female and if you look at me you wouldn't think I had any problems. I have a handicap placard and all. I didn't know how to write you without others reading. If you get the time can you please help me out with this. Thank you.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi onthego, I haven't yet received anything from you.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi thetoy2010, Did a receipt come out of the self check? To answer your question, no one is coming after you. It doesn't work like that. More and more stores are abstaining from making apprehensions at self scan checkouts because human error + computer error is pretty common. As convenient as these things are, they're far from perfect.

    If it were me, I would wait for (at least ) the next two statements to make certain the bank didn't screw up and end up charging you for the purchase. If you'd like to call the store and speak with one of the managers about it, you can do that. No one is going to accuse you of theft. Mistakes happen. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi giraffe601, I can't really make an educated comment without knowing more, but since your case appears to be ongoing, I understand why you cannot tell me more.

    What I can tell you, is, an LP employee (or store detective) who has witnessed a shoplifting and have enough evidence to so, will apprehend, if they are able. If there are underlying elements to the case, (which happens from time to time and are only visible after the incident) it would be up to your lawyer and the prosecutor (and maybe even a judge) to figure out.

    Unfortunately, I cannot answer questions outside of this forum, (I'm not a lawyer) but I wish you luck and hope everything turns out for the best.

  • thetoy2010 4 years ago

    I'm not sure about a receipt.. I don't believe so but then again I didn't pay attention and if the transaction was declined at the p.o.s. there wouldn't be.. I can prove there was sufficient funds at the time of sale.. it's just odd that the other 4 transactions from that morning once I approved them went through ok but the meijer one was declined.. since I know walking out of a store with items (mine were all groceries and it was for $84.43) is considered shoplifting or theft I was just curious if they were going to come after me for that..

    Thanks again for your time and advice and great hub!

  • thetoy2010 4 years ago

    Also am I safe to go back into store until I get this cleared up with meijer? What potential reprecussions could I expect? I just don't want them coming after me for shoplifting/theft when I did pay (or at this point I would have to say 'attempted' to pay). I contacted credit union and just heard back.. they said transaction was declined at p.o.s cause of the potential fraud/lost debit card and that both transaction attempts at meijer were declined which I didn't know until now

  • worri 4 years ago

    hi i was at iga supermarket on july 2012, i had a few drinks with friends and we were out of wine, so i went to iga. I grabbed a iga green bag thinking the plastic bag would be harder to carry few bottles of wine. I went to til to pay and i had 4 bottles of white wine and i gave her one bottle, thinking she saw the other ones in the iga bag i was carrying. i guess she only rang in one bottle and i payed and left so an undercover lp officer said i need to come back to the store because i didnt pay for the other bottles and i was accused of theft. I don't live in the country, i am from canada,i was just on vacation, i have never done this before or ever in this situation ever. After he took me into his office and gave my a letter to pay civil fee within 10 days or i will be sent to court, no poilce came or was called . So when i came back to canada i went to bank and got a money order and mailed it to IGA. I even spoke with the LP officer on the phone and asked if i pay this i dont have to go to court. He said yes, pay the fine everything wil be ok. So i never heard from them until today i got a letter in the mail indicating i have been charged with teft and i am suumoned to go to court end of sept 2012. I called the IGA and spoke with the same guy who took me into his office, and he looked up my case and he said yes i see you have paid the civil fee, but the another guy who was in charge of my case did not input in the computer or on my case file that i had paid and it was still outstanding. I have the reciepts of my money order and the date i bought money order and now, IGA undercover guy said that he will find out why this happend and see what he can do on his end when i go to court..I am really confused and scared i don't know what to do or who to believe..please help

  • dinosxd 4 years ago

    a store that supposeovly caught me shoplifting but never had me detained or arrested or sign the waver kicking me out is trying to make me sign the waver 2 years later. can i legally enter the store because im pretty sure there is a time frame from when i shoplifted and when they can legally kick me out of the store.

  • Ellieface profile image

    Ellie 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Hey Rockinjoe!

    This is a very interesting hub and I voted up across the board. I took the time to read all the different questions from people and your answers to said questions. Some very interesting situations and you give some great advice and perspective into their situations. Boy, I bet you have some interesting stories to tell about working in Loss Prevention!

    I find, that with most things, shoplifting isn't always black and white. I'm not necessarily condoning it, but not really condemning it in certain situations either. I guess I'm wondering if you ever came across a case while working in LP where the person was shoplifting some food to feed their family (because they didn't have the money to do so,) or something like that? I know it's probably not as common as people stealing for other reasons, but I was just wondering if you ever had to deal with cases like that. Especially with the economy the way it is right now.

  • giraffe610 profile image

    giraffe610 4 years ago from Edmond, OK

    Hello- I wrote you a few days a and said very little because I wasn't sure what to say until I talk to my attorney. I see him tomorrow but just can't wait! =/ Knowing I'm getting in trouble for something that was an honest mistake (I know you always hear that) is driving me crazy! I live in Oklahoma. I guess the huge chain not Walmart had sent my picture out to the other stores because the LP's told me they were watching me from the moment I walked in and showed me a picture from another one of their stores. I have multiple sclerosis and a very bad memory. My neurologist says it's from both my MS and a TBI from an injury I received on my 2nd tour in Iraq. I also have PTSD and am very jumpy. Someone claps suddenly I jump up screaming!! Before I left the place they had my picture from I went to the bathroom after paying for my 200 dollars worth of stuff because with MS you can't wait to go. I was feeling very weak and fatigued to that day because heat makes MS worse. I sat down got something to drink and even went to talk with the pharmacist to see if she knew anything about it. I realized while there I had something small like crayons (I really can't remember) in the top by my purse so I put them down. As i was leaving there was a security guy there and he asked to see my receipt for a drink I had next to my purse. So I showed it to him. I thought it was really strange but left not thinking anything else of it. Well apparently they think I went into the bathroom to hide stuff. I'm really not to sure that's just what the place that called the cops on me said and that they were to look out for me. So this most recent trip that got me arrested I had got some crayons, stickers and pens for my 2 year old daughter. Also cards for my husband and put them under my purse and between my purse and the top of the shopping cart where you can lift that flap up so stuff won't fall through. I also put a bigger thing of crayons on the bottom of the cart. I put stuff under/between my purse so they don't bend. I always have done it. I also got my daughter a pair of shoes. She hates shoes. And because its so hot where I live she always wheres sandals. I wanted to make sure if she took them off I could put them in my purse along with her diapers so I wouldn't have to carry a diaper bag. I saw another pair of shoes and grabbed them. Put them on top of my purse and looked around for more. Not to sure what happened next but put the 2nd pair back and left. Yep shoes still in my purse. Continued shopping. Went to the register and paid 150 dollars in food and stuff. On my way out I stopped and remember looking at the kid section and seeing a Hello Kitty shirt. I stared at it for like a minute but couldn't put two and two together until it happened. I walked out the first set of doors into the entrance where you have to walk out one more set of doors to the parking lot when the LP came walking through the doors and scared the hell out of me. I jumped and screamed like always. He started to push my cart backwards and then picked it up and the stickers and stuff were there. I had taken the cards out during my shopping trip because I really didn't like them and wanted to go to Hallmark. If I was gonna steal that stuff I would have got those cards anyways. I was speechless and really didn't say much. I lost all train of thought. When we got into the office he asked to see my purse and I said no. I was scared. He said that once I was on their property they can look at whatever they want. So I took the shoes out and he took mt purse and looked through it. I had a notebook in there and I said that was mine and he was like really I'm like yes look in it. I had stuff written in it. He was like oh. Is he aloud to look through my stuff? or just the cops? I asked if I was going to be arrested and he said it was up to his boss which was a complete lie. He knew. I wanted to text my husband so he wouldn't worry because of my issue's if I don't call or come home when expected he starts to think something happened. They wouldn't let me till like 45 minutes later and just say I'll call him in a sec. I don't remember what I said. I never said I did anything. But I also didn't tell him what I just told you because they have heard it all before. And not knowing me and watching me on video I look guilty. So I felt like it was pointless. They made me sign something not sure what it was. They said all it was is so the cop didn't have to bring the stuff to the station with him and it belonged to the place. In no way was it me saying I did it. I hope that is the case. But I have now got an attorney to fight this because it is BS. They were very cocky 25 year old boys. I look normal. A 31 year old 5'9 130 pound blond hair blue eyed girl. You would never know what I go through everyday. I have that notebook in my purse to write down things because I forget things so easily. Sorry this is so long I just wanted to get your take on it. I have no criminal record and was honorably and medically discharged from the Army. It was a horrible mistake that is stressing me out like crazy. Do I have to be completely out the doors before being accused or where he stopped me is that ok? I know you are not a lawyer or cop but any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated. I didn't proof read this so if there are mistakes I am sorry. Thank you for your time.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi thetoy2010, Sorry for the late reply. Busy week! No, you don't have a shoplifting issue with Meijer. There's no way they can come after you (or would come after you) after the fact. POS problems happen all the time. I'm sure Meijer wants your business and doesn't want to scare anyone off with payment issue. That being said, they may try and debit your account when funds are available. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi worri, Don't worry about it. It's IGA's problem. You paid your fee and you have your receipts. If there is any problem in the future, you have your receipts. It sounds like it's a simple paperwork error to me. I wouldn't be concerned at all.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi dinosxd, What kind of waiver are they trying to get you to sign. How have they contacted you?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Ellieface , Thanks for the comment. Thanks also for the upvotes! They are very much appreciated.

    I recall one experience (that really sticks out) when I was just beginning. A woman came into the store with a young girl (about 3 or 4 years old), who wan't wearing any shoes. It was early March and still quite cold outside. Sure enough, she brought the little girl to the shoe department and placed a new pair of shoes on the kid's feet. She looked around and ripped the price tag off the shoes and threw it on the floor. It was pretty clear from their appearance that they didn't have much, but I continued to watch her to see what else she would do. She ended up buying a box of breakfast cereal and a package of cookies and never paid for the shoes. I let her walk out the door and didn't stop her.

    I went to the shoe department, where I found the price tag for $4.99. It was the cheapest pair of children's shoes that we sold. The woman could have selected a more expensive pair of shoes, but she didn't. I took the tag to the cash register and paid for the shoes, myself. I'm pretty grateful for what I have.

    There have been a couple of others over the years, but that one, I'll never forget.

    Great question! Thanks for asking.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi giraffe610,

    From what you've told me, the LP's had all the elements needed for a successful shoplifting apprehension. Granted, the way you were treated is highly questionable. There are ways to do things and there are ways not to do things. These kids clearly need to be retrained. That being said, other than being being jerks, they have a legitimate case against you.

    Stopping you in the vestibule or foyer area, is usually acceptable. (At least as far as the law is concerned.) When you passed the cash registers and went out the first door, you bypassed all points of purchase, indicating that you had no intention of paying for the merchandise. Intentional, or not, it's still shoplifting.

    Legally, It appears (to me, anyway) they've done nothing wrong.

    As far as store policy is concerned, they may have committed some infractions. Looking through your purse is probably against store policy. Also the way you were treated is definitely not store protocol.

    Give your lawyer as much information as you can. Good luck to you!

  • giraffe610 profile image

    giraffe610 4 years ago from Edmond, OK

    Thank you so much for the response and advice. I know how it looked and why they did it but knowing it was unintentional really kills me and just how aggressive they were. It's like no matter what they were out to get me. Probably got a bonus or something. ;) Just kidding. I wanted to say in my "novel" I wrote but forgot is how I said something about putting a big container of crayons under the cart because it was just convenient and then decided not to get it and put it back. Well I was going somewhere with that. LOL. I just had so much to write and so much on my mind that I totally forgot. They were pushing me and asking why I put that back. Asking why did I chicken out. It was just things like that that went on through this whole ordeal. We will see what happens. I am hoping my lawyer will be able to prove that with my medical issues it really was an accident. A very expensive one at that. Have you ever seen anything like my case? I know how it looked but those were not my intentions. What stinks is everyone says that so when someone comes around and is actually telling the truth and truly didn't mean to take stuff those other people blow it for people like me. I love this page you have. It has helped me out so much. Just wanted you to know that.

  • Ellieface profile image

    Ellie 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Hey Joe!

    That is a really sweet story! So very nice of you to just let them go and then pay for the shoes yourself. I'm glad that good people like you still exist in this world! :) Gives me hope for the rest of humanity.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey there, giraffe610, Glad I could help. (a little bit anyway) It's easy to sit here in my office and play Monday Morning Quarterback and say what went wrong and what went right during a shoplifting apprehension, but unless you're present during the stop (as you were) you can never be sure what is the best course of action to take as a loss prevention employee.

    I've had women smaller than you attack with a knife or nail file and it really puts you on edge when approaching someone. That doesn't excuse the LP from treating you like garbage when they got you in the office, I'm just mentioning it, because stopping someone for shoplifting is just as nerve wracking for the LP as it is for the person being stopped. If something can go wrong, it will happen during the apprehension.

    I have a perfect example of a story I can relate to you how a person ended up with charges dropped against them. It also cost me my job.

    I was working for a chain of supermarkets, called Shaw's. I stopped a guy (who was significantly larger than me) for $10 worth of merchandise. It was winter and he was wearing a big heavy jacket and had his hands in his pocket. I asked him to please remove his hands from his pockets (as there could be a weapon inside them) and he refused. I asked him a couple of more times as we were heading for the door to the security office and a third time, once inside the office, I asked him again, but added a well known (and quite vulgar) adjective, by asking him to "take his hands out of his #$%^& pockets. Again he refused. I called the police. (I was all alone with this guy, except for a kid who worked in the produce department. He was my witness.)

    The police came to the store and searched the suspect for me. This guy was cocky with the cops, as well. They had to restrain him in order to search him. They also said they were going to take him to jail. The guy calmed down after that and I decided to give him a break by just writing him up and letting him go. I should have prosecuted him and let the cops arrest him.

    The guy complained that I was verbally abusive and had his psychiatrist call the store to complain. I was suspended and seeing no choice, quit before I was terminated. On top of that, my extremely weak boss, decided to fight me from collecting unemployment. I won at the hearing and was able to collect, but I lost my job because the company would not back me up. They would have rather seen an employee face a possible knife, gun, hypodermic needle, etc., than allow me to use a profanity. Political correctness at its finest.

    Needless to say, the shoplifter not only got his charges dropped, but he was given a $50 Shaw's Supermarket gift certificate for his troubles.

    So, yes, I've seen similar cases to yours, but that was the only one I've seen successfully dropped from someone claiming a mental illness.

    My only question to you, is, Was there a female in the LP office, during the entire time you were there? If not, you should mention that to your attorney. It's very important.

    Good luck :)

    Oh, and thanks for the nice compliment.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks, Ellieface . Every once in awhile even a store detective can be a nice guy :)

  • Kyla 4 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe, I was wondering if someone was being watched by a security guard and while leaving the store, acted suspiciously on purpose (looking over shoulder, holding bag close to body) in hopes to create a false arrest in order to make a lawsuit- Can said person be charged if the security stops her and she is found with nothing, and threatens to sue, and security suspects it is a ploy?

  • Tony 4 years ago

    I have been an LP agent at a nationwide retailer for the past four years. I rarely ever follow company policy for stops such as boundaries and not touching a person. If I couldn't step off boundary or not touch my "victims" then I would never catch these people. I never follow no handcuff and no weapon policy. They tell us to detain the scum of society by approaching and saying "good morning maam I see that you stole that 50" plasma TV would you please come with me?" they respond "Ahhhh F*&^ Naw DAWG ESSAY HOMEY!!" and they begin to run they fat ass away. They expect them to cooperate 100% of the time. Many of these individuals have no means of survival except for shoplifting and many have warrants. I have never had a problem with handcuffing a cholo and if necessary, I will defend myself. State law is much more lenient than company policy in this state. I can detain after witnessing concealment, I can chase someone across the street, I can throw someone to the floor if they refuse to cooperate. I have no sympathy for any person who shoplifts for personal gain or for the kids whose parents will not buy them the new XBox game so they steal it. I will however, show sympathy for the pregnant woman stealing baby clothes and formula. As arrest goes, our jail is full of meth heads and animal rapists. People rarely ever get arrested. The only person who was arrested and that did not have a warrant was a black male. This town consists primarily of Hispanics with chrome rims and tattoos saying "Tapout". Do not get caught if you are a black male because you are more likely to go to jail than the dick head white Hispanic rapist. I hate my job. Keep all of this in mind all of you criminals out there.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kyla, Thanks for writing. So your question is, can the person who creates the illusion of theft be charged, if he/she is apprehended and found to have no merchandise? No. If you're apprehended and the LP or security person who stops you discovers no merchandise, they are in a boatload of trouble. Not only is their job in extreme jeopardy, but the company is at risk for a potential lawsuit.

    LP is supposed to follow certain steps before they can apprehend a shoplifter. (You can see them here: http://rockinjoe.hubpages.com/hub/5-Things-You-Did...

    Companies (especially the big chains) do everything they can to ensure that innocent shoppers are not accidentally targeted for shoplifting. They do this because:

    1.) Innocent customers who are accused of shoplifting is bad for business.

    2.) Innocent customers who are accused of shoplifting tend to sue and win.

    Any store employee who makes an apprehension (or even questions someone) about a shoplifting (or imagined shoplifting), with no evidence, is asking for trouble and shouldn't be in the business. However. there are people out there who intentionally try to defraud the store for personal gain. Fake slip and falls, or concealing merchandise they purchased elsewhere, so the LP/security will think it was stolen. There are a million scams and store personnel have to be vigilant and be sure they don't get caught up in a false accusation.

    Hope that answers your question.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Tony, Thanks for writing. I don't how long you've been working LP, but I'm assuming its awhile. I've worked with many people over the years who have shared your opinions. One of two things usually happen to guys like you in LP.

    1.) You'll seriously injure someone, get the store into a huge lawsuit, get yourself fired and possibly bring assault charges upon yourself.

    2.) You'll be promoted to District LP.

    I'm glad you wrote. It lets my readers (who let's face it, are 80% Loss Prevention and Retail executives, anyway) know that there are still guys like you out there who will disregard the rules in order to benefit their agenda. Guys who are a hand grenade waiting for some shoplifter to pull out the pin. I'm not trying to insult you. Just giving my unasked for opinion.

    Your last line sums it up best. "I hate my job. Keep all of this in mind all of you criminals out there."

    Tony hates his job, everyone. Be careful.

  • Dumbbutt 4 years ago

    shoplifted. Left the store. Nothing happened. Went back. Didn't steal. Walked out... A man was outside, looked like he was calling someone? Will the cops show up?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi dumbutt, If I could predict the future, I'd buy a lottery ticket.

  • Advice Please :( 4 years ago

    Hi, about a month ago i was arrested for shoplifting $230 with another person from kohls in Ca. We were taken to the police station and fingerprinted and then released. The cop said i should recieve a letter with a court date but I still haven't. I actually received a civil demand letter and paid $325. Now that I have done some reading online i kind of wish i hadn't paid the civil demand if it does not lessen the chances of going to court. I'm really scared and this is my first and only offense. What do you think the consequences will be for me when I do go to court.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Advice Please :( , The civil demand you paid is (usually) a 50/50 split between the law firm and the department store. You would have received the civil demand fine whether you had been arrested, or not. It has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal case against you.

    I can't even begin to imagine what your consequences will be. Not being a lawyer, I can't even take a guess. I'm sorry I can't help you with this question.

  • R0123 4 years ago

    Hi,

    I made a stupid mistake of giving someone I know discount in a retail shop that I work, I'm really scared that I will get fired now ? I mean I don't know what the chances are but yes I'm just scared as I've never done such a thing and really regret it

    Thanks

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi RO123, Tough to tell. Depends on what systems they use to account for their cash. Everything you type into that cash register should be available to the bosses or office workers. If that transaction were to stand out for some reason (like a large dollar amount, a credit card chargeback or a future return, for example) and they wished to investigate it further, they could probably match it up video (it it were available)

    Sometimes it takes a long time (and multiple infractions) to catch someone who is giving discounts,

    It's tough to tell. It depends on a lot of variables. Hope that helps a little. Good luck!

  • RO123 4 years ago

    It wasn't a big discount at all, a minor one.. I just haven't done such a thing before hence why I'm scared.. Deffibately wont be doingbit again.. I hope it all goes well. Thanks for your help

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    RO123, I hope it goes well for you.

  • Dom 4 years ago

    Hey, I am 19 and got caught stealing a candy bar worth about $2 from CVS today. It was one of the dumbest decisions ever. I was then brought to the back room and my college ID and drivers license were taken (they didn't scan them). They also took a picture of me and the candy. They let me go after and only said I was banned from CVS. I signed no paper work and the LP was really chill. I later asked the manager if I will be fined or something and he basically said no just don't come back. Is there anything I should be worried about? Like court case? Would they still send a fine? Will my college be notified? ... Please respond, I'd really appreciate it. I just don't want to think about it anymore.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Dom, You're not going to have to worry about criminal action and your school or work will not be notified, but that $2 may cost you a civil fine of anywhere from $100-$700 depending on where the CVS you shoplifted is located. The chill LP didn't ask for your ID for no reason. Just because they didn't charge you criminally, doesn't mean they won't try and give you a civil fine.

    Google "Civil Demand-Your State" to see what your fine will possibly be.

    Maybe you'll luck out and not receive one. Good luck!

  • Dom 4 years ago

    Thanks Rockinjoe but I thought they took the photo and ID to have identification on me so in case I ever come back to CVS they can then charge me for "trespassing" since I'm banned. I didn't even get papers to sign anything. I went back to ask the manager if a fine will be charged and he said "why are you asking?" I answered, "because I am a college student and am worried." He smiled and before he finished saying "Lets let it be a surprise..." he then said "No fine, just don't come back." I do not know whether I should relax or not, would he have lied? And it happened in NYC, but I can't seem to find an estimate on the fine.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Dom, Large chains I've worked for in the past have always 'no trespassed' their shoplifters, (verbally, at the time of the incident, or later by mail) but have never enforced them. (in my experience.) It's not like there's someone sitting in a back office at CVS who says, "Hey, there's the guy who took a Hershey's bar back in 2012. Let's get him!" The only way I can see a 'no trespass' being enforced is in the case of boosters or habitual shoplifters.

    Your question, "Would the manager lie?" Sure he would. No one wants a confrontation on the sales floor in front of shoppers, or in an LP office. He could also be ignorant to policy.

    You don't have to be arrested to be sent a civil fine ('civil' being the key word here.) and you don't have to sign any paperwork in order to be fined either. I'm not saying you'll receive one, or not receive one. If I were betting on it, I'd put my money on yes.

    If you do receive one, if will be in the state where the shoplifting occurred. In this case, New York. The link below is an article about civil demand fines from the Wall Street Journal. It's from 2008, but still, the best I've seen concerning civil demand. Let me know how you make out with this. I'm very interested. Good luck.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120347031996578719...

  • Dom 4 years ago

    Will do, and thanks again for the help!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Dom, You're welcome!

  • thetoy2010 4 years ago

    Thank you Rockinjoe for a great hub. I appreciate the advice and the intelligence and experience you apply to the comments you make and advice you give! I will certainly highly recommend this hub as well as others to people who need some neutral input on any issue whether good or bad that they may have or are dealing with. Even people who make honest mistakes need a sounding block and guidance. That's what makes America great!

    Thanks again!!

    Thetoy2010 in Indiana

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi there, thetoy2010 ! It was very nice of you to write and say that. I appreciate it. Everyone likes to think their work is appreciated. I'm glad you appreciate mine. Thank you!

  • Beats 4 years ago

    So I was in the apple store today to purchase some headphones(drdrebeats) and after I took them off the shelf I decided that I would just walk out with then (stupid I know) I didn't try to conceal the item I jus nonchalantly made my way towards the door and an lp stopped me, so I gave him the headphones and tried to run out of the store where I was tackled and held down by 3 lps they then took me into a room and made me sign a paper saying I couldn't come back and waited on the police. I was taken to booking and given a court date. I was wondering if because I didn't try to conceal the merchandise and I didn't get out of the store with it do I have a strong case? And is it legal to be tackled by an lp?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Walking out the door with the merchandise (instead of concealing it) is the same thing. When you conceal an item, you're making it harder to prove you 'forgot' to pay for it. Handing off the item and then running away from LP, pretty much tells them that your intent was to steal the item.

    I don't know Apple's policy on shoplifting. Much like the design of the next iPhone, Apple keeps their policies under a pretty tight wrap. If the LP is allowed to apprehend you using reasonable force, they're going to take advantage of it. It also sends a message to potential shoplifters that Apple doesn't screw around when it comes to protecting their merchandise. You could speak with a lawyer, but I'm 100% sure that everything is on video. Good luck with this!

  • worried 4 years ago

    Hi I had gotten two white bedsheet sets diffrent brand from bed bath and beyond on different timing and I had returned one back to the store when I came back home I realized that I had returned the wrong bedsheet in the wrong packaging. I am just worried if that will be a problem since they have my credit card and name info.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Worried,

    That shouldn't be a problem. Bring the other sheet back and straighten it out with a manager.

  • stupid me 4 years ago

    I have a same question like worried. I had bought sheets long time ago from macy's and never used them for few years and recently i wanted to change the color but I had the old packaging I bought the new packaging sheet with the color I wanted and return the old color and I mean I had a whole set like pillow cases, sheet set and comforter cover. would macys send cops to my house if i get caught.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Stupid Me,

    Of course you have the same question as Worried (above) That's because you're flagged as being the same person with the same IP address trying to comment as two different people.

    You can't even be honest with the guy you're trying to get an answer from.

    I hope the Macy's in Roanoke, VA. keeps an eye out for you!

  • Beats 4 years ago

    Thanks for your response rock, your really helpful, one thing though you said walking out of the store is the same as concealing it. I never concealed it and I never had the item in my possession outside of the store. So I ask again can someone really be charged with larceny when they didn't conceal the item of walk out of the store with it?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Beats! Shoplifting is basically, taking an item past the last point of purchase, without making an attempt to pay for it. If you've passed all the cash registers with the merchandise, most law enforcement would call that shoplifting. To take it a step further and solidify their case, most chain stores have added that the shoplifter MUST be outside of the store before they are apprehended. Not knowing Apple's policy on shoplifting, it might be wise for you to hook up with an attorney and ask some questions. You may have a case. Good luck!

  • Concerned 4 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe!

    I shoplifted from a store several years ago and I did everything that needed to be done to keep a clean record. I had to sign a trespass notice for that store saying that I'm banned from it. There wasn't a specific timeline that I had to keep away from it. I'm working right now and my company might collaborate with that store and I'm worried if the trespass issue will come up? How will I go about to remove that trespass or work something out with that store?

    Thanks!

  • kaydee72 4 years ago

    I'm sure some variation of this question has been asked before, but can one be apprehended for a prior theft that was caught on camera? Say I walked out of a store and was not caught, no license plate, no suspicious employees. Upon reviewing footage they saw the theft - can they arrest me on a prior theft if I return to the store? Even if I don't steal again?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Concerned, I would highly doubt it. In all my years in the business, I have never seen a no trespass order enforced, either by an employer or the police. In my experience, the only time a no trespass order comes into play is if the trespasser shoplifts again. But I have still never seen one carried out. That includes both shoplifters or employees who have stolen.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi kaydee72 , No, that's not going to happen. Loss Prevention employees are not cops and they can't apprehend after the fact. They need several steps to apprehend a shoplifter (as required by their store) and If they miss one, they're out of luck. (See the steps here)

    https://soapboxie.com/government/5-Things-You-Didn...

    Now, that being said, if a store is experiencing a continual problem with a certain shoplifter, or perhaps one big theft and there is ample video evidence, the police can be called to come in and question the subject, should he/she come back into the store.

    I had a problem years ago with a guy who was coming in and stealing razor blades (almost daily) and due to the logistics of the store was almost impossible to catch. One day, I saw him walk in and called the police and they were outside waiting for him when he left.

  • Hungry girl 4 years ago

    Hi, today I was caught stealing food from my college cafeteria (sandwich and salad bowl). It was so embarrassing when handcuffed outside the store in front of everybody.... The school police said I will receive a citation by mail soon. Will this incident be in my record forever? And it will show up, let say when stop by police for traffic violation . Even worse, when I finish college (social worker) will this incident will prevent me from getting a job for a federal agency??

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Hungry Girl,

    You were arrested by campus police? They handcuffed you for a sandwich? That seems a little extreme, but since they couldn't be real cops, I guess cuffing a woman for stealing a sandwich and a salad is probably a big deal to them.

    I would take this to a legal online forum. I'm not an attorney, so therefore cannot provide legal advice, but with small misdemeanor crimes (like stealing a sandwich and a salad bowl) they can be erased (or expunged) from your record after a year.

    Good luck!

  • Big mistake 4 years ago

    I went to penny's today to exchange a couple of things and ended up returning a couple that I was actually buying she almost gave me my Jeans without charging I was buying she thought I was returning I think I confused her as well as myself I had my return bag as well as all the stuff I was getting do it kinda got mixed up I did pay for the jeans and still was thinking my total was low so I get home with receipt and sure thing I returned a couple of things I was buying I did cell and spoke to a manager never said my name just what I'm tling I and I needed to pay back the couple items she returned I did have it all mixed up so it's not cashiers fault but I feel bad can I get in trouble if its on camera I put it in my cart thing and she returned it I was trying to hurry and exchange and shop

  • Big mistake 4 years ago

    I forgot to mention I heard the girl on the phone talking about me she said no she's returning and buying and she had a return bag so I'm not sure what they thought I was doing but I was exchanging Jeans and a hoodie and shirt and buying pjs socks jeans

  • Mike 4 years ago

    I am a manager of a small chain discount store. One day the store was really busy and one of our LP guys mistakingly accused a guy of shoplifting. I went up to apologise and give him a $100 gift card. Well, to my and everyone who was around disbelief, this guy starts yelling and in a loud voice asked the customers if he should sue the store and a__h___ that falsely accused him of shoplifting. A lot of the customers sided with him. He then took the gift card and bent it and threw it on the floor and spit at it. Do you think we will be hit hard? Thanks.

  • Mike 4 years ago

    Sorry, I forgot to mention that after he spit, in a calm voice he said that he would see us in court and I better update my resume.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    You're a customer. You're not in trouble. Mistakes happen all the time. There's a big difference between doing a fraudulent return and either the service desk person or customer making a mistake. Go back to the store and straighten it out with the manager present.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mike,

    That depends on what the customer (and his lawyer) are willing to settle for and what the company is willing to pay to make it right. Every discontinued detention (sometimes known, as a 'bad stop' ) is different.

    The gift card didn't work , but it rarely does. You're asking someone who's just been accused of a crime and embarrassed in front of other shoppers (and perhaps, neighbors) to sign off on and exchange his/her reputation for $100 gift certificate to the store that accused him of stealing. I know it's policy in many stores these days, but it's incredibly insulting. How that person was treated at the time of the incident by LP and management, also plays a huge part in the outcome.

    The LP will probably lose his job, depending on the severity of the mistake. It goes with the territory and ALL lp are aware of the risks involved in stopping a person with no stolen merchandise. Whether or not the shopper had attempted shoplifting isn't even put into play. The point is, he didn't. And like it or not, the guy is an honest customer.

    I don't envy your job. Personally, I could never do it. You're the first one in line to hear ALL complaints (both customer and employee) and you're the one who gets screamed at when something goes wrong. I wish you luck with this situation.

    I wrote an article on being falsely accused of shoplifting. The link is below.

    http://hubpages.com/politics/Accused-of-Stealing-S...

  • DLPM 4 years ago

    Hi Joe. I have a question I have yet to see asked in this forum. If you were offered the perfect LP job, with the best money, location, etc., but the one condition was you had to stop writing these columns about loss prevention and shoplifting. Would you do it?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi DLPM, Thanks for your comment. Are you asking me if I can be bought? It's a great question and although it hasn't been brought up online, it's been asked of me, personally.

    I've spoken with a few great companies this year from different locations around the US and although none of them resulted in a direct offer (as my wife and I are kind of stuck in Southern New England, for the time being), I did speak with a an LP District Manager a couple of months back who contacted me regarding a company in the midwest that had an open district investigational position that (under other circumstances) would have been ideal for me. I asked her what the job paid and she gave me the low to high salary range, but asked if I would be willing to give up my articles and delete the current ones, on the condition of accepting an offer. I asked her (jokingly) if she were trying to bribe me and she joked back, "I'd rather have you working for us, than writing about us." The point wasn't discussed further, as I couldn't even entertain an offer outside of my area, but I thought it was an interesting question.

    So, if the perfect gig came along and I were asked to give up my writing, would I do it?

    Make the perfect offer and let's find out. RockinJoe(at)Cox.net

    READERS: Please do not send your shoplifting questions to the above email address. They will be deleted. Thank you.

  • help me 4 years ago

    I was caught shoplifting a 10.99i it....from a depot kinda handy down used items or thngs hat didnt make it to thebigger stores. I left the store and they stopped me and took me to a dofferent room. They took my id down amd made me sign something. I got three neal c tenen papers to pay 109.99 but i never did. Im scared that they will take me to court and i have mo trnsportation to get there becuse i live about 7 hrs away...i need some advice...becuase i didny pay for that civil fine what eill happen?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Probably nothing. You may get the collection agency or law firm (whoever sent the letter) to call you and threaten you with small claims court, but it's going to cost them more than $109.99 to do that. Check with an online law forum. You can get some answers here.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/should-i-pay-a-c...

  • steve 4 years ago

    If LP had someone on video concealing items (about $120), decided not to try to apprehend them while leaving but instead got their licence plate number on camera, would they call the police right away? And if called would the police go to the vehicle owner's house or would they do something like call or send a letter in the next few days?

  • Cordial91 4 years ago

    My boyfriend just got suspended from Walmart because he checked me out at his register. No discount was given, he just rang up my items and I paid. He was suspended "pending an investigation". They tried to say I was stealing, but I didn't steal anything. They said the camera seen a car battery on the bottom of my cart, but all I had on the bottom of my cart was a case of soda. Everything was paid for, and I have the receipt for it all. They told him they were going to investigate it further to see if any criminal actions should be taken against me. Why would they be doing this? They wouldn't even let my boyfriend see the camera, and then they told him they were suspending him but they weren't going to tell anyone about their conversation. It was the Manager over Loss Prevention and Security, and ONE assistant manager that spoke to him. What should he do????

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Steve,

    If I was certain that someone had concealed and left with $120 worth of merchandise from a store I was working in (and couldn't apprehend for whatever reason), I would definitely call the police with a description of the car and driver. I would also hand over available video and tell them I wanted charged pressed.

    How the police would respond is another story. It would depend on the size of the police department, whether or not there were cars in the area and how busy they were.

    It's been my experience that if there were no cars in the area at the time of the theft, the case would be handed over to the detectives to investigate. They have handled it by either paying the shoplifter a visit (if they felt like getting out of the police station for awhile) or calling the suspect and asking him/her to stop by the station to answer some questions. Again, it would depend on a lot of factors.

  • Freaking Out! 4 years ago

    Hi there! I am quite the stupid one sometimes, and a huge worry wart. Last night I had a few too many drinks and went to my local United Dairy Farmers. I am not someone who steals, but drunkenly I took $3.00 worth of candy and I think it was caught on camera. I am totally scared they are going view the tape and prosecute - should I be worried?

  • Steve 4 years ago

    Thanks for the fast reply. Follow up: in your experience, how long after contacting the police would they either visit or call the shoplifter? I know it depends on how busy they are and everything, just a rough estimate if you can. If it helps, a friend of mine backed into a car and drove away, someone got his plates and the cops were at his door about 2 hours after.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Cordial91,

    This doesn't make sense.

    In a real loss prevention department, here's what would happen.

    1.) The LP would see the associate ring up his girlfriend.

    2.) The LP would check the video and the detail tape to make sure there was no funny business.

    3.)If the transaction looks good, the LP would then check for past shortages, overrings, voids and anything else that might look suspicious.

    4.) If there is nothing sneaky about the associate, the LP will report his findings to the store manager and the store manager will either give the associate a corrective action or terminate him for the infraction.

    If there is something suspicious in his past, the LP will open an investigation and watch the employee for a period of time and act upon their findings.

    What they won't do is to question the employee without knowing what the hell happened. From what you described to me that's exactly what occurred.

    Being "suspended pending investigation" is not a good thing to hear. It usually means termination. Working at Walmart (in fact, in most retail jobs) is what they call an "at will" job. It means you can be fired without notice. It also means you can quit without notice. Being suspended is usually only for those in a union job.

    Here are my guesses (and keep in mind, they're only guesses)

    1.) He won't here back from Walmart and they'll take him off the schedule.

    2.) If he does get called and they want to speak to him, he'll probably be interviewed by someone trained to do just that. If they want to speak to him, they have probably found something suspicious and want a confession.

    He doesn't have to go back. He could always quit.

    I'm interested in this case. Please let me know how he makes out. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey Steve,

    I really couldn't even take a guess at that. I'm sure that the police would respond faster to a hit and run over a shoplifting. Shoplifting is a pretty low level crime.

    Are you pretty certain they are onto you?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey Freaking Out!,

    I don't see the cops coming after you for $3.00, so relax a bit. Besides, I'm pretty sure the evidence has been been digested by now.

    Like I said, you're not going to get in any trouble for $3,oo, but if it makes you feel better and you want to do the right thing, you can always send them a money order with a note.

  • Steve 4 years ago

    Most likely just paranoid. All speculation at this point. Just wondering about how long this crap would take to play out.

  • dontknowwhattodo 4 years ago

    my and my two cousins shoplifted at holister over a month ago, we took a couple of things in the dressing room, and took all the security tags off without there being any holes or anything. well i guess one of us had something in there pocket that made the alarm go off, they checked our bags and found the clothes in there. No one saw us taking anything, and there was nothing on the clothes that showed they were stolen besides being new. We were arrested and appeared in court today, we were told if we just plead guilty we will have no criminal record and will just have to pay a fee. I was okay with that, then later on in the day i get a letter saying i owe 500 dollars to hollister for 109 dollars worth of merchandize. They took the clothes back when they found it in our bags, they were all still in perfect condition and the amount in my bag was only 70 dollars worth of stuff not 109. Do i have to pay this 500 dollars? what do i do?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi dontknowwhattodo,

    The $500 is called a civil demand fine. Your state has allowed merchants to civilly fine shoplifters who are apprehended at their stores. It's all profit for the store and the company collecting the fee. Many attorneys recommend people not pay this. I'm not recommending that you do, or you don't, but I've provided a link where you can get more information on the subject.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/shoplifting-in-n...

  • Cordial91 4 years ago

    Nothing about his past at Walmart is sneaky or suspicious. He has worked there for four years. He did three years on the parking lot as a cart pusher, then due to a heart condition and his medicine not allowing him outside, he was transferred to Tire and Lube as a Cashier. He goes to work everyday, only calls off if an emergency arises (which is rare), and he's even worked double shifts when they didn't have anyone on the lot. He doesn't steal, he's not rude to the customers, takes his meals and breaks on time, and never complains.

    I used to work there with him as well. I was terminated because of getting injured on the job, and they told me I was being investigated, but they still allowed me to work. They told me there were things that didn't add up with my story, yet they would not allow me to show them on the camera myself where and when the injury occurred. Needless to say, where him and I are a couple, I really feel like they were after both of our jobs. The management in this store is crooked.

    He spoke to Corporate about his situation, and they told him they would contact the LP Manager and ask him of the situation, that they would call us back when they knew what was going on. It seems really fishy to me, and thank you for responding so quickly.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey,Cordial91, You're welcome. Yeah, it sounds a little strange. Looks like you're going to have to wait and see how this one plays out. It surprises me that corporate said they would call him back. I hope things work out for him.

    Please get back to me after this thing clears and let me know what happened.

    Thanks!

  • anon 4 years ago

    A friend has confided in me that he was approached by walmart lp at the door attempting to exit. Apparently he had unpacked $100 of merch in the bathroom and placed the packaging in the garbage. At the door he ran from lp while they yelled that he was on tape. He has been freaking out about fingerprints and such and i would like to know how severe his problem is. I believe his mugshot and fingerprints are on file, but this is a city with a population of 150k. At least for the time being he is insisting he will never take the risk again...

  • anon 4 years ago

    I guess i should clarify that he concealed the 2 items (electronics, what an idiot) in an aisle where he thought no cameras had a field of vision, and left with the items in his coat. I am just worried because he is staying here and i really dont want the police knocking at my door. How long until i can feel somewhat confident i wont be embarrassed in front of my neighbors

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi anon,

    Impossible to tell. I don't see the police calling in the detectives to dust for prints for $100, though. It doesn't matter where you steal inside a store. You always run the risk of being caught. It's the nature of the crime. There's no such thing as the perfect shoplifting.

    The one thing I've noticed lately, (somewhat new in the past 5 years) is, more and more stores profiling shoplifters on the local news.

    I'm sure you've seen them. This is a trend I see growing in the coming years. Since more and more companies have so many restrictions on apprehending thieves, stores are forced to take other avenues to catch high priced ($100 and up) shoplifters. I'm not saying this happened to your friend, but you never know. It's pretty effective as most shoplifters are local....and someone always knows somebody.

    Good luck!

  • wrong accussed 4 years ago

    hello-

    i was at barnes and noble with my kids. i had placed some books (2) in my kids stroller on the seat.

    we walked around the store for awhile and my toddler ran away so i threw my diaper bag in the strollere (over the books) and got her

    we walked around some more and then i left store- forgetting the 2 books were there.

    the LP stopped me just outside and accussed me of taking books- he brought me back into his office where i had to sign a paper and he took my pic and copied my license.

    he did not believe me that is was a mistake and said he has seen it before and i should be lucky he is not calling cops as they can take my kids- WTF!

    anyway- he said i will be getting a letter in the mail and a fine and i am banned from that store for life (which i never want to go there again anyway)

    i have never taken a thing in my life and was not trying to take these books but he said he could tell on camera i saw the books and then but bag over them- which i did not.

    question- as i was scared and worrried about my kids while in the office so i just signed the paper and went along with everything

    could i have watched the footage he had on me? and is that something i still can do?

    is this worth calling corporate about and pleaing my case?

    my fear is that then they will prosecute and i just don't want to go through that.

    please advise

  • nightgurl 4 years ago

    I had gone into Kohls today to look for certain boots that I wasn't able to find and continue looking around the store for a while. I started noticing that all the things that I really like were really expensive there..... and suddenly had the idea t to just take them... I had shoplifted before but only when I really wanted something and could not afford it. I grabbed a bunch of clothes that I wanted to try on and went into the fitting room and spend about 30 ....minutes or so in there trying the clothes on

  • nightgurl 4 years ago

    Sorry this is a continuance of my last post. So finally I decided to take a few shirts and a pair of pants and some socks and a small clothing purse... I think what caught loss preventions eye was the amount of time that I spent browsing through the shoes and the home goods department after picking up a few smaller items (socks etc). I decided to put the tags that I had taken off the clothes inside of some jacket pockets And placed them on a rack after I left the fitting room. I had this eerie feeling since it was so Quiet in there that maybe someone might have noticed all of the items that I had with me and didn't have on my way out. Anyhow I ended up walking out and walk straight to my car and right as I was getting in I looked over and saw a guy with a cellphone In his hand running after me. I immediately closed and locked my door and he proceeded to knock on my window.. I thought about driving away but I honestly didn't know for sure that that was what he was knocking for since he didn't stop me immediately. When I rolled my window down the man told me that I need to come back inside with him And when I asked him why and what for he said " because of security". I played stupid and told him that I did not have to and I had to go. He tried telling me that he already had my license and my license plate, But since I knew that he was going to use any tactic to get me to go inside with him I didn't think anything of it and rolled my window up. He actually attempted to pull on the handle on my door to open the door but I had locked it luckily. When I started to slowly drive off he slammed his hands on my trunk really hard and I just continue to drive Back toward my house making sure no 1 was following me. That incident scared me so badly I will never do something like that again because it's not worth it. I just keep thinking how lucky I am. My question to you would be do I have anything to worry about Now as far as him reporting my license plate to the police?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi wrong accussed, Thanks for your question. Loss Prevention plays by (or should play by) a set of rules. They need to see specific elements happen before they can apprehend someone for shoplifting.

    They are

    1.) The LP must see you select the item

    2.) The LP must see you conceal the item

    3.)The LP must maintain constant observation of the subject suspected of shoplifting

    4.)The LP must see the subject walk past the last point of purchase

    5.) The LP apprehends the subject outside of the store, or just past the last point of purchase.

    From what you described to me, the LP had those elements, which is why you were stopped. I would have stopped you under the same conditions, myself. If all the elements pointed to shoplifting, the LP had no choice to do what he did.

    He's also correct in the fact that you were fortunate the police were not being called. You got a break. You won't have a criminal record. You probably would not have gotten your children taken away, but I've seen it happen on a few occasions where child services have been called in to take the children. (Those were however, for warrant or felony arrests. Not misdemeanor shoplifting. And also for cases where no other responsible family member were available to take the children.)

    The videotape? No, he is not obligated to show you any video evidence.

    I understand you're mad, but he's made the case to legally apprehend you for shoplifting items from B&N. That being said, could you always fight the charge. Calling Barnes and Noble will do nothing to help your case, but if you wish to do so, here is their contact info:

    Barnes & Noble Corporate Office Headquarters

    122 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011

    800 962-6177

    Now, all that being said. is there anything you can do to fight the charge? I suggest consulting with an attorney. Will it be worth taking Barnes and Noble to court to dispute? Not in my opinion. There is no criminal charge and since you were released, it doesn't appear there will be. It could be quite expensive to pursue this action, but that is completely up to you.

    I know mistakes happen. I know toddlers run away and I know moms have a million things on their mind at the same time. It's just not a good situation.

    Good luck to you.

  • wrong accussed 4 years ago

    thanks for the info- i appreciate it

    it is so frustrating but i understand i need to take responsibility and be more careful going forward

    a couple of follow up questions to your initial response

    -Is it likely that police are involved at this point?

    -and do you know what amount i can expect to receive in terms of the fine?

    and if i did call barnes and noble corporate to plea my case would it help to reduce this amount. the 2 books were 30 each

    -also i had to give the LP my license and my soc sec #- could he distribute this information to anyone?

    thanks so much

  • Hawaii 4 years ago

    Hi. I was caught shoplifting a few months back, and although embarrassing it has taught me a huge lesson and made me out my life in perspective. However, now that I have a record, how can I move forward and get a job? I know what I did was very wrong, and I will NEVER do this again! Are there any employers that will hire me?

  • kathleenkat profile image

    kathleenkat 4 years ago from Bellingham, WA

    Interesting.

    When I worked in retail, the policy was to call the cops for anyone who didn't have ID, or anyone who was a repeat offender, or anyone who was a teenager. Also, you were banned from the store for a year, and if caught in the store (usually it was not surprising that we would catch repeat offenders within a year of the first catch) it was considered a felony, and the store would press charges against you.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi nightgurl, Sorry for the delay. Well, it's been 35 hours since you wrote to me. Have the police shown up yet? If it were me, I would have called the police immediately and hopefully they would have picked you up in the area. If you were successful in getting away (which it sounds like you were) the cops were probably busy at the time and the case would be referred to the detectives unit, who would call or pay you a visit after tracking down your registration.

    Perhaps you'll even end up profiled on the local news in one of those shoplifter segments that have become so popular, lately.

    All this happening would depend on many factors, such as the dollar amount of the merchandise stolen, how big and busy the police department is in your area, etc. Then again, we don't even know if a call was made. Not knowing is the worst.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi wrong accussed, You're welcome! Glad I could help. To answer your questions.

    No, the police won't be involved at this point. You were released with your license and your signature. If Barnes and Noble wanted to prosecute, you would have left the store in cuffs that day.

    The amount of your fine is determines by where you live. Go to Google and do a search for "Civil Demand Fine Texas" (or wherever it is you live) and you'll find the amount. When you receive your civil fine, it will come from either a law firm or a collections office.

    I think calling B&N will be a waste of time. First, I don't think they'll talk to you about it and secondly, they'll have nothing to do with reducing the amount of your fine. The fine is a set amount. Whether you shoplifted $1 or $100 you would get the same fine.

    As far as your license and social security number, if B&N subscribes to a shoplifter database system, they may have placed your name, address, social security, license id and any other personal information that you provided them. That would also include the amount of the merchandise, and a narrative by the LP of what exactly happened. What happens to this information and what they use it for (besides collecting the fine) is a mystery.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Assuming you were arrested and it was a misdemeanor shoplifting, you should be able to (depending on where you reside) have it expunged from your record after a year. If it's felony shoplifting, it's going to be a little more difficult, as most employment applications ask about felony convictions from your past.

    It might do you some good to talk to a Human Resources person about this (or find an online forum where HR is discussed). I've walked into retail stores and have seen people I've apprehended shoplifting in other places working in, so it must be fairly easy.

    Good luck!

  • joshie123 4 years ago

    hi i need help

    I shoplifted 10 dollars worth of merchandise walmart gave me a paper saying there gonna contact me to make a paying fee a month pass and i just got a letter saying i have to pay 300 dollar in 20 days if i dont it will go up to 50 dollars every month up to 1000 i called to make a paying arragment and they said i have to pay 100 dollars by that date if not they gonna go and rase it and every time i make a payment i have to pay 15 dollars to do the transactions i want to know what can i do with this cuss i dont think its fair that i should pay that much money

  • kathleenkat profile image

    kathleenkat 4 years ago from Bellingham, WA

    Wow, 300 dollars got by cheap from Wal Mart. I know people who got up to $2000 for misdemeanor shoplifting there. Just pay it; the cost for an attorney would probably be way more than that.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    joshie123, Find a lawyer who deals with civil demand. Many attorneys recommend NOT paying the civil demand. I wouldn't pay it on a $10 item that the company got back anyway.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi kathleenkat, Thanks for the comment. $2000 for a civil demand? I'd love to know what state that was in. Please let me know. Thanks!

  • wrong accussed 4 years ago

    THANKS so much Rockinjoe-

    i did look up the fine and it says for CA anywhere b/t $50-$500. i am guessing the fines are usually on the higher end of that range, correct?

    Also- just want to know my rights if this were to happen again (which it won't) but want to know anyway:)

    - could i have refused to sign the paper i was given and refused to give my personal info? if so what would have happened?

    -if the cops were called do they always side with the vendor?

    -do these big stores use video survellance or do the LP's canvas the stores on foot?

    and if the police came would they watch that before pressing charges? or would it be my word against his?

    thanks again

  • Cordial91 4 years ago

    Just wanted to update you. They did nothing but drag him in circles over the whole situation. He waited a week to see if they would contact him over the incident. They never did. So he finally contacted them this morning to see if he was going to get to come back in to to work. I just checked his schedule about 20 minutes ago, and it's not showing anything, whereas it had been up 4 hours ago. All of this over him ringing me up at his register. They do state not to ring up immediate family members, can we do something about this where I am not an immediate family member? I'm not his wife, just his girl friend, and there is no guarantee that we will last either. Since he was suspended, and Walmart being notorious for suspending people and never letting them come back, he started looking for another job. He can't find one, and I have been looking for nearly 4 months, and haven't found one person who would hire me. We're now both jobless, and looking at losing our home.

  • kathleenkat profile image

    kathleenkat 4 years ago from Bellingham, WA

    Washington State allows (I think) up to $2000 civil demand. I think that stores do this if you steal a lot... I shoplifted once as a teenager, and I got the minimum $200.

  • kathleenkat profile image

    kathleenkat 4 years ago from Bellingham, WA

    Also, I think that the minimum civil fine is something like $200 in WA state, and probably it's similar to that in whatever joshie123's state is, and may be why they are charging so much for $10 worth. When I got my fine, I took like $30 worth I think.

  • Stupid Me 4 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe. I really appreciate what you are doing here. I read through all the posts so far, and am still a bit confused about some things and have some further questions. Some of your replies indicate that if the shoplifter left the store with merchandise, without being caught even though they were being tracked, you state that they are safe because the stop has to be made at the time of the crime. Is this really true? Other posts indicate that if there’s video evidence, then police could be involved at a later time (e.g. kaydee72). Is this just for questioning or for prosecution/arrest? I have a nearly identical problem.

    I did something really stupid and stole from Walmart. A few weeks ago, I was in the store shopping on a busy Saturday afternoon. I selected a $15 item off the shelf, then walked straight out the door with it. I didn’t bother to conceal it because I didn’t want to arouse suspicions from LP. I got in my car and made it safely home, and figured that after a few days since the police never showed up at my house, I was probably in the clear. I figured that Walmart probably had security cameras in the parking lot, and could get my plates if somebody noticed what I did.

    After the fact, I felt really bad about what I did. I consider myself a good person, and have never stolen before. At the time of the crime, I justified it to myself because Walmart “owed” me. I’m a regular customer there, and on a previous shopping trip a few months before, I bought a lot of groceries but when I got home, I realized that the cashier didn’t give me all of my bags, probably because of their stupid spinning bag racks at the checkout. So instead of going back to them at the time because of the missing groceries, I figured that I would get my money back eventually when the time was right.

    Since I figured that I was in the clear, I shopped there again a couple weeks after the theft. This time it was again for groceries and it was at 1 AM on a weekday. The store was really empty except for a few other customers and mostly a lot of employees restocking the shelves. I was in there for around 30 minutes, and paid for my groceries and left. When I was loading up my car, two police cruisers pulled into the parking lot and parked in the regular spots. The officer from the first car began walking into the store. The other police car parked right next to mine! Probably coincidence that he parked next to be, but I was so scared that I got my stuff together and left in my car as calmly and quickly as I could. I really think that they were called because of me. I realize that police sometimes have to shop for themselves, but two at a time? I live in a low crime area, so the cops were probably free that night.

    Now here’s my questions, some of them logistical. How did the midnight employees know that I stole from them two weeks prior? Do LP employees work at night when the store is dead? I read elsewhere online that Walmart uses face recognition technology on their CCTV system. Is this technology really good enough to recognize me every time I walk into the store from now on? Or do you think that the same LP agent who worked that Saturday recognized me on the floor of the store at 1AM on a weekday? You often will tell people on hubpages that they will probably be watched from now on. If these kinds of thefts are so common how is it humanly possible for LP to know everyone who stole before?

    I really want to shop at this Walmart again, and I definitely don’t plan to steal again now that me and Walmart are “even”. But now I'm paranoid that I will be arrested when I go back. I don’t mind being followed while I shop, because I’m not going to steal anything anyway, and they are just wasting their time. But do you think that the cops will be called on me every time I go into this store until I'm caught? If face recognition cameras are in use, do I have to worry about being marked as a thief at every Walmart I visit? If cops are called on me again, and I get stopped, what should I tell them when questioned? Can the police detain me for prior shoplifting on the word of Walmart, or do they have to be shown the video first? I would be willing to confess to a manager and pay for what I took if it got me out of this jam, but I don't think that they would be so forgiving. Thanks rockinjoe!

  • jellyfish 4 years ago

    Whenever I visit a shop which sells food, I always make sure I am not eating or drinking anything from a different shop when I enter, in case they think it's one of their items and want me to pay for it. Is this stupid or sensible?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi again, wrong accussed . You're welcome. Glad I could help. If you had refused ID (or didn't have any ID on you) most LP would call the police and have you prosecuted. If you refused me your ID, I'd have no choice but to call the police, because there would be no way for me to verify any verbal information you gave me. If I didn't have your info, how would I be able to mail you that civil demand fine? I wouldn't. So refusing your ID would not be a good idea.

    Do the cops always side with the vendor. No way. Some cops want to see the video and know exactly what you did and when you did it. Even though the rules of the store don't have anything to do with the law. They want to make sure they're not only arresting the right person, but that they actually did what you're accusing them of. Once a cop gets to know you and and discover you're not an idiot, they'll take shoplifters on your statement.

    Most of the big stores use video surveillance. It depends on the area where the store is located, it's overall loss (or shrink) over the past couple of inventories and whether they have enough of a budget to make video happen. You might be surprised at some chain stores with absolutely no (or minimal cameras) in their stores. It's crazy.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Cordial91,

    It's unfortunate, but that's kinda the way I expected Walmart to handle it. I hate to be the one to tell you that there's probably not much you're going to be able to do about this situation. I'm certain the policy states ringing up family members is prohibited. I bet it also says something in there about friends and associates, as well. I hope I'm wrong. Good luck in looking for another job.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    I learn something new everyday, Thanks kathleenkat!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Stupid Me, First off, $15 is not something the cops would be interested in after the fact. I'm certain the police you saw in the parking lot that evening were there for an entirely different reason. Cops are far from shy. If they wanted to speak to you, they would have questioned you.

    I haven't heard about facial recognition being used at Walmart. You're giving them way too much credit for technology. I think we're quite awhile away from FR software being used by the average LP.

    When I wrote in previous comments that if you 'get away' from a store with the merchandise, you're pretty much safe. Sure, you're safe from the store employees who (in most cases) can't walk off the sidewalk , but you may not be safe from the police who may be called to come and arrest you down the street.

    The decision to call the police rests with the LP. They're not going to call the police for a $8.00 scented candle, but definitely will for a cart full of baby formula or a couple of flat screen televisions.

    No one at a chain store is going to detain you for a prior shoplifting. It doesn't work that way. If they missed their shot the first time, they have to wait for you to steal again.

    It sounds to me like you may be a bit paranoid. That's a good thing. It will stop you from shoplifting.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Jellyfish, Thanks for writing. I don't think you're being stupid, but your feelings that you would be apprehended for stealing something you didn't are unnecessary. Loss Prevention must follow a very strict set of rules before apprehending someone. The most important is seeing the shoplifter select the item in your store.

    Here are some other things LP must see before apprehending a shoplifter.

    https://soapboxie.com/government/5-Things-You-Didn...

  • Nicole S profile image

    Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

    Wow, very interesting. You obviously know your stuff!

  • kathleenkat profile image

    kathleenkat 4 years ago from Bellingham, WA

    Hey "Stupid Me" (wow this has become an interesting thread). They *may* have seen you, and they *may* have put a pictures of you up in the breakroom or something. When I worked in retail, shoplifteres that were unable to get caught (especially frequent ones), they would print out pictures from the security camera and tell you to call LP if they are in the store. It's *possible* that that is what happened...but not likely, if it was the first time, and a small item. They would have to catch you doing it again to get you in trouble; you can't get in trouble for entering the store and being a paying customer, even if you stole the other day, because they didn't catch you. If they had caught you, you would be banned probably for 10 years, and then it would be considered a felony if you enter. (When I stole as a teen, it was from Wal Mart, and I was banned from that particular store for 10 years, and all other Wal Mart's for 1 year.) Wal Mart is particularly strict, so watch out.

    And next time you leave items...call them. They probably keep a record of what was left at which register, on which day. Your receipt will have the cashier and time on it. Call it and report it ASAP, and you can pick it up at your convenience. We (where I worked) would honor that for customers as late as 30 days later (we had a lot of Canadian shoppers that only made the trip once a month).

  • Nowhere else to shop 4 years ago

    Hello, I was caught shoplifting at Kroger couple months ago, the item was 12$ worth of bread/crackers, it's shameful but I didn't have any income. Regardless I got caught and they told me sign a piece of paper stating that I am now banned from all the Krogers in the state. unfortunately the only place that I can get groceries from around here is this Kroger. I was wondering how serious would it be if I get caught going back there, even just for purchasing groceries. Also do you have any idea if Kroger would put me in a file system, when I was caught they told me to give them my ID information, I am assuming so but I don't see how they would enforce it strictly within the state regarding the "banned from all Kroger from the state".

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Nicole S, Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

  • Mr.Young 4 years ago

    Hi, Someone I once knew about did a little refund mischief. The person used to buy cheap clothes at a major superstore, and then switch the tags with more expensive ones, and return it for a store gift card. The person still continues to do this even today. Also, the same person switches tags on more expensive items, and puts them on cheaper items.

    What are the implications of this if the person is caught ? And how risky is this ?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Nowhere else to shop,

    No trespass notices are extremely difficult to enforce.

    Even though some chains hand them out to everyone caught shoplifting in their stores, there is literally no way they can enforce them. I've worked for two major big box stores in the past ten years who expressly forbid LP from enforcing a previous no trespass.

    Why?

    Many reasons. Liability, being the biggest. LP confronting an individual for a no trespass notice is not only OUT of the scope of their job description, but could possibly end up in a physical altercation.

    No trespass notices were something that stores once used to scare kids from shoplifting and they've somehow found their way to using them for adults as well.

    I don't know of the fine or punishment for a no trespassing charge, as I'm not a lawyer or a cop, but I imagine it's minimal.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mr.Young,

    Good question. People have gotten extremely creative when it comes to refund fraud over the past several years. I don't want to get into the other methods involved, but the one you described is only effective in a store without properly trained customer service individuals.

    It's a store's responsibility to make sure they take control over their refund controls. It's up to the clerks to ensure the item coming back not only belongs to the store, but that the tag matches the department, the correct price and UPC.

    If you're caught doing this in the store, the police can be called and you can be charged, but if she's buying the the merchandise and retagging at home, it's damned near impossible to prove.

    More stores lose money through their service desk and front end (cash registers) than through customer shoplifting.

    If someone is doing excessive refunding, the register software will pick up on it, eventually and shut them down.

    Hope that helps.

  • David 4 years ago

    My 13 year old daughter was caught shoplifting at sixflags in Missouri and they want to chare me a fine. What will happen if I ignore it and dont pay it?

    Thank you

    David

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi David,

    I'm assuming there were no police involved and this is a civil fine? Many attorneys (online, anyway) are recommending to NOT pay these fines. The reasoning is, it's pure profit for the store (or this case, Six Flags) and profit for the collector, as well. Here's a link with more info on what you're looking for.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/should-i-pay-a-c...

  • ForeverRegretful 4 years ago

    Hello. I'm 15 residing in Hawaii. I'm a student who gets good grades, high expectations, good attitude, no criminal record, etc. A few days ago I was caught shoplifting at Sears, about $250 worth of clothes. Honestly, it wasn't my first time to shoplift from there, but this time, I got caught. Anyways, as I just walked out the store, a man told me that I had unpaid merchandise and had to go with him. I was going to go anyways but a lady with him told me that if I don't go, they'll call the police on me. They took me into one of the back rooms where they asked my name, age, address, ethnicity, parent's info, school, etc. I was panicking and got really scared and lied about some of my info. (I know, VERY stupid, right?) I then sat quietly, was shaking a little, and trying to hold back my tears as they had conversations with each other. Then the police came and asked me the same questions. They yelled and swore at me for lying, but hey, I deserved it. Then they asked why I stole. I was half way done explaining until they cut me off. They called my parents and informed them that I was going to be arrested for shoplifting. I got arrested and went inside the police car. After, they searched me and got my pictures and fingerprints. Luckily, I did not go into a cell. I waited for my dad to pick me up. My father said that I will go to family court and told me to plead guilty. My questions are: What is family court? Will I end up in juvy? Is the judge (or whoever) going to ask my how many items/what I stole? Is he/she also going to ask me if I stole from that store before? Are they going to replay a tape of me shoplifting (from previous times as well?) Will the workers at Sears charge me for the other times I've shoplifted, if I was caught on video, but not apprehended or stopped? What is the maximum amount of fines will I have to pay? Finally, what should I expect if I plead guilty? THANK YOU SO SO SO SO SO VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE! Trust me, I promise I will never shoplift in my life time ever again. I have learned my lesson and will be haunted with this incident for the rest of my life. I know apologizing won't fix much, but I am honestly extremely sorry. Btw, I also apologize for asking too many questions and typing a long explanation, I need to know or else I'll get even more paranoid. :( THANK YOU!

  • chamonixfirst profile image

    Phil, Sarah and Danny 4 years ago from Chamonix

    Rated up, very interesting thanks. There has been lots of reports in the UK of police, vicars and bank managers etc that have been caught stealing, its like a epidemic out there. Thanks :-)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Forever Regretful, I've worked for Sears in the past. They're not going to go after you for priors. If they didn't apprehend you at the time, that means they either did not have enough evidence to detain you, or they didn't see it.

    What you have to worry about is the $250 amount that you were charged with taking.

    Unfortunately, I'm a loss prevention consultant and you need a legal opinion. I'm sure (or at least I hope) your dad is taking care of getting an attorney for your case.

    I would check out http://www.avvo.com and see if you can get a legal opinion there. Sorry I can't help you.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thank you, chamonixfirst , I appreciate the comment. It's crazy, isn't it? Shoplifting is definitely a world-wide epidemic. You're correct, cops, clergy, movie stars? It seems no one is safe from temptation.

  • ForeverRegretful 4 years ago

    Thank you very much for the help and information! I greatly appreciate it. :) I feel more at ease and I think I can finally get a little more sleep. I know I made a very big mistake and will never let it happen again. I hope you have a great day! And thanks again.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi ForeverRegretful, Thanks for the nice comment. I hope things turn out well for you. Glad I could help.

  • lanalee 4 years ago

    My sister and I were shopping at Costco when we took some items totaling 300 dollars. I had a 100 dollars worth of items she had 50 dollars in her purse and the other 150 on the stroller. The Lp guys stooped us outside the store and told us to come back with them regarding the items on the stroller. Before approaching their office I wanted to go to the bathroom and walked to the woman restroom when the guy came in and grabbed my purse twisted my hands and put his hand under my neck almost choking me. They kept pulling my purse ripping it in pieces. I had just got in an argument with my husband and had my diamond ring in there and was afraid they would take it or accuse me of taking it from them. It seems to me like those actions were beyond cruel. Can the male LP enter the woman's restroom and almost choke me? They later arrested me for refusing to cooperate while letting me friend go with a court date. Also, are they going to charge us both of stealing 300 dollars worth of merchandiser or are they going to spit it based on we had in our purses and the value of that? When they stooped us they said nothing about our purses so why was he so desperate to get my bag? They had no idea that we had items there. In your previous posts you said they had to know what we took and where it was. Can they search all of our things if they had no proof of us putting it there?

  • Paul 4 years ago

    I worked at Abercrombie and I got caught pocketing $250. I'm charged with theft and going to court in a month. I paid them back. Will this be on my record even if it's dismissed. How can I get it off and could I go to jail?

  • Terrified 4 years ago

    Hello, I'm still new in this company and in this country ,etc... Earlier today I was busted shoplifting by an employee as i was removing the price tags from the merchandise i was stealing. I thought i was protecting myself from the buzz in the door but i found myself in a very embarrassing position. The Employee was telling his colleagues what happened and I was trembling and scared to death. They made me pay for the items i was trying to steal then I left the store with my purchase. I'm scared to death because I had my company bag in my hand and because the employee asked me for my nationality before I got busted... I'm the only person from my country working in this company so I'm afraid that they will call the police and track me either by the video in the store or by contacting my company. I'm scared to death because in this country there is absolutely no tolerance with theft and law is very strict. I can have a scandalous ban from the country and I won't be able to provide for my family anymore. No words can explain the guilt I'm feeling right now, A stupid stupid move can potentially ruin my life. It was only some fake accessories from a Chinese retailer . I feel so bad and I don't know what to think or what to do...Please tell me, is it possible that they follow this after me paying for the items before leaving the store?? or they can still wanna call the police after getting their money???

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi lanalee, The scariest time for both a shoplifter and a loss prevention employee is the walk back to the LP office. Anything can happen. The LP is not supposed to take his/her eyes off you. When you took off to the bathroom, it could have been for anything. You could have been going to dump merchandise, dispose of drugs, or worse, pull a weapon, which is what the LP most-likely suspected and why he wanted to grab your bag so badly. I've had hypodermic needles pulled on me by shoplifting drug addicts, nail files a few inches from my face and knives. All by females. No LP is going to let you run off inside of the store. You could hurt a customer or employee. Now, I'm sure that running into the ladies room is not written anywhere inside the Costco Loss Prevention Manual, but these things are evaluated on a case by case basis and if the boss determines the employee had a good reason, it would be ok.

    And yes, I did mention in previous posts that a store detective should be able to tell you what merchandise you have and where it is on your person. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to ask if you have any merchandise on you, I may not have seen you conceal. If I already have you in the office because I saw you conceal something in your pocket, but I have a suspicion you may have more merchandise in your bag, I'm going to ask you to open it. If you don't and I still feel there may be merchandise inside, I'm going to call the police and let them search it.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Paul, Thanks for writing. I'm afraid you're going to have to get a legal opinion on this one. I'm not a lawyer and I don't want to take a guess on your case and have it be the wrong one. Good luck.

  • lanalee 4 years ago

    Thank you for your time. I don't think he thought i had a weapon. I woke up this morning with a major headache, sore back, throat and on my wright hand that he twisted there is a big vain sticking out like a bauble. I think that his force by beating me to the ground and then pulling me back up and throwing me against the wall , and holding me there in a choke position for at least 10 minutes was not acceptable. Do you think the LP had the right to do this?

  • IFeelHorrible 4 years ago

    Hi I received a pair of gifted clothes from a store that I work for a couple of weeks ago. I returned those gifted clothes the same day for full price at a high-end department store in Orlando without a receipt and they gave me cash back. They took my id for that transaction. I then got greedy and tried to return some stolen clothes to the same department store a couple of days later. They refused to Exchange them without a proof of purchase that time and while leaving out i noticed that a LP guy was following me. I did some circles in the parking to confirm that he was following me and when I got in the car he took down my tag number. I'm wondering if the tag is under someone else's name and in a different city can they still trace it back to me and will the police show up at my house and search the place And arrest me?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Terrified, Thanks for writing. I'm not sure where you are in the world and the law concerning shoplifters, but it sounds to me like you got a break. You paid for the merchandise and you kept it., It doesn't appear to me that anyone could come after you at this point. If I were the retailer, I'd just want my money. Why call the police after I've been paid?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi lanalee. I'm not sticking up for the LP. I wasn't there so it's difficult for me to make a determination of why he did what he did. I was just trying to place myself in his shoes and try and figure out what he was doing with the information you gave me. I don't think anyone should get hurt in the process of taking a shoplifter back to the office. Did you mention this to the police?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi IFeelHorrible, That's a tough question to answer. Did the shoplifting of the stolen clothing take place at the same time the attempted return took place? Or did you walk in with stolen clothing, attempt the return and leave with stolen clothing? That would make a big difference whether the LP was going to pick up the phone and call the police. If he had no evidence you had stolen clothing, he wouldn't be able to do anything.

    Whether or not the cops could track you down is not a question I could answer. I'm no cop and I don't know their methods of tracking anyone down other than what I see on TV.

  • Vincent 4 years ago

    Hi 2 days ago i've been caught stealing $20 of stuff in gametraders and i was wearing school uniform. The next day , the assistant principle called me and said why did you steal and I got in trouble by the school. He said the police was there yesterday to at gametraders. What will happen next , Im getting a interview with my parents today from the school.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Vincent. I'm sure it will come down to whatever Gametraders wants to do. If they want to prosecute, you should be given a court date and appear before a judge. If they decide to let your parents and the school handle it, your punishment will be whatever they decide is the most appropriate.

    Did Gametraders get their merchandise back yet?

  • Cordial91 4 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe,

    I had been telling you about the situation my boyfriend was in at Walmart. We just got the final word today, and he was terminated for "gross misconduct" and I believe they said something about theft too. When he told them he didn't steal, they said they couldn't even prove he did it, but they knew he did. Even though the still photo's showed him standing at his register when the item went missing, they said they "knew" he did it, but couldn't prove it. I do have a question though. What is to be considered "gross misconduct" in Walmart's policy??? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

  • BrittneyJ. 4 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe,

    I wanted your opinion on something. A couple days ago me and my bf were at Lord and Taylor. We picked up a couple shirts went to the fitting rooms and he tried them on. A couple times I had to go out and exchange sizes as there were no employees around helping us or asking to help us. We picked the items we wanted and went to purchase them. There were three sweaters we picked up that had discounted sale tags on them (it was an outlet store) when we went to purchase them the cashier said no this color means its not on sale so we said fine we dont want these three we will purchase these instead. So we did that in the midst of this all I had a little argument with the cashier because I was asking her about applying for a L&T card and she wasnt explaining it properly so anyways I was just like let me pay and get out this is annoying so we left and continued shopping in the mall. Before we left I told my bf I know those sweaters were on sale lets go back and see which we did and I did find some of the EXACT same sweaters marked down and then I found another sweater marked even lower so of course I took the lowest priced one because well hey its there mistake and Im looking at the tag and thats what its says. So we found a few more items went back to the change room tried them on and just decided to get the sweaters. So we went to the front and when we went up the cashier said IDK if these are on sale and I said to be honest we were here and hour ago and the exact same sweater did not have a sale tag on it and this one did so I grabbed it she goes the manager will check. The manager left and came back and said thats fine give them the sale price so we purchased the sweater. As we were leaving a lady showed up and said can we speak in the backroom about your purchases? This has never happened to me before so we followed not knowing what to do. She proceed to accuse us of changing the sale tags in the change room mind you it was her and the manager and some other guy IDK who all standing over us when I told her what happened she said NO I KNOW YOU DID IT. I continually told her why would I make a $100 purchase and come back and PURCHASE this and how come you didnt get suspicious the first time when I found the first sweater didnt have a sale tag thats not my problem I dont work here and id be stupid to grab the one that says its not on sale and this one says it was. The manager came and was insisting she had just tagged them that day and they didnt miss tag. I replied then why did i find 3 sweaters with different tags she said you didnt you changed them. AT this point I was fuming my bf tried telling them I went to the cash register to purchase these items if it wasnt on sale all you had to do was say it and we would have paid it thats why we are BUYING things from here my gf even pointed out she found a different one without the sale tag (he was standing while he was talking and then from nowhere some guy there started yelling at him saying he was getting to close and he needed to step back they were treating us like criminals) at this point I go you have no proof no eveidence you accusing us of something you never saw so thats it enough she goes you can go you just need to give me ID and sign this waiver saying you will not walk in to another L&T store and if you do you will be arrested I just wanted to get the hell out of there so I did and unfortunatly I didnt know if I could have refused to because I didnt do anything wrong! Now anytime I walk into a store if an employee accidentally placed the wrong colored tag and I go to purchase it there going to accuse me of stealing a tag changing even when no one saw anything! So anyways I signed it but can they try to prosucute me or try to accuse me of shoplifting? I've never experianced this and I'm so overwhelmed I'm ready to go to the media about the way we were treated! (and btw I took everyone's name and number and told them I would make a big complaint about this and the manager said whatever as long as you leave because you already caused a problem with my staff and when I said how so, she said you were very rude and intimidating towards my employee which I responded if you had trained her properly on how to explain something that wouldn't have happened and we left. But what I want to know is can they end up deciding to prosocute us at a later date, and what could I have done differently and how can they possibly accuse us when I had told them I had found another with a different tag and we were buying the merchandise! Sorry for the novel :S lol thank you!

  • jquestions 4 years ago

    i have taken some candy from my school but i stoped going there 2 weeks ago but i heard my friends got caught and they are getting house arrest and 2 weeks of jjc but im not going back to that school till about 3 months so will they keep looking for a teen that just took some candy and can they get me even though is was so long ago

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Cordial91, Sorry for getting back to you so late. I've been having a few internet problems, Yeah, I didn't think it looked good for him, from what you told me before. It seems that (for whatever reason) they wanted him gone and this was their way to do it. But with an "at will" job, you can pretty much get fired for anything at anytime and there's usually nothing you can do about it. If know you're both mad over this, but if I were you guys, I'd place all my energy into getting him another job and forget about Walmart.

    I don't know how Walmart defines "gross misconduct", but in other places I've worked, it's usually doing something stupid or dangerous. Refusing to follow an order from manager, swearing or threatening a superior, associate, or customer, or other violation of company policy.

    Walmart gave you guys a pretty poor answer. Are they letting him collect unemployment without a problem?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi BrittneyJ, That's messed up. I don't see them trying to pressing charges. The whole thing is pretty ridiculous. According to you, you did nothing wrong. If you were becoming irate and they wanted you to leave, they should have just asked you to leave and call the police if you refused. To ask you to the back to sign a no trespass notice when they had no physical evidence to accuse you of anything, is insane. That's just going to make someone more pissed off.

    It's my guess that when you got in the argument with the cashier, the manager wasn't going to let you have your way no matter what happened. Managers and cashiers get bitched out by customers all day long. They both have tough, thankless jobs. I think what happened to you was a small disagreement that quickly got out of hand.

    If you're upset about this trespassing thing (I know I would be) I would either call or write their corporate office and tell them what you told me. Maybe you'll get an apology out of them, at the very least. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi jquestions. I suppose it comes down to how bad they want you. They've probably questioned your friends, so you don't really know if they said anything about you. That's a tough question that I don't have an answer for. Let me know how you make out.

  • giraffe610 profile image

    giraffe610 4 years ago from Edmond, OK

    Hi. I am back. My case is still pending but just wanted to answer a question you asked me awhile back and I have a new question for you. Yes they had a female witness in the room. So my question is will I ever be allowed to shop at Target again even if they said I was not allowed to. My husband called and said he had a friend get arrested the other night for shoplifting. Oh he called a different store. He asked if there was any way they could remove the ban. The lady said it was up to that specific Target and the LPO who caught me it was up to him. Do you know if this is true? Also how would I go about trying to be allowed back into Target? Who do I call? Ask for? I've read it has been done before. Anything would help. Thank you so much!!

  • Rando 4 years ago

    Hi. A while back I was fired for taking a $5 drink from my work while on the clock and not paying for it. My boss asked me about it, at first I denied it but when asked again I admitted. He made me pay for it, along with two waters I had drank during the day, even though I explained that another employee said they were free. After that, he fired me, and I left. There was really no discussion, no mention of any legal action. Recently I called asking about my check, and hearing this, my boss asked for my lawyers info, saying theirs said it was best to press charges. My question is, without any signed admittance, or anything like that, not even sure there is solid camera evidence, can he press charges? And also, isnt it unlawful for him to be withholding my paycheck? Thank You

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi there giraffe610,

    I've never known a store to enforce a no trespass notice from a person charged with shoplifting. I'm not telling you to violate the law, but there is no way Target is able to tell who has a no trespass notice and who does not. Retail trespass notices are intended to stop repeat shoplifters-especially from habitual shoplifters and boosters. I've also never known a store to repeal a no trespass order.

    I've worked for 3 quite large chain stores (not Target) and we were instructed to NEVER enforce a no trespass notice, even if we were positive the person had received notice.

    I highly doubt the woman who spoke to your husband was correct. Any LP decisions are made by the corporate office and never an LPO. However, there may be local regulations regarding no trespass notices that allow for a store to make an individual decision.

    You can always try and write or call Target Corporate. They may be able to help you. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Rando,

    I would definitely speak with an attorney. Any legal action taken against you by your former employer has absolutely nothing to do with your paycheck. In fact, each time I have interviewed employees who admitted to shoplifting, any money owed them was usually paid to them in cash before they left the premises.

    I can't imagine what the benefit is to attempt to have you criminally charged with stealing from the company. I'm not an attorney, but you have already made restitution by paying for the items you admitted to have stolen.

    My advice is to get an attorney and do it first thing tomorrow. Good luck.

  • Critter 4 years ago

    I am a compulsive shoplifter. I am currently seeking therapy for this. My family doesn't know. I have so much to loose. I have children, a husband, a wonderful church and yet I can't stop stealing. Sometimes I take things I need, other times just things for the thrill of it. I really think I have big problem. I think about stealing almost every day. I used to pull my hair out, a compulsion called Trichotillomania, one strand at a time, and now I steal. If I don't steal I pull hair out. I feel so guilty reading these posts.

  • BrittneyJ 4 years ago

    Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for your advice and reading my novel! lol Im not even going to bother to be honest because even an apology would never make me step foot in that store again to be honest I just wanted to know if they could have tried to accuse me of something like especially since they had no evidence and I was a paying customer. Regardless the way that store is running the manager probably won't be there for much longer and I'll just let karma do it's part ;)

  • Scared as Hell 4 years ago

    Ok I was so stupid and decided to steal this phone case from wal mart. I went into this isle and thought made sure there weren't any cameras in view so I ripped it out of the package since it was already almost halfway out. So I put it in my pocket but felt so bad that I put it back on a shelf. When I went up toward the front to pay for what I had, stupid right? And when I did get up there there was this guy and another one with an ear piece in running up and down looking in the lanes. So I waited and paid for what I had, and then on the way out I saw this guy coming in that was back around where I was looking at the cases. Should I worry about cops showing up to my house? Should I worry about them sending me a bill? What should I expect because I didn't take it I put it back so there was no crime committed right? God I can't stand it!

  • Jp 4 years ago

    How are you , ok my Nephew went into a convenience store open 24 hours he took a 30 pack of beer Some girls singing him and told on him the owner then press charges and my nephew had to pay a fine but the owner posted the video on Facebook and his name and everything else is that legal

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi BrittneyJ, I loved your novel. Write anytime. Thanks.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Scared as Hell, No there was no crime committed, so Walmart won't be sending you a bill and no cops will be breaking down your door. You definitely had them scrambling for evidence, though. Good thing you changed your mind.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Jp, That's a good question. It's not unusual to see shoplifting videos on YouTube these days, but publishing a name and making an accusation might be another story. I would consult with a lawyer to find out if it's illegal, or not. You could also complain about the video directly on YouTube and see if Google will remove it. Good luck.

  • sydnee 4 years ago

    i was caught shoplifting in portland, but i live in st. helens, which court handles my case?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Syndee, Your case will be handled by the city or town where the offense occurred.

  • sydnee 4 years ago

    thanks! and how do i find out how to contact them??

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi syndee, I'm assuming you were arrested? I would call the police department. They should be able to steer you in the right direction. You can also request a copy of the police report (although you may have to pay for it.) Good luck.

  • sydnee 4 years ago

    well i was searching for an answer for how long it usually takes for a court date to mailed, and i read something above that said it could take a long time, and i was not arrested and i am a minor, so i was just seeing how i could check to see where my case stands i guess. thank you again!

  • jw 4 years ago

    i took a bike ride to k-mart to get my mess,and also to steal pack of t-shirts,op stops me and suggest that i come with him, i said no,and took off running home and leaving my bike, i really want my bike back. wat should i do,any comments would be appreciated.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi again, syndee, Were you charged in the presence of your parents by a police officer? Did you receive a summons or were you told you would be receiving a summons in the mail?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi jw, Good luck trying to get that bike back. Anything could have happened to it. Running from LP isn't a good idea, but even worse when they get your bike. It's my guess that it's gone for good.

  • scaredStr8 4 years ago

    I was at a boutique with my cousin and her friends. I was trying on clothes and everything.my phone was dying so i went to my car and charge it. As i started the car about to tell them to come on becauaae my phone wasnt charging. They ran out the store with clothes in there arma. I was scared ans neevous. Im still shaking i have never ) been involbed in anything like this. If the people has my plates can i go to jail. I wanna cry. ...

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi scaredStr8,

    I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure you could be considered an accessory. I would call an attorney and get some expert advice immediately. Good luck.

  • Guest 1970 4 years ago

    I believe (but cannot be sure) that a baby shower gift was actually stolen from a dept. store. I need to exchange the gift but am wondering if the gift was truly stolen what happens when I try to exchange it?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Guest 1970, Thanks for writing. You have a couple of options. You could ask the person who gave the gift to return it in exchange for something else, or you could do it yourself. The worst that the tore would able to do is to refuse the refund if they believed the item may have been stolen. You need proof to accuse someone of theft. If you didn't take the item, you should have nothing to worry about. Good luck!

  • FirstOffender 4 years ago

    hey there,

    so I was just caught shoplifting a $7 dollar box of coffee. I was tracked down by a store detective. He took down all my intro. It was my first offense so he said the police would not be involved and it wouldn't be on my record. I didn't sign any papers, I basically sat in an office for 5 minutes while he told me the dangers of shoplifting, this was seriously my first and last time. He said I'll be receiving a fine. What kind of fine should I expect? I definitely confessed to stealing.

  • varia928 4 years ago

    In OHio

    I feel quite scared, today I was caught shoplifting cards for a card game with some friends tonight. I was trying to steal something that would equal out to $11.96 plus 6.5% tax, 2 items, and I was caught. I was at walmart, and they asked me for my ssn, id, and accurate information. They also gave me a letter saying my incident could prompt both criminal and civil actions under state law. Walmart says that they can have the right to civil action to recover the damages which have been suffered. I'm not sure what that means exactly.....

    The police were not involved and I read the ORC (Ohio revised code), which says that 1st time offenders could get a misdemeanor to the 1st degree and be charged a fine up to $1000, and I could spend up to 6 months in jail.

    I was wondering if this is still possible if the police are not involved?

    Also, if that is not possible, any idea what the maximum fee a civil fee could be given to me, if one is given, and also will this be on any record for when I try to apply for a job?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi FirstOffender, That $7 box of coffee is probably going to cost you a couple of hundred in a civil fine. You'll receive a bill from either a law form, or collection agency, seeking a specified amount. To find out what your fine is going to be, go to Google and enter: "Civil Demand Fine: Georgia" (for example) It should provide all the information you need on your impending fine. Good luck!

  • Stressed 4 years ago

    Today I bought something from an expensive department store on my way back I stopped in a clothing store tried some clothes on and went round the stote, I was reading the back if a book then began walking out the store forgetting I had a tshirt I wanted in/on top my department store bag. The employee stopped me as the alarms went off, asked to see my bag, when I saw the tee I to her I was sorry I had forgotten I had it and that I did want the item, she said it was ok I could pay for it at the till, I paid and left the store. The reason I am worried is I know how bad it looks so can they file a report or trace my card I've they think she was wrong in believing I had made a genuine mistake ? I won't be returning to the store for the sheer embarrassment but can they take things further if they let me pay and go without taking any details or calling security

  • varia928 4 years ago

    I took the advice you gave to first offender, I should only be fined to a maximum of $50, unless they take me to court, then they can go to a max of 1000. But I doubt the court would be likely.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Stressed, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. You'll be ok. Mistakes like that happen all the time. If they wanted to apprehend you for shoplifting, they would have done so. They also would have never given you the opportunity to pay for the item. The can't and won't come after you now. Besides, you have a receipt.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi varai928, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but sometimes Hubpages doesn't like to deliver messages to me when I need them.

    $12 isn't going to end your life-or work career. Don't get Walmart policy mixed up with the law. If Walmart wanted to prosecute you, they would have. There was no police involvement, so there won't be any involved in the future. You will however receive a civil fine. To determine your fine, enter "CIvil Fine-Shopliting-Ohio" into Google and find your answer. Good luck.

  • V. Switzer. 4 years ago

    I live in MS, I was caught shoplifting less than 100 dollars, I bonded out but can I just pay the fine and not go to court? This is the only thing on my record other than speeding tickets.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi V. Switzer. Were you given a court date by the police upon your arrest? If so, you'd better appear. If not, they may issue a warrant for your arrest.

  • Lisa 4 years ago

    Hi I was caught, however I ran and the lp held on to my handbag with my belongings in it. What happens now. How the ID that was in there is expired and has the old address that live at fives years ago.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Lisa, If it were me that had tried to stop you when you ran and ended up with your handbag instead, I would have called the police. It wouldn't matter at that point what the dollar amount you had stolen from the store was. I wouldn't want to be responsible for someone's property-especially if there was money or credit cards, etc, inside. Most stores would hand it over to the police.

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    Hey Joe,

    I have had a major shoplifting problem for about four months now. I dealt with a trauma in August, and one day, I was so angry that I stole a bottle of soap. I found the rush addictive, and have been stealing ever since. However, I've decided to change my ways. I've been lucky so far, but I know that being caught is inevitable. However, I am concerned about something that happened yesterday. I was shopping at an outlet mall, and visited 3 stores. At each store, I bought some items and stole others. At Vanity Fair, I bought some bras, but I stole an additional two. I paid with a credit card, and the store also has my contact information through a customer program. When I left, the bras I rejected were in the dressing room, along with two additional hangers from the ones I took (the bras I stole, total value was $28). An employee walked in right after me to clean out the dressing room. This store has CCTV. I also took a lipgloss ($15) from Bath and Body Works, that store didn't have cameras, but one employee may have seen me. Finally, I went to the Gap. I bought a pair of jeans, and concealed the second pair (normally $60, on sale for $30) in a shopping bag while I was in the dressing room . This store also had CCTV. I was not apprehended at any of the stores, fortunately. However, is it possible that security will look at the tapes from the two stores that did have CCTV and build a case against me? This is the first time I've been to that outlet mall, and I don't plan to go back. I'm not sure how strict security is in a place like that, and I was never apprehended, but security might put two and two together. There are cameras in the parking lot, so the outlet mall has my license plate number, and both stores have my information as I paid with a debit card. However, the address on my credit card is out of state, as is my car's license plate. The address for the shopper rewards program is a different address (in-state, both are legitimate addresses of mine) Is it possible, or even likely, that the police will be called and I will be apprehended? I was planning on going back to the stores today to return the merchandise, but that might be even riskier if security is waiting. Basically, if I made it off the premises, am I home free? Do I have anything to be concerned about at this point?

    -Changing My Ways

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    I should add that this happened in Ohio.

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    I should add that this happened in Ohio.

  • V. Switzer 4 years ago

    Yes they gave me a court date but I was also told that I could pay a fine and the whole thing would be over with. And I want this to be over with. Is the fine to make the whole thing over with now void bc I bonded out or can I just pay the fine and go on?

  • Dar 4 years ago

    I am 50yrs old and I was extremely stupid and attempted shoplifting for the first and last time. I was caught. The total is $60.00.They didn't call the police because I complied completely. They took down my driver license info and said I will be getting a fine in the mail.Now I received notice that the Civil Demand is for the amount of $450.What will happen If I pay it .

    Thank you

  • Dar 4 years ago

    I Want To Know If I pay The Civil demand What will Happen For Me , In this case, the problem will be finished.Because I have a heart condition and I want to finish it as soon as possible.They may ask me for anything else?Is my record is broken?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Dar, Since there was no police involvement, there is no criminal charge and your record will remain unblemished. The civil fine is something the stores are allowed to charge in most US states. It has absolutely nothing to do with the legal aspect of your shoplifting. They only want your money. They won't ask you for anything else and your problem will go away. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi V.Switzer. Call the courthouse (ask for the prosecutor's office) and find out if it's a necessity that you appear. If you have a notice telling you to appear, I would go. You don't need a warrant placed on you for a shoplifting charge.

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    You're not going to respond to my question?

  • Dar 4 years ago

    Thank you for your attention

    It happened in Los Angeles, I did not intend to steal, I was waiting for my wife in front of Entrance, They informed the police force or the threat of force me to sign the paper. If I do not pay it what percentage is likely to take me to court? Do you think I have to pay it?

  • cart runner 4 years ago

    I have a family member who went into walmart and stocked a cart full of items and walked out. She didnt get caught and s did the same thing several times. She told her friend about it and her and her friend went the same day and my family member got caught and snitched out her friend who walked out with the cart full of items. She gave her the licensce plate number. If the l have video evidence of her leaving the store with the cartfull can wal mart hire a detective to go to her house and look for the items that were taken

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Sarah, Sometimes Hubpages doesn't deliver my questions in order. You're gonna have to forgive me for the late response.

    You're not going to be apprehended if you go back to the stores. Not by Loss Prevention anyway. It doesn't work like that. However, if you are suspected of shoplifting, there's nothing preventing an employee or manager from picking up the phone and calling the police, letting them know there is a known shoplifter in the store. I've had to do this at times when I have either not had enough evidence to apprehend a shoplifter, or it was unsafe for me to do so. The police can question you on suspicion, look in your pocketbook and shopping bags and ask you for your proof of purchase, where a Loss Prevention employee cannot. These scenarios usually occur in stores without adequate security or camera equipment.

    Now, could your personal information (shoppers rewards, license plate, debit card, etc.) be used against you? I myself, have only revealed shopper info with authorization from the company I've worked for and only when requested by the police for bad checks being passed or credit card fraud.

    I don't see an active police investigation taking place with you, due to the dollar amount of merchandise you're walking away with. If you were stealing 3 or 4 flat screen tv's or laptop computers each time you visited a store, you'd have a lot more to worry about. That doesn't say it isn't possible, but the odds of an active police investigation against you sound slim-unless you live in some sleepy small town, somewhere.

    Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Dar, The civil fine is usually a 50/50 split between the law firm and the retailer. The odds of them taking you to small claims court are very slim and wouldn't be worth the amount they may be awarded. Many attorneys recommend not paying the civil demand for this very reason. Good luck

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi cart runner, No, Walmart won't hire a detective, but they could easily file a complaint with the police department and she would be questioned. You can also count on Walmart having video of at least the merchandise walking out the door. The front section of Walmart is very well equipped with cameras. Good luck!

  • scare49 4 years ago

    hello my sister steal $268 merchandise in kohls columbus Ga. she put all that stuff in kohls regular bag and she walks away. nobody stop her but when she went to her car, manager was taking picture of her car plates.

    right now she is super scared. what is going t happen?

  • Mattman 4 years ago

    So last night "John" opened a package of merchandise and put it in his front hoodie pocket, right as he was doing this an employee turned the corner and probably saw it going in his pocket. She followed him to the front and he paid for one more thing in his hand he'd intended to buy anyhow. Right as he was handed his receipt. She asked him to step to th e side and asked for what was in his pocket. He handed it to her and proceeded to leave, two big guys stood in front of him "making sure he didn't run" I suppose and made sure he couldn't go anywhere until the police got there. Which she lied to him about as well, she acted like they could take care of it there in sotre. The woman also lied to him about many things to make him stay until the police arrived and arrested him. He never admitted to stealing and never left the store. Since he didn't leave with it can he get rid of the charge? Or was she smart in letting him pay for one item to see if he'd pay for the other and when he didn't that was "shoplifting"? I live in Ms btw. Thanks

  • Pars 4 years ago

    .

    . I was extremely stupid and attempted shoplifting for the first time in Best buy . I was caught the total is $58.00 they didn't call the police. They threat of force me to sign the paper, I sign it but not the same sign in my driver license they took down my driver license info and said I will be getting a fine in the mail .Now I received notice that the Civil Demand is for the amount of $420.What will happen If I don’t pay or I pay it. I have Green card and I am not citizen I so scared. My question is if it will be bad for my immigration case and credit card? I sincerely ask for your advice .Thank you

  • Beautiful Tragedy 4 years ago

    I was caught stealing 6months ago from wal mart they got all there stuff back I went to court and I pleded guilt payd all of my dues from court with the help of my mother & so my charges the judge ordered where payd and I though I was done with it all then today... 6months after everything I get a letter sayn wal mart sue for $300 I have no job and no income and im technical homeless and on walfare for food stamps...but my main Q is can they really sew me after 6monhs?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mattman,

    It would depend on the store as to whether or not shoplifters are supposed to be outside of the store before they are apprehended. Most big chain stores like Kmart and Target subscribe to this method, as it completely removes all doubt that the suspect intended to steal it. As you mentioned. the receipt may possibly be used just for that purpose.

    Whatever the rules of the store may be, the law is what the cops go by. A cop can walk into a store and charge you with shoplifting as soon as you conceal. The cops follow very different rules when it comes to shoplifting. You may want to call an attorney and see if it's worth going after a dropped charge. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Pars,

    The civil demand is usually an equal split of funds between the retailer and the law form collecting the civil demand fee. It has nothing to do with anything criminal. Many attorneys are telling their clients these days, not to pay the civil demand. Their reasoning is, it will cost the company more than they would collect to take you to small claims court. I don't see where not paying it would have anything to do with your immigration status. But, since I'm not an attorney it might be a good idea to check with one. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Beautiful Tragedy, That's called a civil demand notice. Most states in the USA (and outside of the country) have given the green light for merchants to collect a civil fine from people they have apprehended for shoplifting. Read the post above and it will give you a little more information about it. Good luck.

  • Mindblown45 4 years ago

    My story is a little different... I didn't actively steal, I had put 2 things on layaway a furby and a iPad... Later we decided to not get the iPad with the new Surface having been released. We pick up the furby and the lady set aside an iPad, and took it off our order. She then hands us a box with what we assumed to be the furby. We ask if she had checked to make sure that is was ours and she said yes. We get home, forget about the box as we are 2 months ahead of Christmas and 2 weeks ago we got my son my Christmas gifts. My friend opened the box and there is an iPad in there. Am I liable for their carelessness, can they make me pay for it or charge me with a theft when I was unaware for months?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mindblown45, It was obviously human error that led to you getting the iPad. The nice thing to do would be to return it and explain what happened. Stores like honest customers and it's nice finding one once in awhile. They won't call the cops. They'll appreciate the favor. Good luck.

  • IfeelTERRIBLE 4 years ago

    Hi

    I am not normally a shoplifter but yesterday I stole a couple of shirts and a scarf from two different stores. In each store I also purchased (and stole) an item. I paid for the items with my credit card and now I am paranoid that they can track me based on the method of payment. Is this possible? Also, how long would it take to pull up mu info from my credit card and investigating? How long do I have to wait before knowing I am in the clear?

  • Fraudulent returns 4 years ago

    I had a question regarding what the possible consequences (if any) with my situation:

    -I purchase shoes for regular price online. Each pair of shoes come with a copy of the receipt (sometimes I get 3 copies of the same receipt per order).

    -the shoes go on sale and I purchase them for a cheaper price. Then I return them with one of the receipts from the previous order to get more money back. The purchases are made with my credit card online and is associated with an order number with my information attached to it. I have done this multiple times. I have been doing this for years. What could possibly happen?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    IfeelTERRIBLE , Thanks for writing. It's possible to pull up your CC number, but it's not going to happen for a shoplifting incident-especially a small one. The stores require certain steps to prove you intended to steal. If they had those steps (or even saw it at all), they would have apprehended you at the time of your theft. See more about those steps here. https://soapboxie.com/government/5-Things-You-Didn...

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Fraudulent returns I'm not a lawyer, but it's definitely fraud. Could be some type of internet/computer fraud as well. I don't see anything happening to you. It's up to the stores to keep an eye on their refunding process and the biggest loss retailers experience is not from shoplifters, but their service desk. In order to prosecute you for the many years you've been doing this, the stores would have to build a case with mountains of evidence against you. They don't have the manpower, nor the resources to do this. Unfortunately, I see you getting away with this until someone refuses your return. Good luck.

  • desperatefather2b 4 years ago

    Hi Rockinjoe!

    So I have made some seriously stupid choices lately... and the most recent one was to shoplift at target. I stole about 13 video games (xbox 360 and ps3 over several trips to the store. The last time i did so i went there and got the games and took them out of the secruity cases. but they were still unopened and in plastic. I did so in the dressing room. Not on camera. I then proceeded to walk around the store and chicken out. I dumped the items which were in my cart and i went to leave. When i went to leave i was met and detained by the LP officer. He said he had been waiting to catch me as they knew i stole from there in the past. I then was arrested and went to the police station. Although i had no items on me when he detained me. Once at the police station i had to file a statement admitting to everything. This was about a month ago. Today i got a call from the detective and they told me I now have a warrant and i need to turn myself in. Some time next week. My question is what do i do now? Whats next? I have a child on the way and a good job. I was an idiot and was takign the games to sell on craigslist to pay bills. I live in Michigan if that helps. I have no criminal background of any kind and im 27 years old. Once i turn myself in do i get bonded out or goto jail? Do i need a lawyer or is it better to just be 100% honest and not get an attorney involved. Any advice would be huge!

    Thanks!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi desperatefather2b, You should have gotten a lawyer a month ago. I don't understand how Target could have charged you without merchandise. What items were you charged with shoplifting? The ones you left inside the store in the shopping cart? That might have been enough for the cops to charge you, but unless Target drastically changed their rules (they didn't) you have a potential lawsuit against them for false detainment. My advice is to find a lawyer immediately. Don't walk into court without one.

  • Not malicious 4 years ago

    About 2 weeks ago I lifted a onesie from Walmart. Removed the tags, placed it under the diaper bag and left the store after paying for tons of baby food I had put under the stroller. A couple days ago, I did the same thing with a pair of leggings. Each of the two items I took were under $5. I didn't do this out of necessity...but impulsively. The second time I left, I noticed an LP standing in the lane next to mine. I left the store with the stolen leggings while my partner paid for all the other items and seated my baby in the car. My partner joins me 10 min later...a long checkout line and just as we were leaving, I notice a security car park 2 spaces next to mine. No one stopped me inside or outside the store. I am terriffied that they will have reported me and the cops will come knocking at my door. I live in CA but in a city with a pretty low crime rate. This isn't something I plan on repeating. I just needed something exciting in my life. Any advice? I know some places can charge you with as little as concealment.

  • worriedteen 4 years ago

    your thread is so helpful and insightful! just wanted to let you know before i ask my own question; ive been shoplifting from my local target for the past several months.. low-value items here and there, usually totaling around $30-$60 i'd say, but today while i was there with my mom, i think i took about $40-$55 worth of merchandise. (she wasnt with me when i put the items in my purse) after we met up, we began looking at shoes. and out of nowhere, a security officer appeared and walked up to us. im almost certain no one had been following me or had seen me put any of the items into my purse, but then he asked us "do you need help finding anything?" and my mom said "no, were fine, thank you" and he walked away. well we walked over to the clothing section (probably 15-20 feet away from the shoes) and my mom and i sort of split up; she was looking at a sweater and i was looking at some tops. and within less than 3 or 4 minutes, the same security guard came up to me and asked me again, "do you need help finding anything?" i said "no, thanks" and walked back over to my mom. while she wasnt looking, i dumped about $25 of the merchandise in a pile of clothing under a shelf. she had seen the same guard come over to me again and she was so angered that hed approached me twice in less than 5 minutes. so while we were heading over to the checkout area, she saw him near the front entrance and approached him and asked him why he had approached us and then me. and she also asked him if he was looking for people like me or my age or if it was just a matter of security being amped up around the holidays. he said that it was "just his job to scan the entryways and exits of the store and prevent merchandise from being stolen" and that "extra security is needed around the holidays". so after he said that, my mom said "oh, well i have been shopping here for the past 20 years and not once have i been accused of shoplifting or anything of the sort, and im honestly insulted that you might think me or my daughter was doing such a thing. shes the last person on earth who would do something like that" (oh the irony haha, i know shopliftings bad, and i wont be doing it again b/c of how freaked out i was tonight). so while she was starting to head over to the checkouts i kind of whispered "sorry" to the guard and followed her. we checked out and she used her debit card, and then walked out of the store without a problem to the car, loaded up everything and drove away. im not sure if anyone followed us outside or bothered to get our license plate, (btw we parked extremely close to the store, so a camera would most likely be able to get the plate numbers.... *sigh*). but now im sitting at home and am wondering several things: 1) judging by the security guards behavior, do you think he knew or believed that i was shoplifting? 2) do you think target will most likely track me down and have the police contact me either at my home or through the phone? 3) since i just recently turned 18 (october bday), and since ive been lifting items from this particular target for awhile, and assuming target is aware of that, what kind of trouble am i facing, if any trouble at all? and 4) is there any way i could avoid being charged or being given a citation or ticket of some sort at this point?

    im scared and worried that they will try to track me down within the next several weeks... and i really dont want my parents finding out about this. i feel like an idiot for even starting to shoplift in the first place :/ a fast response would be greatly appreciated!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi not malicious, Thanks for writing. If Walmart had enough evidence against you (or even saw your crime) they would have apprehended you. The security car was a coincidence. The outside security has nothing to do with the LP inside the store. Careful. That momentary rush could turn into handcuffs, fingerprints a mug shot, a cell, court and then a fine. There are better and safer ways to get that thrill you seem to be missing. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi worriedteen, Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. The security guard definitely knew you were shoplifting. He was attempting to get you to drop the merchandise. The best way to deter a shoplifting, or getting someone to dump the merchandise is to provide customer service by asking them if they need assistance and letting them know that they will be around should they require customer assistance.

    Now, why would they let you just walk away if they knew you were shoplifting? Could be several reasons.

    1.) There was no LP in the building and the security employee was not allowed to make an apprehension on his own.

    2.) LP could have been tied up with a shoplifter in the office, or in the middle of watching something bigger.

    3.) For whatever reason, LP decided that it was in the best interest of the store to let you walk away.

    If they wanted you, they would have come after you as you were leaving the store. They're not coming after you now. They had their chance. That being said, they know what you're up to and you'll stick out like a sore thumb next time you enter the store.

    As you know from reading my column, I don't judge anyone for shoplifting. I don't condone it and I was paid to apprehend people doing it, but I don't judge. I will say, however, that you just turning 18 gets you charged as an adult and gives you a record. It's definitely not a game and no fun getting arrested and appearing before a judge. Ok, I'm done preaching. Good luck.

  • Zeke S 4 years ago

    Ok so, long story short, after a series of quite unfortunate events, i was left with a wrecked vehicle, no more job, no more money, and havent been able to get hired because i was supposed to be going active (Air Force) january 4th, my father has always been mia or stealing what little money i did have, and mother is already broke working full time taking care of her father etc. etc... anyway i went to a dillons nearby, and had taken some food (and yes i understand it is wrong etc. etc... i simply got caught up in the slump and made a stupid decision), anyway, after the self checkout (bought what i could) i got pulled aside, handcuffed by an officer, led upstairs, they took the stuff (some meat) and charged me for having tried to steal it.

    Anyway a week or so later i got a letter for i believe it was civil demand is what people are calling it, anyway it was asking for 50$, on one hand i technically understand the whole "for paperwork and whatnot" thing, however it seems aforementioned that as i didn't actually steal anything (and it certainly did not add up to 50$), i'm now a little confused as to whether i have to pay it. the officer never said anything regarding it (which is not surprising as it was through some law office working with dillons (kroger, i know they go by different names in different regions)), however all that he and the manager there mentioned were appearing at the courthouse for the ticket. After giving me the ticket and relieving me of the merchandise i was free to go. Unless informed otherwise I'm paying it just to be on the safe side, but if at all possible i have plenty of other places that money could go to...

  • Zeke S 4 years ago

    Nevermind, I must have kind of spaced off in the back of my mind when reading the first one, I was reading it again and was really able to answer my own question, my apologies (: I need my sleep XP

    Anyway, it's a great article! (Judging from how thorough it appears and your continued support, not experience with the issue :P D don't intend on having a second experience!)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks Zeke, I appreciate your writing in and sharing your experience with us. Good luck!

  • dwatt 4 years ago

    Okay. So here is what happened to me, or rather the stupid thing I did:

    I don't know what drove me to want to steal, but I was at Target and when I looked at a pair of tweezers that I was thinking of buying and saw that they were $28, I decided I was going to steal them. And since I was in the beauty supply aisle, I decided I may as well just pick out what I wanted but had never bought because of cost. But I didn't want to get caught on camera so I put everything in the hood of a jacket and got some clothing and tried to go into the dressing room. Unfortunately the lady said I couldn't take that stuff into the room and after I left I saw her call someone on her walkie-talkie. Then this guy started tailing me and watching me constantly. I unpacked the stuff I wanted and even tried on shoes and socks and stuff and I was on the phone and I just kept walking around the store randomly and talking on the phone and haphazardly put stuff back, but I did steal about $75 worth of beauty supplies ($28 dollars of it being those tweezers) As I was leaving I asked the lady at the cash register whether that man actually worked there (he was in a sort of security officer outfit, but he was wearing a huge earring and looked really unprofessional. Meanwhile, he was looking at the packaging for the items that I did steal that he had found while following me and was talking and pointing at me) I don't know, but I walked out of Target and then I couldn't find my car and he offered to help me. (which was awful) And he said I wasn't in trouble, and I said I couldn't be because I didn't steal anything, but he asked me where the tweezers were, I just said somewhere around. Which could have very well been true. He told me that I especially don't want to get arrested right now because I wouldn't get out until after Christmas. Either way, he looked at my license plate and I'm pretty sure he memorized it before I drove away. I said "thank you for helping me find my car" and I left. He never made me sign anything and no one else was involved. I was just visiting my parents and thus was driving their car and may never walk into that particular Target again. As long as I never do it again, will I be able to shop at my local Target, which is still in the same state, but like 6 hours away? And would they file any charges against me? I don't think there is any video evidence of me actually taking anything, but I can't be too sure because I'm not really experienced or anything.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi dwatt,

    Sounds to me as if they knew it was you, but didn't have enough evidence to apprehend you. The security guard was attempting to "burn you" (get you to dump what you stole), but never should have asked you for the tweezers. (I'm assuming he was a rookie.)

    Sure, you can go back to Target without any problems. They're not coming after you. They can assume all they want, but unless they have all the facts, they can't come after you. They also can't come after you "next time" for something that happened yesterday. Don't worry about the license plate, either. That's all mind game stuff.

    Now, that being said, they'll be watching for you. Next time they have enough evidence on you, they'll take you. Good luck!

  • NervousNelly 4 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe,

    I really appreciate all this info you have here!

    Yesterday I went to a major supermarket chain store (Giant Eagle) and rang up $17 worth of stuff at the self checkout. When it came time to pay, I found that I had lost my credit card.

    Normally, if I had just left my card home or something, I'd leave the stuff at the customer service desk and would drive home to get the card, but I had lost it so I knew I couldn't just go home, grab the card and pay. I had no alternative methods of payment, so I made a stupid decision and walked out without paying.

    No one noticed or came after me, but I suppose they might have eventually noticed an unfinished transaction at the counter with the stuff all gone and checked their surveillance videos to see whether the stuff was stolen.

    I feel bad about this, but not bad enough to turn myself in over $17. My question is, do I need to steer clear of the store for a while? Am I okay as long as I wasn't caught at the scene? Should I expect the police to come knocking on my door? I'm sure they have video surveillance of their self checkout counters, but I don't know whether they'd bother to investigate such a small possible theft.

    I've never stolen anything before this and won't do it again, but I'm not sure what to do now. Thanks, Nervous Nelly

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi NervousNelly, All stores have cameras on their self checkouts. Here's my advice to you. Call the store manager and tell them you noticed your card was stolen at check out time and you left the store. Tell him/her you freaked out and left the store with your items because you were not thinking clearly. Don't ask them what to do, but instead, tell them that you're sorry and you'll be sending a money order in the correct dollar amount immediately to make up for the mistake.

    Stores want their money. They also want you as a repeat customer. Why ruin a good relationship and have to shop elsewhere over $17. It doesn't make sense. Good luck!

  • Worried 4 years ago

    Hi,

    I recently went into a sephora and tried to return a bunch of makeup that was given to me by a couple friends for Christmas & my bday. But since i was returning items with out a receipt (bc they were gifts) she had my ID and all my info. As inwas waiting at the counter the manager pulled me aside and said she voided my return bc one of the items was a sample/tester product. This was news to me bc as I stated before it was all given to me from others.

    So she returned the items to me with my iD - and that's it. So walked away .

    I just wanted to know if now I am in the system as some sort of theif and will there be fines etc. this really has me worried bc I was just unhappy with a gift and wanted to return it.

    -worried

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi worried,

    You may be flagged in the return system, as either a customer to NOT process refunds for, or as one to watch for suspicious refunds. I can't understand Sephora canceling your entire refund, though. That's pretty poor customer service and if I were you, I would lodge a complaint.

    Good luck!

  • Anxious222 4 years ago

    Rockinjoe, I really need to know something. I got caught in winners last week and the Lp detained me and called the cops. It was something I did out of desperation and really regret it. The cops were called and the cop told me that I have no priors and no criminal background with a clean history of driving. He let me go with a ban and also that I will receive a fine via email from the company So my first question to you: in how much time would I receive the mail and what will be the amount considering I stole about $35 merchandise? My second question to you, someone I know works for this company , does the Lp share shoplifter information with the employees? Are the employees warned to keep an eye out for a person who looks like me? I am very scared and I don't want her to know... I have not been at rest since then and have felt guilty and restless since that day. Please help me I read your blog and you are so helpful so please help me.

  • Anxious222 4 years ago

    Rockinjoe I have seen you have got a great blog. You really have put a lot of people's minds on rest. I have learnt my lesson and it was my last time ever doing something like this.i am worried if my information will be shared with the girl I know who works there. She will tell everyone at my work place because is also connected to my work... Please let me know via your experience would Lp or store managers share shoplifter info with employees?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Anxious222, All shoplifter information is supposed to be strictly confidential, but that's hardly the case. Some LP's share it with select employees, (depending on the person, circumstances, etc.) and if management asks, it's usually freely shared. I'd like to place you at ease, but I also want to let you know the truth about what happens in the retail world. All I can say is, I hope she doesn't somehow find out. As far as telling the employees to watch out for you, the only time I would ask employees to watch out for someone, is if I hadn't yet caught them. Take a deep breath.

    As far as a possible civil demand fine, I would expect one. Go to Google and enter in the state you were stopped in along with the words "civil demand fine" and you should be able to find the amount. Good luck.

  • Anxious222 4 years ago

    Rockin joe even if it was my first offense and I owned up to everything and returned and was extremely honest and cooperative they would still be ruthless and share information with the employees? I am really worried now because my job could be in problem.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Anxious222, I'm not saying they WILL release information. I am, however saying it's possible. It's frowned upon in the LP industry, but I've known many LP's bragging around a store. This is not saying it will happen, but I don't want to sugar coat anything for you.

  • Anxious222 4 years ago

    Rockingjoe you are very helpful and I really appreciate your guidance. I just have one more question for you, I know I will receive a civil recovery fine. Do you know where it comes from and what does the envelope usually say?does it say civil recovery claim or demand or the name of the company or the lawyer name?I would like to keep an eye out for the letter so that its mistakenly not discarded by my family .I will be away for business purposes for about 2 weeks , so will they have a set date for me to pay ? I am just worried if I am out of the country and the date surpassed... what would you say?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Anxious222, The envelope won't mention the contents of the letter, but it will either be from a law firm or a collection agency. They will tell you to have your fine paid by a certain date, but you ALWAYS have wiggle room in paying this thing. They may threaten you with small claims court, if it's not paid on time, but don't worry about it. They will not take you to court to collect. It would cost them more than the amount they would recover. Good luck.

  • gail641 profile image

    Gail Louise Stevenson 3 years ago from Mason City

    Very interesting hub. It would be very embarassing to be caught shoplifting, having the police come, take you to the police station and be charged. I don't think that it would be worth it at all. I remember a case of this one girl who used to take her kids with her when she went shoplifting-maybe so they'd be easy on her. Very enjoyable reading and informative.

  • wondering 2 years ago

    I have a friend that stole something pretty expensive from a small sporting good store they do not have cameras and no employees were no where in sight. He left with no issues but is wondering what could come of it?

  • lee5791 2 years ago

    I have not so much had even a speeding ticket until I was 50 yrs. old. Then my sister committed suicide and my life has self destructed. I have suffered from severe depression since her death and blame myself and have terrible guilt. For unknown reasons I have shoplifted when I am so depressed. Sometimes I feel like I am also going to commit suicide so I don't have to feel the pain, depression and guilt. I have 3 misdemeanor charges where I live. After the last, I got into therapy and treatment for my depression and it is helping. But recently I did it again in another state. I picked up a purse in a store and went into a dressing room and put a shirt and skirt inside. Then I walked outside in the mall area and waited. The lp person came and asked me to come back inside so I did. Then in the office I panicked and realized what this would do to my elderly parents now that I'm all they have left. I begged to speak to the manager or anyone that would listen to me but the LP were not interested in anything I had to say. I was arrested, and brought to jail for my 85 yr. old parents to bail me out. Now I have more guilt and depression over what I did to them. What is going to happen to me on this 4th misdemeanor charge. Is there any hope that I can avoid jail? I don't want to make excuses for my behavior and I want to take responsibility but the thought of going to jail is more than I can bear. I would appreciate any advice you can offer.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi lee5791, I'm very rarely around to answer questions and yours I'm afraid is impossible for me to answer. I'm not a lawyer and certainly not a doctor. My hope for you, is that you have a good attorney and a very fair judge. You have to remember. LP cannot be bargained with and the store manager is powerless to let you go. There are systems in place. I wish you luck. Stop back after court and let us know how you made out.

  • gregory tangorra 2 years ago

    Im going to court for a shoplifting charge at Walmart they also said they have me on camera months back saying I was stealing a camera.Now can I be charged with this for picking up this display but not being stoped or walking out of store with item

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    It's doubtful. There's no proof you stole the camera. You may be on tape concealing it, but they most-likely do not have 100% surveillance on you through the store and out the exit. The police, however may try and charge you with it. They work from different rules.

  • unnames 2 years ago

    i was caught shoplifting at a hobbylobby i took the pack of needles in the bathroom and when i came out the lp confronted me in the end i woundup paying for the needles he band me from the store

  • ~paranoid~ 2 years ago

    Today I shoplifted from Kmart. Not sure if they have me on camera or physically saw me in the act. I went to the register as normal and purchased two items and proceeded to the exit where I was met by the what I assume was the stores LP.standing between me and the exit door he ask me to come back in the store. I refused and left. He dis not follow but did take pictures of my truck as I was leaving. A few minutes later I rode back by the store and the police was there. I don't plan on ever going back to this store but what if I was caught on camera. Items worth around 40 dollars. Will they issue an apb for my truck and issue a warrent for my arrest.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi unnames, I am always suspect of stops outside of the bathroom for a couple of reasons.

    1.) You are supposed to have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the restroom. So, unless whoever stopped you was in the stall with you, there is no evidence of concealment.

    2.) You weren't outside of the store. You could have "changed your mind" and decided to purchase the needles on your way out. You weren't given that opportunity.

    Both those scenarios could open Hobby Lobby up to liability.( In my opinion, anyway.) I know you paid for the needles, but did you take them home or did HL keep them?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Paranoid, LP training at Kmart is extremely poor. Add that to the fact that their policies regarding shoplifting are changing constantly. They used to have one of the best LP units in retail, but it appears they have never regained their former glory after their Chapter 11 filing in the early 2000's and their acquisition by Sears in 2005.

    I'll have to confirm this with friends I have in the company, but last I knew, ALL shoplifting stops were to take place on the sidewalk. Not inside the vestibule where apparently you were stopped. They are also supposed to have a witness (an employee) who views the stop while it takes place.

    As far as the cops being called? It's probably protocol to inform the police after a suspect refuses to come back inside (which most of them do not) I've been out of there for a few years now, so I don't remember.

    Are the cops after you for $40? Probably not. The cops have better things to do than chase after small time shoplifters. However, if they should run your plates and you have a past record, a warrant out for your arrest or you are a habitual shoplifter, the cops may decide to pay you a visit. It all depends on how busy they are and if you're worth the bother.

    If you had stopped, you would have gone to jail. Kmart prosecutes its shoplifters at $20. Doesn't matter if it's your first time shoplifting, or you're a seasoned pro. Steal $20+ and you're taking a ride.

  • Cristina 2 years ago

    Hi I was arrested in one store I shoplifting at..and went to court and paid for what I did..but now even its been over a year I still carry the embarrassment in my mind and heart..I shoplifting also in other store that they don't caught me that is over a year now..and I live in different state now and I change after I get caught from that store but can I still be arrested of the store I shoplifting over a year ago and a different state.

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