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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.

Comments

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  • profile image

    Andreasdimopoulos 2 months ago

    I had about 6 inches out of my 13 inch boot of out the entrance/exit doors of the department store Sears to see if anybody was smoking a cigarette because as i was already at the checkout stand, the manager said she was going to call another store to see if they carried the overall pants that i wanted to purchase in which this store didn't have . So as i turn around back into the store to purchase ( i just cashed my check an hour ago $225.00) I decided to go somewhere else so I leave out the store a cop walks

    up to me and arrests me saying "where did you dump it" meaning that the stolen merchandise that i had on me was tossed in an instant because they are accusing me of stealing something and getting rid of it before leaving the store because I supposedly seen the cop out there waiting to bust me and I immediately turn around and " dump the merchandise back and leave. With footage or not, Can they still charge for shoplifting if I walked out with nothing?

  • profile image

    ThievesGuild 2 months ago

    Hey Joe! I don't know if you folks are still active here after 7 or 8 or so months, but I'll share my story anyway as I'd appreciate the response. So here's how it all went down:

    Yesterday, I noticed that my earbuds were blown out on both ends for some reason. I'm guessing it's from my love for metal and cranking the volume up full blast, so I dismissed it. After a while tho, I got really annoyed I couldn't listen to music at the gym or something, and plus I figured I was due for one of those fancy wireless Bluetooth buds I see my friends wearing, anyway. So when I hopped into my car and drove to Kohl's to find one of those damn earbuds, I was unaware that I left the most important thing you could bring to a store:cash. Unfortunately for me, I didn't realize until I was already at the electronics department, fumbling around in my pockets for a wallet I didn't have. So to avoid any embarrassment I thought would come from walking into a store and then walking out, I decided it would be smart to relive my younger years and swipe just one more thing for old times sake. That was a huge mistake. I knew for a fact that if they didn't see you concealing the mercy themselves, they can't convict you of shit. So I took a big risk(mind you, I felt it was already really* suspicious for me to walk into the store wearing a black hood and all black pants and shoes) and tucked the small package(Skullcandy Bluetooth headphones,$25) into my waistband. I was for damn sure I was out of the surveillance cam range, or so I thought. I guess they must've seen me arrive at the electronics department, stand there like an idiot for 5 straight minutes playing with my crotch, and then cut through into the next door bathroom. As soon as I hit the exit and walked out, one those "LP's" you've been mentioning a lot stopped me at the exit. I don't know if they're playing some kind of game with me by confronting me outside the store premises instead of inside it's walls, but at this point I knew they were onto me. This girl must've been new or something, because she looked only mid-20s or so. I won't judge by age though, who am I to do that, right? Anyway, when she approached me she right away she said, "Excuse me, sir? You need to come with me to the customer service office.", or something along those lines. Trying to play it smooth just because I was too damn proud to go home and pick up my things, I kept responding with the regular smoke;"I don't know what you're talking about","You have the wrong person", "Sorry but I'm just passing by", those kinds of excuses. Obviously she didn't buy it, but at that point I could've cared less since I believed I was pretty safe and there's no way she can touch me out of the store grounds. That attitude changed so quickly when she reached into her back pocket, whipped out her phone, pressed a button and put it to her ear. As soon as she did that, I took off like a rocket, heading straight for the back of the store that leads into a nearby forest. I apologize if my recollection was so unnecessarily large, but in a nutshell, am I safe after all that? It's only been about 12 or so hours and I'm freaking tf out. I flushed the packaging of the earbuds in the bathroom's toilet, and I doubt the cameras could've picked up my face with my hood on at the time, but I can't deny that I've shopped at this store in the past. Can they use my previous visits to the store caught on tape as reference? Or is their memory too obstructed by the coming and going of many other customers? And because those headphones are Bluetooth and can be used wirelessly, are the Kohl's uppers able to trace their location? Sorry Joe, but I'm just terrified by this. I can't go to jail, and I have a sick father to take care of. I'd really appreciate your input on this.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 9 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Anxiou222, Both LP and store managers are not supposed to dicusss any confidential info with anyone. That's a serious Human Resources breach. That being said, it happens. I can't predict if it will happen in your situation, however.

  • profile image

    jackie 10 months ago

    I was told that I could not go into wegmans for 2 year because of shoplifting. what will happen if I continue to shop there?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Anytime, DaDerail......well....hoping you won't have a next time :)

  • profile image

    DaDerail 12 months ago

    Hi Rockinjoe

    So its been about 2-3 weeks since the shoplifting incident, and good news is that I didn't get a Civil demand letter. I don't know if they sent it to the wrong address or what, but I'm fine with not getting one.

    Again, thanks for the help, made understanding the situation much easier

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi John Doe 0000,

    No I don't think it's appropriate. It's downright dangerous and I'm guessing is completely against CVS policy. Whether you had unpaid for merchandise on you, or not. CVS is a public company and is owned by the stockholders. I highly doubt they want their managers opening up any liability cases,

    This is the stuff we used to do back in the day, but the wild west of loss prevention ended years ago. People used to hang off cars, go on car chases,

    I suggest, if you haven't called an attorney to contact one immediately,

  • profile image

    rockinjoe 12 months ago

    Hi John Doe 0000,

    No I don't think it's appropriate. It's downright dangerous and I'm guessing is completely against CVS policy. Whether you had unpaid for merchandise on you, or not. CVS is a public company and is owned by the stockholders. I highly doubt they want their managers opening up any liability cases,

    This is the stuff we used to do back in the day, but the wild west of loss prevention ended years ago. People used to hang off cars, go on car chases,

    I suggest, if you haven't called an attorney to contact one immediately. Good luck.

  • profile image

    Jon Doe 0000 12 months ago

    I allegedly made a shoplifting attempt at CVS. The store Manager/Cashier at the Time of Incident heard the front door buzzer after I walked out and begin to pursue me. I walked to my car, got in, and closed the door. I put the keys in the ignition and the car in drive and at the exact moment that I put the car in drive the Manager/Cashier ripped open my driver side door and jumped in the car on top of me and plunged the car into park. This caused the engine to be revved causing damage to the car because I was pressing the gas when he put it in park. The car lurched and the Manager/Cashier had his elbow in my face and broke the key off into the ignition. Eventually the police pulled up and he was pulled off of me. Do you think that the actions taken by the Manager/Cashier were by the book/appropriate?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi wants to help a friend,

    That will definitely not happen. These guys are not cops. They're retail employees. They need evidence and must follow a strict set of rules before they detain someone. Unless your friend repeats his mistake, he'll be ok.

  • profile image

    wants to help a friend 12 months ago

    Hi rockinjoe

    Thanks for guidance, My friend after that shopped many times at Walmart and recently he found Walmart people following him ( or keeping eye on him ), can they still apprehend to catch him for 2 years old mistake (which he did in other state and never got caught at that time) please help one last time. thanks in advance.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Guilty 305,

    You're welcome! Have a great day, yourself.

  • profile image

    Guilty305 12 months ago

    Oh thank you SO much! What a huge relief :) thank you so much for the wonderful (and super fast) response!! Have a great day!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Guilty 305,

    Good news! Walmart is not coming after you for ringing out a bag of chips as a bunch of bananas.

    Why?

    First of all, the dollar amount is way too minor to even be concerned about. No LP in their right mind would stop you for a couple of dollars and have to spend 30 minutes with you in the security office when there are larger thefts happening in the store.

    Also, many stores that use self scan checkouts, (not sure if WM is one of them), have forbidden making apprehensions on self scan customers, unless it's extremely obvious they are stealing.

    Why?

    Because those registers not only constantly malfunction, but people being people make mistakes. LP can't be detaining customers who have made honest mistakes because it's bad for business. Imagine arresting an 80 year old woman because she forgot to scan a box of jello.

    Even though your theft was intentional, it was for a low dollar amount. Nothing to be proud of, but you already know that.

    No one is going to be following you on your next trip to Walmart. Good luck.

  • profile image

    Guilty305 12 months ago

    Hi Joe, I've been reading these comments because I was seeking some info on a stupid and shameful thing I did at a walmart last night.

    I went to a self checkout with a few items, scanned them all normally, except for a bag of chips. I rung them up as bananas.

    I left with nothing happening, no one followed me to take my license plate numbers, etc. I feel terribly guilty and paranoid.

    Will I be followed by LP next time I shop there? How long would they follow me, forever?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi DaDerail, Yeah, it must have been a little awkward getting that out in front of your parents, but the worst of it seems to be behind you.

    The only benefit the civil demand has is to the store and the collection agency trying to get you to pay it. It's usually a 50/50 split between the two. The only benefit to paying it, is to get them off of your back.

    As far as future employment? That's an iffy one. If you handed in an application to me for an LP gig, I would definitely check to see if you had shoplifted before. You wouldn't be hired. You might be able to sneak in an application for another position in the store, though.

    There are plenty of places to apply for a retail gig. You didn't murder anyone, you didn't kidnap someone, you shoplifted $20 worth of merchandise. When you go for a job, don't even think of mentioning it during the interview.

    The 1 year ban is pretty liberal. I worked for a supermarket chain that used to isssue lifetime bans, but never enforced them, unless the person was detained for shoplifting again.

    Do me a favor. Check in and let me know how you make out with the whole civil demand process.

    Good luck.

  • profile image

    DaDerail 12 months ago

    Hey Rockinjoe,

    So I did tell my parents about the whole incident, and it was......uh....an interesting time to say the least.

    I am happy that I don't have to go to court, but it's gonna be a fun time knowing that my phone bill and mail will be full of Walmart making me pay them money

    Also, a question I had about the civil demand, if I do pay it, would I have any benefit out of it. For example, hypothetically speaking, if I do pay the civil demand, would it improve my chances of getting a job at Walmart if I pay the civil demand right away. Or would they still not trust me even if I do pay it

    Also also, I still find it kinda excessive that $20 worth of merchandise equates to a 1-year ban

    And now that ranting is out of my system, thanks for the help, it is reassuring that someone who worked in LP gave me the facts I wanted to hear. I tried asking theft lawyers, but they gave me generic answers because I wasn't one of their clients. Hopefully, I won't be hear again to have the same conversation.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey DaDerail, The good news is, there is no court. Walmart chose not to prosecute and press charges. That's why they let you go. The bad news is, you may be receiving a letter from a law firm soon asking for a civil demand payment. It's generally around the $200-$300 dollar range. As an adult, the letter will be addressed to you. It's up to you whether or not to share the news with your parents.Many lawyers recommend not paying the fine, because the law firm will not take you to small claims court over the issue. They will, however, harass the hell out of you by telephone and mail. This is a civil charge. Not criminal.

    You can read more about civil demand letters here.

    https://hubpages.com/politics/Should-I-Pay-My-Civi...

    As far as disappointing your parents, I'm sorry I can't help with that. I've been there before, when I was much younger than you. It wasn't a crime, but it was equally bad. Their reaction might surprise you. Parents expect this stuff once in awhile.

    Good luck!

  • profile image

    DaDerail 12 months ago

    hence why, it's kinda sad for an adult to be stealing Yugioh cards from Walmart, granted $6 is kinda expensive for a single pack

  • profile image

    DaDerail 12 months ago

    Not a minor, actually turned adult sorta recently, they took the merchandise and my ID (driver's license) . They also made me sign a notice prohibiting entry. It's more that, just having your parents' be disappointed in you is one of the worst feelings, and I know if I tell them, there wont be a hole deep enough to hide my shame (seeing as I come from a good family)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi DaDerail, I have a couple of questions to ask, before I can answer yours.

    Are you a minor? Did Walmart ask you to sign any paperwork or take your personal information, or did they just take their merchandise back and send you on your way?

  • profile image

    DaDerail 12 months ago

    Hi, I honestly did not want to have to write this message, but I recently was caught shoplifting at Walmart as a first time offence. It sounds embarrassing to say out loud, but I basically tried to steal 3 packs of Yugioh cards. One part being, that they are like $6 a card pack and another being that they were going to stop selling that product.

    Basically, I did open the packaging, got the 1 year-ban, was given a warning, and no police were involved. Would they make me pay the civil demand letter and make me go to court for a $21 incident. I mostly trying to avoid getting my parents involved in this matter, as any child knows that a parent's disapproval is one of the worst punishments to get.

    It honestly just came from that "what-if I did this" mentality as I always buy my things from Walmart and after a long time, needed that feeling of excitement from living my days in a rut.

    This does pose a big problem to me as that Walmart is the closest grocery store I am able to go to when my parents are unable to get groceries since I don't drive

    Thank you for advice when you see this message

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 12 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Safeway Maui, If you haven't figured it out, yet, groups of teenagers have always (and will always) attract both LP and other store employees like a magnet.

    You took an active part in the shoplifting and left the store. It doesn't really matter if anyone knows whether you took anything. You've been told not to return. Anytime you receive a verbal warning not to return, I would take it seriously-especially if you and your friends decide to go in together, again.

    If they call the police, they will let them know you've been verbally told to leave the premises and that will piss off the cops, who may kick you out, or take you to the station for your parents or guardians to come and get you.

    Walking in with mom, might be another story. A manager may be hesitant to kick you out in front of your parent, because they don't want to lose a customer.

    That's an iffy situation. You never know what kind of mood the store manager will be in. I'd stay away, but that'sjust an opinion.

  • profile image

    Safeway Maui 12 months ago

    So I am 16 years old a junior in high school and across my school is Safeway so after school me and my friends always go to Safeway and sometime I buy something or my friends buy something or we steal and we been doing this for a while now but the other day I wasn't planing on stealing and I was actually going through my bag and my friend grab a bottle and shoved it in my bag then I said what the hell is your problem and I didn't wanna take the bottle out cause there was other people in the isle so I just shoved my stuff back into my bag and I turned around and one of the workers said so i have videos of you shoplifting from before and I never said anything to you until now but if you return to the store we will call the cops and get you arrested and it made me mad cause this time I wasn't intending to steal but I know I have before but the guys said something to me and another girl so we walked out and i don't know if they knew I had the bottle in my bag right then but they only said something to me and another girl when all the kids in the isle had something in there bags too, but how long do you think I'm not able to go back to the store?, cause I go shopping sometimes there with my mom and I'm scared but the manager never did anything never asked my name or anything just told what he told me and I left.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 13 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi, Walmart is not going back two years to review video (if it's even available) to prosecute someone. It doesn't work like. It appears to me, your friend is ok.

    Good luck.

  • profile image

    Starving and jobless 13 months ago

    I left by myself and was called by the police to report in and no its not thousands of dollars it was about 25 dollars worth of food i turned myself in and got a ticket

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 13 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Staving and jobless, Yeah, it's possible but it's doubtful. There are a lot of Walmarts around but the odds of LP teaming up in that capacity is too low to even worry about. We're not talking about thousands of dollars of merchandise are we?

    What happened to you when you got caught. Did you leave with the police or by yourself?

  • profile image

    Starving and jobless 13 months ago

    Hi i have a question if you were caught shoplifting food at one walmart but had been stealing food from another can they pull footage from both walmarts to make a case and send you to jail

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 13 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi neveragain, Nope. No one's going to run your plate or call the police. The LP stopped you and did not complete the apprehension. If his superiors knew what he did, he'd be in more trouble than you.

  • profile image

    neveragain 13 months ago

    Thank you. Would they run my car's license plate and report to police or use it to get my address and send the civil demnd? I'm so scared, I hv never done this before and my mind was so clouded that day. Never again :(

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 13 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi neveragain.

    LP is supposed to know what you concealed and exactly where it can be found on your person. It sounds to me as if the LP knew you took something, but wasn't sure what that something was. That happens often, due to a blocked camera view from a rack or fixture, or someone walking in front of you and blocking his view. What surprises me, is that he didn't complete the apprehension after stopping you and seeing the makeup. That is what is known in the business as a discontinued detention. It's a major Loss Prevention "no no" and people can be fired for making them.

    The only mistake you made, was opening your bag and letting him put his hand inside. An innocent person would never do this. An innocent person would invite the LP to call the police and resolve the issue right then and there.

    I'm pretty stumped as to why he would let you go, but since he did, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. No one is coming to your door and Nordstrom isn't using your personal information to open an investigation with the police.

    If Nordstrom wanted you arrested, it would have happened right at your car.

    Good luck.

  • profile image

    neveragain 13 months ago

    2 days ago on Friday afternoon I went shopping on Nordtrom rack and bought merchandise for over $100. I was having a bad day and was scrambling in my bag for my phone + wallet and absent mindedly put some make ups worth $21. I paid with my credit card and also gave my details to the cashier for a reward program, so they have my address etc. After paying for the $100 items i left the store and walked outside to the parking lot. an LP officer stopped me next to my car, identified himself and told me that he saw me placed some accessories in my bag and demand to see inside my bag. I showed him my bag, he looked, reached into the bag and touched the make ups that I didn't pay for, and said that those are the items he was talking about. Out of panic I told him those were mine from before. He replied and said 'i saw you put them in your bag'. I responded firmly annoyingly and told him that i had looked at some lipstick and tried it but I left it in the store and suggested him to look in there for himself. He then let me go without asking me to go to the back room. But im so scared right now realising that technically I did steal the $21 make up. My question is, based on your experience if the LP didn't ask me to go to the back room get my details and let me go, does that mean I got away with it ? He mentioned initially that he saw me put some accessories into my bag, while I had make ups not accessories, could this mean that he wasn't sure and didn't see me put the make ups in my bag ? Can nordtrom rack use my credit card info and my reward program application info to me the civil restitution letter and use them to also report me to police so police can come after me ? It is Sunday now more than 48 hours after the incident, would the police have already come if I was reported? I'm so paranoid about this and would like your perspective so I can prepare myself on what to expect. Thank you so much in advance.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 13 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    I'm afraid you're going to have to get a lawyer for this one. This is out of my scope of experience. This is more of a police matter, than a store issue. All I can do is wish you good luck.

  • profile image

    Pepper 13 months ago

    Hi I was in lowes a month ago left with paint didn't get caught girl used my id to return today I received shoplifting charge in mail from Paramus can they do this I'm not on camera returning this stuff this will be my third one in twenty yrs I can do ninety days righty can they do this

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 13 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Scared, Thanks for writing. Relax. If Walmart wanted to (or were able to) apprehend you at the time, they would have as soon as you left the store.

    The security car could have been parked behind you for a number of reasons, but if I had to guess, I would say that LP saw you shoplift the hair product, (or thought they saw you steal) and got the security guard to throw a scare into you. It's something I used to do all the time.

    Next time you might not be so lucky. The more you shoplift, the greater the odds you'll be caught. Not worth it for the $10 or $12 you got away with. Besides, your sister will kill you.

    Good luck!

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    Scared 13 months ago

    So i was at the walmart across from my neighborhood and i went there in my sisters car. I stole 2 small cans of axe hair gel and walked out. When i got to the car i was waiting for my sister to come back and the car that circles the parking lot with a flashing light on top came around and parked behind where i was parked and im paranoid that they parked there to write down my license plate. Ive stolen from there before small things but walked home after and now im afraid the cops are going to show up to my house. Im 16 btw. Help me bro pls

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    Joseph Addams 13 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Beyonddumb,

    Sounds to me lke you got a free pass from Dillard's.

    My guess is the employee who stopped you is taking that $200 worth of cosmetics for herself. She wouldn't be able to do that if she called the police.

    If they wanted to prosecute, they never would have let you walk out. They would have called the cops immediately.

    You're good to go. You got lucky. Thanks for writing.

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    Beyonddumb 13 months ago

    I was shoplifting at Dillard's, and Had other stolen items in a shopping bag from a cosmetic store, about$200 worth. The store employee called security and the employee told me to take out the stolen merchandise in the of middle of the store. I did and then she looked into my bag and saw more items and told me to give her the bag, to leave and never enter the store again. I walked out of the store back into the mall without any stolen merchandise and walked through the mall to my car. Since I left without any stolen goods would they call police and try to track me down from the parking lot security footage. And would they contact the cosmetic store to tell them about the goods? And should I be concerned they would call the police? It has been 3 days, concerned the police will show up and detain me.

    Thank you- reading all this has put into perspective how stupid stealing is.

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    Joseph Addams 20 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Jen1414, Thanks for writing. Over the years, I've had many parents ask what is the best way to handle a juvenille shoplifter? My answer always was (and still is) let him/her get caught. That being said, you're a mom, I'm sure you'll come up with an appropriate punishment.

    As far as how you physically handled it, It's doubtful the store even knew your kid took the item in the first place. If the conditions were right and they could have stopped him, they would have. Will they research it? No. Will they approach him the next time he is in the store? No. He's off the hook, as far as WM is concerned. Good luck!

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    Jen1414 20 months ago

    My (underage) stole two items from Walmart and was not stopped at the scene. He panicked and told me about it, so tonight we went in the store and purchased an identical one, then put it back in the shelf. There were no more of the other item, so we just brought it back in the front door and paid at self-checkout. Did that fix it? (Other than dealing with him stealing!) I mean, if he wasn't stopped yesterday, it's possible hat they don't know until it's inventoried, right?

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    mmbee123 21 months ago

    I have a question you have not covered in all that I have read.

    My friend and I shoplifted several occasions from a grocery store. The last time My friend was alone, got stopped for not paying for a gallon of milk, and went through the process - (LP and police) the police gave her a summons. They reviewed the last 6 times we went to the store and have charged her with 12 counts - because I had my daughter so she handled the transaction for both of us every time.

    They want me to admit that I knew WE were stealing - they would drop her charges to 6 counts. They claim if I tell them I knew I was stealing, they will NOT be able to charge me. (even though there is camera footage of us not paying for some items). They have information on me from my friends boyfriend giving my name and phone number to the police.

    We are both on camera (we have not seen the footage) together those 6 times. Can I be charged?

    (We started down this path because we did in fact accidentally walk out with items one time - so the next we tried it and got away with it - so we continued to "get away" - until last week.)

    Can I be charged for stealing those 6 times?

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    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Getting Away? Shoplifting is a super-low priority crime, so unless your friend committed a few murders along the way, it's pretty safe to say that he'll be ok-especially since he's stopped.

    You increase your chances of getting caught shoplifting with every theft, but the sad truth is, not all shoplifters get caught.

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    Getting Away? 21 months ago

    Hi Joe,

    I'm really interested in crime shows which typically involve murder, but reading your articles and comments, I got really interested in how theft and shoplifting works (as it's not something I've ever seen on TV). Your comments are really interesting to read! I was wondering how long someone knows until they're free. I remember someone from high school years ago who shoplifted small things (things like chocolate bars and other small snacks) from the same store often and he never got caught. Could the store just not have had LP? I've only seen one security guard posted by the door when I pass by. I do hear that the store gets hit by other high schoolers too.

    How could someone get away so much? It's been probably what, 3 or 4 years since then and I know he's still fine (he still makes posts on Facebook so I assume he's fine). He stopped cold after graduating though but could someone still be looking for him after all these years?

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    Joseph Addams 22 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi lost and scared, Before you do anything, consult an attorney. Not being one, I can't comment on any legal issues you may have with this case.

    That being said, your arrogant Macy's interviewer (probably uncertified, due to his rudeness during your questioning), was unable to give you an accurate list and pricing of items you may have stolen because he didn't know what they were.

    When a certified LP investigator questions an employee, they will know at least two or three incidents of theft before the interview begins, but their job is to get you to admit the incidents they do NOT know about. So for example, if I know (and have video evidence) of you leaving the store with a television you didn't pay for, I may say something during the interview like, "Besides the TV, let's discuss some other shortages." You will be so shocked that I know about the TV that you will assume I know everything else (if anything), you've done before. That is rarely the case.

    So I'm assuming after you signed your confession for $584 you were terminated from your job and left the store with the promise to pay the amount back.

    If no police were present to arrest you after your confession, it's highly unlikely they will pursue charges. Good luck. Let me know what happens.

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    lost and scared 22 months ago

    I used to work at macys and was caught sending 4 packages of merchandise to a friend a cousin. I was brought in and questioned and the guy who interviewed me was extremely arrogant and kept cutting me off because he didn't believe or didn't like my responses. I ran off a list for the items I knew were taken and he wouldn't tell me all that was stolen he wouldn't give me a repayment price so he only made me repay what I told him on the list. He wants to take criminal action but to me that's going to be extremely one sided seeing as though all he did was disagree with everything and never just came out and said pay this amount. He only told me 584.00 from the list I came up with. What should I do?

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    Joseph Addams 22 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi FamilyEmbarrassment, That's a great question. I wish I had an answer for you. I'm not familiar with how membership type warehouses handle their "No Tresspass" situations.

    I worked for a rather large supermarket chain that used to send a written no tresspass order to (arrested, or released) shoplifters. Even though these no tresspass notifications were legitimate, we were told to NOT enforce them. Also, two of the big box retailers I've worked for in the past were adamant about NOT enforcing no tresspass orders.

    However, If you were notified to NOT trespass and you were later involved in a shoplifting incident, you would be charged with both offenses.

    I have a huge readership on Hubpages and hopefully someone who works at a member store will reply with a useful answer. Sorry.

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    Joseph Addams 22 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mistake, If you've been asked to appear, it sounds to me like the store is pursuing charges. I don't know why your attorney would give you the answer he did-unless I missed something.

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    FamilyEmbarrassment 22 months ago

    Hi Joe, wow I loved your articles, and I really enjoyed reading through some of the comments here.

    I have been trying to find out about Costco bans--I shoplifted some items at a local Costco ~2 years ago, and got caught. It was a bit of a wake up call, but when I got caught they didn't call the police (though I had stuffed my purse almost full). they cataloged the items, took photos of it and me, photo copied my drivers license, and terminated my membership. I also told them my work place (why?), but did not say my social, and (sadly) signed papers to say "yes I took these items and this happened" (I do not have any copy of that though).

    My membership was originally something a family member got me (added me to their membership) , and they've been asking me recently about putting me back on their membership. I keep saying no don't do that, but I don't know what kind of information they release if someone tries to put me on (will they just say I'm banned? or will they say I was caught shoplifting?)

    Do you know about life-bans? I was hoping to , at some point , get a membership there and not be constantly frightened of getting arrested for trespassing, but I have no idea! Maybe if I got married I could get a new membership? This is just so sad that I'd mess things up like this.

    To be honest, I've always had a bit of a sticky finger problem--I'm surprised I hadn't been caught up to that point. It was really just a matter of time. I did learn my lesson until 6 months later when I got caught and prosecuted for stealing at Kohl's. I was able to do a rehab program and get the case dismissed though (misdemeanor), so I'm hoping it doesn't go on any record that would impact a job application (never arrested, and never charged with anything).

    I definitely learned my lesson, but damn it's hard in this world with such expensive things to just pay for them all. It really shouldn't be hard to be an honest person, but sometimes it's like trying to breathe underwater.

    Hope you can help out a bit with the life-ban question thing... I feel like I'll just make Costco a loss for my life -- technology these days can link shit together and save everything.

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    Mistake 22 months ago

    I went to my normal gas station this morning and bought me my everyday soda. I go to this gas station everyday for a soda and sometimes I get a small drink. Its a drink used to relieve pain. Today I went into the store and pick a vita zen up righr away. Then went and got my drink, when I was filling up my soda I put the other in my pocket without realizing it. I went up to check out and grabbed another small drink and while waiting in line I put it in my pocket to grab my phone. When I got up to the register i didnt even rememebr grabbing the smaller drinks. I paid for my soda and went home. I live righr by the gas station and it takes less than a minute to walk there. About an hour later a officer comes to my house, knocks on the door, and asks to come in. I let him and he tells me that one of the attendants has me on video stealing 2 of the smaller drinks. I realized I had forgotten that I even had them and asked the officer if I could go and pay for then, he said no, I then said I still have them and will bring them back, the officer said he would take them and note that I gave them back and he then said I wasnt under arrest but he wrote me an order to appear for next month. I spoke with a lawyer who said he couldnt help until we know if the company is going to pursue charges. The total value of the 2 smaller drinks was $14 and some change. My question is what is the likely hood of the coporate gas station pressing charges?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 22 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi jj, PLEASE tell me you didn't sign anything. You've experienced what we in the LP- business call "a bad stop." It's when an innocent person is stopped and taken back to the offfice. There are usually three reasons for this.

    1.) The LP thought he/she saw something that didn't happen.

    2.) Another employee told the LP someone stole and they went out the door on blind faith and stopped them.

    3.) The LP is stupid.

    Sometimes situations do appear different on camera than what is actually going on. If the LP thought you were up to something, he should have called the cashier who rang you out and asked her to check out the situation. Instead, this guy just took it upon himself to play cop.

    So here's the way I see it.

    You did absolutely nothing wrong. The LP is 100% at fault for this happening to you and demanding an honest customer return to the office. This is a serious issue in any retail environment and failure of the LP to report the bad stop will usually result in termination.

    You have several options in this situation. Please read the article I wrote below on bad stops. There are several suggestions that will help you handle this.

    https://hubpages.com/politics/Accused-of-Stealing-...

    In the meantime, write down as much info as you can remember. The day, date and time you were stopped. Do you have his name by any chance? Any forms you signed, if anything. Also, not knowing if you are a make or female? Was there a witness of the same sex in the room with you while you were in the office?

    Telling you that you can't change the socks was his way of putting the blame on you and justifying your trip to the office. Don't let it happen to someone else. This guy needs to either be fired or retrained. At the very least Walmart owes you a complete apology and a MASSIVE gift card for your troubles.

    Please let me know what you decide to do. I'm very interested in this case. Good luck, jj.

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    jj 22 months ago

    Can you please help me? I recently went to walmart, I saw that they were having a sale for socks. 7 pairs for 2$, so I grabbed to packs and realized I only liked one pair of sock from the other pack, so i simply switched the pair of pattern colored sock for the other. Same brand, same price. ( excluding the other items I also brought to the register) I paid for all my items ! As I was leaving the security personal stopped me, and asked me to go the office. He told me I was not allowed to switch socks, and took all my information down and my social. He said nothing else gave me the other pair of sock back, & let me go. But I understand how i would be considered shoplifting if I "paid" for the exact amount of socks, same brand, nothing was broken. ??? Also, why did he need all my information?

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    Joseph Addams 23 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi FlushedFace Tingle, Did they announce your first and last name? If so, my guess is they were trying to scare you. If Walmart had enough evidence against you, they would have apprehended you at the time of the crime. They could have missed a step, (or two) and not been able to go after you. As far as scaring the hell out of you? I probably would have done the same thing.

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    FlushedFaceTingle 23 months ago

    I've done something horrible. Horrible and ignorant. I've been struggling financially, I was invited to go hunting, I went into Wal-Mart to pick up a hunting license. While waiting I saw a hoodie (30.00) and a gun case (9.00). I tried the hoodie on right there and never took it off, had intentions of paying for them both. But after the license... I did not have enough money. So I walked out with them both, no concealment no nothing. Right out the front door. I did not get stopped or confronted. Two days later I went into the same wal-mart to pick up a few items (pay for not steal) . I was in there 5-10 mins, over the intercom I heard "security scan, (my name)" so they have my name now?? What does this mean? Oh I left in a hurry... It was a stupid stupid mistake. But I have not heard anything. I'm afraid they will contact my job as I was wearing my work shirt when I went in there the second time. Or worse jail. All over things I wanted but did not need. I'm ashamed and I'm scared.

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    Joseph Addams 24 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mansa Romi, You made a deal with the manager. He's not going to take any further action-unless you decide to do it again, of course. You were caught by the door alarms. If there had been enough video evidence, (or even LP in the store at the time), your case would probably have had a different outcome. I wouldn't worry about them researching any video.They had their chance to prosecute and they didn't. Facial recognition? Walmart (and the other big box stores) are a long way off from that. Good luck!

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    Mansa romi 24 months ago

    I shoplifted a few times at walmart and on occasion i got caught manager asked me to return everything and promised that he will charge me nothing i left the store immediately after returning stuff. Can they now check the old video tapes and take some action although i did not gave any piece of id to them but i am afraid that video tapes can be a problem. I always went to change room and took the bucket there. Then come out with my bag full. In tapes they can only have my face. I got caught by alarm system at doors. They don't have any other proof. Can they use facial recognition for me and know who i am. I can't sleep now.please help me

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Losingit. There's really no way to answer your question. What may be an good case to one store (or police department) might be nothing to another.

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    Losingit 2 years ago

    Oh my thank you for the quick response!

    It was a span of 2 months but started 4 months ago and stopped 2 months ago.

    What is an active case?? With police or with store LP?

    Items made person sick so didn't know what Else to do but you are right!

    truly appreciate your time and input

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Losingit! Thanks for writing. Sounds to me, like this person has probably gotten away with it. I say "probably", because I'm just making a guess with the information you've given me. If the subject wasn't stopped over the course of 4 months and no police have paid them a visit, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet they have more important things going on. Although shoplifting $1000 over the course of 4 months is admirable (as far as theft is concerned), it's pretty tame, considering there are people who will clean out a store of $1000 in one sweep. This should be a lesson to this chain. They need to step up their game. As far as case building? I'm sure it's an active case, but if there is nothing further, I'm guessing it will drop to a more pressing issue. As far as donating the items, I would ask that no one do this with shoplifted merchandise in the future. It's pretty sad when a charitable organzization receives stolen goods. Good luck!

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    Losingit 2 years ago

    In addition...person never concealed in sight just in dressing room (sometimes left tags though). Person has checked for summons (none) and checked for warrants (none). I know it's impossible to know and to ask you. Sorry

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    Losingit 2 years ago

    almost 4 months ago a person started shoplifting clothing from a well known Big chain store. Incidents occurred in 3 of the same name stores in surrounding area. In a 2 month span this person shoplifted a dozen times ($1000 probably). This person was never stopped or followed. This person knew they were losing their mind and very regretful so they stopped and donated items. person has been freaking out about investigations or case building. Person did it with ALL the obvious signs to be suspected and caught. Person stupidly kept doing. But Person has not heard anything about it ever and has not gone back to any of the stores since. What do you think has happened?

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Wantyouropinion, As much as I'd like to help you, it's impossible to answer your questions, other than your first, which is difficult as well.

    In most cases, if a shoplifter is apprehended by LP and then released, that's the end of it. The only thing you will probably receive in the mail is a civil demand notice and perhaps a no tresspass notice.

    If the LP releases you, pending a court date, the time frame of when you will receive notice, all depends on the police department, the prosecutor, the court calendar, the size of the town, the dollar amount of the crime, etc.

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Question, No one is going to the trouble of getting your name and address unless it's worth their while to do so. Read this article on what LP needs before they apprehend you. It should answer your questions.

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

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    Wantyouropinion 2 years ago

    I've read most of your posts/answers. I know you don't answer questions about the court processes or what happens after PD gets involved but Maybe you can answer these based on what you've seen or read or found out about.

    If a shoplifter is caught by LP but no police came to store, how long until citation is sent?

    If a shoplifter is caught by LP but flees the seen how long until citation is sent or arrest is made?

    If shoplifter is not caught by LP but caught later via video, how long until citation is sent or arrest made?

    thank you you rock btw

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi stupidshoes, Thanks for the kind words. Best of luck to you!

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Question, That would depend on a few things. Do I have all the elements of a succcessful shoplifting as outlined by my company on video? Do I also have her name/address? Without this info, I'm not calling the cops. If I lose to the same shoplifter more than a few times, I'm doing something wrong and would have to rethink my strategy. I'm probably going to sit in front of my shoe department camera until she returns.

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    stupidshoes 2 years ago

    Thanks for such a quick reply, you've definitely helped put my mind at ease. And I know for sure it won't be happening again, especially after reading through a bunch of these comments and seeing how often people get caught. You've got a great hub here!

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    Question 2 years ago

    Regarding your response above to stupidshoes, what if suspect does go back, does it again and gets away...again? After looking at video recognize suspect, Would they report it then? Or add it to her file for next time?

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi stupidshoes, Sounds to me like either Target wasn't on the ball, LP was in the bathroom (or lunch), or had possibly left for the evening. It appears you've gotten away with it, as Target LP would have been waiting for you on the way out. I actually took a tour of a Target LP office several months ago and it was very well equipped with cameras, both inside and out. One of the best set ups I've seen. I don't see anyone calling the police for under $40. It's usually not worth the time to investigate it, However, if they know what you look like, LP will definitely be watching you next time waiting for you to make a repeat performance. Good luck!

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi VeryAngry, Sorry I missed this earlier. Yes! A store can trespass you at anytime. I have never seen a no trespass carried out in the manner it was with you, but once you're notified, it's official.

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    stupidshoes 2 years ago

    Hey Joe.

    So I made a huge mistake and stole a pair of shoes from Target about four hours ago. No body stopped me inside the store and I didn't see anybody outside watching me, although I didn't want to look around a whole bunch. I also made a purchase for a few smaller items and paid for them with my debit card, and I'm pretty sure they have cameras in the parking lot. The shoes cost around 37 dollars before tax. Do you think there was an LP on duty who might have called the police? Or am I in the clear? I don't even really know why I did it and am feeling super guilty and anxious.

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    veryangry 2 years ago

    So even though it was so long ago they can still trespass me?

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi veryangry, They usually mail a "no tresspass" notice to your home. Coming out after the fact and embarrassing you like that does no one any good. Calling the police was a bad PR moveon Walmart's part. Personally, you could make a complaint to Walmart corporate, but they probably won't respond to you. Let me know what happens if you do it. Good luck!

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    veryangry 2 years ago

    Rockinjoe Idk they didnt let me rread it just said it wAS a trespass from.....he said that I wouldn't be allowed to come back to that Wal-Mart but after signed they told me all Wal-Mart's and Sam's clubs and etc

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    What form did you sign?

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    veryangry 2 years ago

    Around November of last year I decided to go into walmart steal take few dvds because my son wanted to go to movie night at his shool and due to work and my husband being sick I wasn't able to take him....so I go in and put them in my bag and take them in the restroom I get them open and change my mind and just throw them in the trash on the way out I get stopped by loss prevention he didn't even say he worked for them just came up and grabbed my arm and said come with me I told him no the lady had empty dvd cases I knew weren't empty when I left them in the trash I grab everything out of my purse and showed them that there was nothing there but since I stepped out of building they didn't want to hear it. Well tonight months later and numerous trips to the same Wal-Mart I get stopped after spending 100+$ on food and told I had to sign a paper and had no choice I was in there for two hours! The police come out and make me sign the paper......anyways I'm just wondering after so long are they still able to ban you from every Wal-Mart? And aren't they suppose to show me proof of me stealing at least a still photograph?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Charley Gray! 5 bags? That's a party! No, you'll be ok. Most merchants just want their merchandise back. No personal info means no record of the theft. Good luck!

  • Charley Gray profile image

    Charley Gray 2 years ago

    Hi joe I foolishly shoplifted 5 bags of crisps from a supermarket and was stopped outside by security the security guy took them off me and told me I was barred but he took no personal information from! Can ghe police still show up at my door!

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Sonervousandscared. This is perhaps the #1 question I'm asked about shoplifting. Are the cops on the way? There's no way to know. My best answer is 'maybe'.

    If the store had active LP present and they saw you shoplift, they would have apprehended you when you left the store. Or, they could have been in the bathroom, on lunch, not paying attention, or had a day off. Some stores don't even employ LP who apprehends shoplifters. They just call the police and let them worry about it. So it boils down to this: You never know when someone is watching. There are cameras everywhere. Although I don't see the police knocking down your door for $15, if you keep doing this, you will eventually be caught. The odds are not in your favor when it comes to shoplifting. If you're petrified at the thought of being apprehended for shoplifting when you apparently got away, imagine how scared you'll be when it actually happens. Good luck.

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    Sonervousandscared 2 years ago

    Hi - I did something stupid today. I stole a few items from a smaller grocery store chain. They have cameras and I think they caught me on them. When i walked out with my items (put in re-usable bag) no one stopped or confronted or followed me. However, I noticed a car pull out and slowly make a lap aroung the parking lot. I was walking to my car and the other car stopped by my car - pretty sure they got my license plate number. As i entered my car and started to drive off I saw a police car enter the parking lot. Items totaled about $15. I have stolen from there once or twice before. This happend in the state of VA and it has been about 8 hours ago. I am pertrified that the cops will come to my door or I will I recieve something in the mail?

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Scared and regretful, I would say it's highly unlikely that you're going to get in any trouble over these past incidents. If the store had wanted to apprehend you, (or had even seen you stealing, for that matter), they would have done so at the time of the theft. To come after you now, would not only be non-cost effective for the store (providing they even had video of the events) and a waste of valuable time for a police department in a high crime area. I'm glad you're back to your old self. Good luck!

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    Scared and regretful 2 years ago

    Dear Joe,

    I've been clinically depressed for a while (no job, no car, trapped in the house all day) and I went through a few periods where I'd forget to take my meds and feel worse. A few months ago while grocery shopping I impulsively stole some make up. I got away with it and...it made me feel good. Like for the first time for a long time I actually felt alive. So I did it again, a few more times, every couple of weeks while grocery shopping I would "self medicate" by giving myself a little thrill and steal a couple of things. I justified it to myself by saying, "I am spending $100s on groceries, what is a lipstick here and there?" It was pretty pathetic and it wasn't until I started reading about kleptomania and how it is strongly associated with people with depression/anxiety that I realised that I had an addiction and I needed to stop.

    I am medicated again but now that I have clarity I am also scared and regretful as heck. I am so scared that I have been seen on cameras and they're going to come and get me. I used a credit card so they have my name. Do you think this is likely? I have never been stopped but I think over this time period I probably took at least $100 worth of stuff spread out over several weeks. I live in the outskirts of a pretty high crime area, are police going to bother to come to my house and find me?

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi sea urchin111, Never a good idea to use a credit card when committing a crime. Even with an authorized discount like you were getting. This one is a toughie, as it would depend on the laws of your state and the policy of the store.

    If I had seen something like that go down as it happened, I would have apprehended you outside the store and prosecuted you for shoplifting for the full amount of the merchandise and prosecuted the cashier for $0. I was only allowed to charge 1 person for the merchandise. The police would happily accept a $0 charge once they knew what happened.

    It sounds to me like they noticed this transaction happened after the fact. You were already out of the store when they reviewed the tape. I'm guessing your friend signed a statement promising me to pay for the merchandise taken, before he was fired.

    I don't know what he told the store management, so it's difficult for me to even guess what could happen.

    Good luck!

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    sea urchin111 2 years ago

    Hi.. I had a friend cashiering and rung me through; I thought he was giving me a 20% discount but he just voided all the items except a couple, and I swiped my card (didn't look at the total; I just never do). When I saw the discrepancy (!) I was afraid to bring things back because of either he or both of us getting in trouble. He got fired. It's on video. They have my card info. He was made to sign something. I was already not working there. I'm afraid I will get summonsed and forced to go to court for theft. Not sure what to do. I haven't heard anything but would it come in the mail?

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey Paranoid, The odds are very good that you're on camera taking merchandise into the bathroom. Why they didn't stop you is anyone's guess. LP might have had a day off, been busy with something else, at lunch, or just didn't think it was worth going after you for a $3-$5 item. It looks like you may have gotten away with it. That's not a good thing though, because it means (if you were seen on camera) they'll be watching for you next time you go in the store. It doesn't matter if you're with your friends or your parents, there will probably be someone watching next time you go. They will not however, go after you for the item you just stole. They'll wait for you to do it again. Imagine the embarrassment of putting your parents through your being apprehended for shoplifting and possibly prosecuted by the police. I can guarantee you, it's something both you and they will never forget.

    However, I'm not here to judge you. You're probably safe. Next time, it could be a whole different scenario.Good luck.

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    paranoid 2 years ago

    I stole from raleys today, I concealed the item into my purse while it was me and my friend in the isle together; nobody else. the pharmacy was right around the corner and it was open I'd like to add. I went into the bathroom; I am not sure if it had a sign saying "no store merchandise past this point" or anything like that. I went into the bathroom where there was nobody else but my friend and I and we ripped open the package, it was worth about $3 or $5. we left the package in the trash of the stall and I concealed what was in the package into my purse. I walked out afraid to look at the section of the isle I was in my friend told me that there were "a bunch of people" in that section of the isle as soon as we walked out she noticed. I didn't get a glance or anything if there was really people over there or not. we walked out very quick bc we were scared to death of getting caught. we walked out free but causally and slowly, not to seem suspicious. we got into my friends car and then my friend saw while I again wasn't looking "security roll up" to the front of the store. I was in the bathroom for about 10 minutes. raleys has cameras probably from every angle; I gave them time to catch me if someone tipped off a clerk that I had stolen the item. wouldn't they come after me as soon as I came out or since I didn't take the package of the item and I went the bathroom and there is a rule against them going after me in that case? I'm really scared that maybe they called security then the cops and I was totally unaware and they might show up at my house tomorrow. it's been several hours since and they wouldn't show up at this time of night. but I'm still scared I might wake up tomorrow or one of these days and the cops will be at my doorstep to tell me and my parents of the incident

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    You're welcome!! Thanks for writing!

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    Guilty4sure 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for answering my question!

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Gulity4sure, There could be several reasons why LP didn't process you, or call the police. For one thing, they didn't have you on tape concealing the items, because you were in the elevator, so they just wanted their merchandise back. It's also possible that they didn't see anything at all and were alerted by the cashier who picked up a heavier box than it should have been. Maybe they were on their way to lunch, or about to go home for the day. It could be any reason, but if they wanted to apprehend you, they would have done it then. No cops will be showing up at your door and they won't apprehend you the next time you go to the store. BUT, LP will follow you next time you go shopping. They might not physically follow you, but they will on camera. They're waiting for you to do it again. Next time, you probably won't get a break. Good luck.

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    Gulity4sure 2 years ago

    Hi

    I have been shoplifting from a big chain store couple of times but never got caught! I knew that it was going to end someday and that is what happened 4 days back!

    I took an item from the store and then put another bunch of small items in it in the elevator so no one can see me and after that i went to the check out and and paid for the item!

    But when i began to walk towards my car 2 lp officers came to me and asked me for the receipt and then opened the box of paid item and found the unpaid items and they told me that do you know anything about this and i said i have no idea how it came inside the box and they said if you havent touched it and dont know about it then no need to be sorry!

    After that they took the unpaid items and let me go with the paid item and nothing else was said by them, no papers were singned! Nothing happened at all!

    Now it has been 4 days and nothing has been happened to me yet!

    I am so scared that cops will be at my door!

    Is there anyway they could come and get me after 4 days?

    No cops were involved at that time, no paper was signed, nothing happened but still is there any chances that they will call cops for my earlier activities?

    I learned my lesson and never going to do it again but what will happen if i go there again for regular shopping?

    Please answer ASAP!

    Thanks in advance

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Luis, You probably already know what will happen, as Kmart's policy forbids LP from leaving the sidewalk during an apprehension. However, every case is different and hopefully it won't work out that way for you. You did recover the merchandise and that definitely counts in your favor. Let me know how everything works out for you. I'm interested in the outcome. Good luck!

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    Luis 2 years ago

    I work part-time for Kmart LP and I had a situation come up and don't know what I should do. A booster came in and loaded up on DVDs by putting them in a cart and covering them with bed pillows. He went quickly to the front and was out the door in seconds. I ran after him across the lot and he ditched the cart in front of a restaurant in the plaza. As you know LP can't go off the sidewalk and I did when I got caught up. What's going to happen to me?

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Jozef , Thanks for writing. My suit size is a 42 regular, by the way. (Actually I'm just kidding!) We don't live too far away from each other. There's a lot of shoplifting going on in Southern New England. I know you consider yourself lucky for not being caught, so far, but each time you do it you increase your chances of getting caught. As you know, I don't condone shoplifting, so be careful out there.

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi sammy scott, I apologize for the late response. I've been busy in so many other areas, lately. The answer to your question is yes. Anyone can report a crime. If you were driving down the street and you noticed someone attack an old lady and run away with her pocketbook, you could report it. Correct? Same thing here. Placing unbagged groceries in your car is not a crime. She can suspect you of something, but there has to be a witness.

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    Jozef 3 years ago

    I am from the state of Rhode Island or better known as the shoplifting capital of the USA . I know people that have made there living shoplifting .Or here we call it boosting .I myself have boosted more than $100.000 worth of goods from stores all over the country mostly clothing like suits dress shirts and shoes and only came close to getting arrested 2 tymes over the past 35 years .So shop Lift on people !!!

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    sammy scott 3 years ago

    It was from walmart btw. Thanks!

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    sammy scott 3 years ago

    so yesterday I stole a cart-full of groceries worth around 300 dollars by simply just walking out. They were not bagged or anything. As i was exiting the store, going to my car, a cusromer who was parking saw me and i guess was suspicious since none of the groceries were bagged. As i was loading the groceries into my car i saw her drive aeound to the back of my vehicle and take a picture of me/ license plate. I managed to leave the area shortly after. Is there anyway this can come back to haunted me?Can she as a citizen contact the store/ police with this evidence from her camera and the store do a further investigation and see mw on tape leaving the atore without paying for thee groceries?

    I am scared i am going to be getting a knock on my door from the police. Scared to death. What is the likelihood that this would occur?

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    Joseph Addams 3 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi bobbie,

    I hate self scan registers for 2 reasons.

    1.) They are a great place to steal

    2.) They are a great place to make a mistake.

    This is the reason many LP departments have eliminated apprehending people who use these registers.

    All it would have taken for this not to occur is the LP calling up front and letting someone know your dad forgot to scan the chest and letting him pay for it before leaving the store. Instead, someone decided to go Robocop on an old man.

    If your dad walked out with an un-scanned item, technically he did shoplift. Could he have made a mistake? Of, course. People do it all the time. Most times a good, well-trained LP can determine the difference between a mistake and a theft. Other times, they are poorly trained and make bad judgement calls.

    Before you do anything, call a lawyer and discover your options. Be advised, if you decide to fight this. It's going to cost a fortune and probably take a long time to resolve. Maybe not something you want to stress out your elderly dad with.

    The LP who apprehended your dad is a punk. Your dad knows it, the cops knew it and he should be held accountable for the screaming match and unprofessional behavior he was a party to. At the very least, make a serious complaint to the store's corporate office (Don't do it at store level) about the LP. Start there and at ask for a review of the case by the big shots. Don't expect any dropped charges, though. Dropping the charges and admitting fault opens the store up to a possible lawsuit, but at least you may be able to make sure that punk never bullies another old man.

    Please stop by if you have a chance in the future and let me know how your dad makes out with this case. I'm very interested. Good luck.

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    bobbie 3 years ago

    Sorry didn't proof read that post

    He Purchase A Bag Of dog food, the ice chest, and a pack of beer.

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    bobbie 3 years ago

    Good morning,

    My eldrly father went to the self checkout lane, he was buying an ice chest, dog food a bag of dog food. He rang up the items ana associate had to clear the transaction to make sure he was 21. He swiped his card and was on his way to his truck. He began to put his items away and was approached by 2 loss prevention associates informing him he didn't pay for the ice chest ($25) he pulls out his receipt in disbelief. Sure enough it didn't ring up correctly he goes back into the store so he can buy it, honest mistake.

    The loss prevention employees take him to a small room where they begin a shouting match saying he stole the item. Now my father is upset because it was an honest mistake. Loss prevention calls the police, after hours he was detained and given a petty theft charge. The dispatched admitted it was an honest mistake. But the already hot headed loss prevention associate was pressing charges.

    What are his rights? Falsely arrested, discrimination, set up, mortified, pain and suffering... what can I do to bring my father justice?

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    Joseph Addams 3 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Christina,

    You're not going to be brought up on shoplifting charges after a year, no matter what state you're in. You were not caught at that store for 3 reasons.

    1.) No one saw what you did.

    2.) They saw you, but did not have enough evidence.

    3,) They have no proper loss prevention program in place.

    No company will can follow up on a case like that.

    Good luck to you!