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5 MORE Things You Didn't Know About Shoplifting

Updated on September 13, 2016

Shoplifters Work 7 Days Per Week

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More of Your Shoplifting Questions Answered

I want to thank everyone who read my previous hub, 5 Things You Didn't Know About Shoplifting and helped to make it the success it's become. Almost 4 years later, the article has snowballed into a giant question and answer hub and has inspired the iShoplifted.com website.

Apparently, I haven't even scraped the surface when it comes to answering your shoplifting questions. I still receive several each day, via Hubpages or my website and I am happy to help anyone I can. Please keep in mind, that I am not an attorney and I do not provide legal advice. I also do not answer how to shoplift questions. Shoplifting is a crime, costing hundreds of millions of dollars, yearly. I have no respect for shoplifters, but at the same time,who am I to judge their actions?

Shoplifters are a necessary evil. The Loss Prevention industry employs hundreds of thousands of people around the world who watch and protect our merchandise and manufacture equipment designed to prevent the loss of goods sold in our stores. If prostitution is the world's oldest profession, shoplifting must be at least 3rd or fourth on the list. People have been stealing since time began and will continue to do so long after you and I have departed .If you've been accused of shoplifting, my first advice would be for you to seek legal advice, as soon as possible.

Feel free to ask questions about shoplifting and the apprehension process. I'll try to answer as many as I can.


Handbags are always a popular place to conceal merchandise

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5 MORE Things You Didn't Know About Shoplifting


1.) If I see you shoplift, I may try to get you to dump the item, rather than apprehend you.

Why? There are several reasons. The item may be small or not expensive enough to justify spending the time necessary to recover it and process the paperwork. I would also have to pull an employee away from their job to act as a witness in the LP Office. It could take anywhere from 10-30 minutes for an adult apprehension with no police involvement. Add 30-60 minutes to that if police are called, or if the shoplifter is a juvenile. The needs of the business come first in retail. Sometimes letting an item walk out the door is the best solution.

How do I get you to drop concealed merchandise?

I may pick up the intercom and using my best official sounding voice, say, "Security, to the makeup department....Code 4, thank you!"

That may not mean anything to the honest shopper, but if you're standing in the makeup department and you've just concealed a lipstick in your jacket, you're going to know that you've been caught and 9 times out of 10, you're going to dump it and walk away.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Code 4 doesn't mean anything, but it sure sounds official, doesn't it?


2.) You're being profiled whether you know it, or not.

How? A clean cut, mid 40's male, wearing a $600 suit enters the store at the same time as a female teenager with a huge pocketbook and a baggy coat. The male walks to the electronics department and the teenager goes to the jewelry and accessories department. Both departments are high theft areas. Who do you watch? The answer is pretty obvious.

Loss Prevention will judge you by your appearance and will watch you, accordingly. You won't know this and it won't be written in any company LP rule book, but it's routine in the industry. The LP detective will watch the female teenager for an hour until she decides what she wants and proceeds to the cash register to pay for it. The guy in the expensive suit places 3 DVD players and a flat screen tv inside a shopping cart and walks out the front doors without paying for them, while no one even glances at him.

My first year in loss prevention is where I learned a lot of valuable lessons about profiling. I was working in a store with another young detective when we noticed a beautiful woman come into the store. She was dressed in a tight halter top, a much too short miniskirt and very high heels. The store was slow and we were young and bored. Who did we watch?

This woman took her time shopping, reaching high to retrieve items on top shelves and bending over to get a better look at items on bottom shelves. My partner and I didn't miss a move she made. After 30 minutes or so, she suddenly abandoned her shopping cart in an aisle and began walking toward the front door. This didn't make sense. Why was she leaving the cart full of items she obviously wished to purchase? The answer became clear when we saw her meet up with a scruffy looking guy at the front of the store who was walking very fast,carrying two overstuffed knapsacks toward the exits.

She was obviously the sexy decoy and he was the thief who had taken who knows what from our store while we were busy gawking at the woman. They were in their car driving out of the parking lot, before we figured out what was going on.

Will you be profiled while shopping or shoplifting? Absolutely.


3.) The decision to call the police has already been made and there's nothing you can do about it.

Why? "My kid is sick!" "I stole because I lost my job and my husband left me!" "I'm about to get evicted!" "My car was just repossessed and I don't have any money." Every loss prevention detective on this earth has heard these (and many other) excuses a million times. In fact, they've heard them so many times, they've become immune to them. When LP makes an apprehension, they don't care what your reason for stealing was. They score a notch on their belt for recovering merchandise and justify their paychecks at the same time. They're not going to let you go. They can't let you go. And they also have no say over whether or not you'll be arrested. That decision has already been made for them by the store.

Years ago, LP was pretty much left to make the decision on whether or not to call the police. Things like dollar amount, the cooperation of the shoplifter and accuracy of the information provided, all contributed to the decision on whether or not you'd be talking a ride downtown.

Not anymore.

Stores have found it necessary over the past several years to impose a minimum dollar amount when it comes to the policy of prosecuting shoplifters.That way the store cannot be accused of being prejudicial when it comes to prosecuting shoplifters. If everyone who steals at least $20 worth of merchandise gets arrested, there are no cries of racism or sexism. Everyone is equal, no matter what it is they've stolen. Now, rich or poor, male or female, black, white, or something in between, you're going to jail if you'll stolen the minimum.

I've worked in stores where the minimum was between $10-$20. The only problem with this system is sometimes the minimum amount is too low. Why tie up a cop for 2 hours to arrest a kid with $10 worth of baseball cards? Cops have more important things to deal with.


4.) If you are stopped for shoplifting, LP is prohibited from running after you or touching you physically in any way.

Why? Liability. If you run away from a Loss Prevention detective when he/she stops you, the detective cannot pursue you. In fact, depending on which store they work for, LP is not allowed to step off the sidewalk to stop you. I've seen more than one good LP get himself fired for either going out of bounds off the sidewalk, or chasing someone who decided to run when he left the exit.

Running after a shoplifter is dangerous.You or the shoplifter could be struck and killed by an automobile. Innocent shoppers may be knocked down and seriously injured, which not only casts a bad light on their shopping experience, but may force the store to pay out money to the injured party. This scenario can be avoided by not chasing a shoplifter.

Shoplifters are unpredictable. Some carry weapons. Some are drug addicted. Some don't care whether you (the LP) lives or dies. For the reasons mentioned above, LP is prohibited from getting into a physical altercation with the shoplifter. If the shoplifter refuses to return to the store with LP, threatens physical violence or pulls a weapon, the LP is required to remove themselves from the situation immediately and let the shoplifter walk (or run) away.


5.) Even if you don't get arrested, you'll probably have to pay a civil fine and your personal information will be entered into a retail theft database.

Why? You couldn't resist temptation and when walking past the Bargain DVD bin, you decided to swipe Steve Martin and John Candy's hit 1987 movie, Planes, Trains & Automobiles. It's only $5.99 but you can't justify blowing $6 on a movie you've seen before. You look around and quickly stick the DVD in your jacket pocket. When you go outside, you realize that you won't be watching a comedy this evening. Maybe a crime drama is more your speed. You've been busted.

Ok, so you've stolen a $6 DVD. It's no big deal. You're not going to have a criminal record and the LP told you that if you sign a couple of forms, you can be home by lunchtime. Is that it?

Not quite. There are some after effects of shoplifting, even if you're not arrested.

Depending on which state and what store you've decided to steal from. you may be required to pay a civil fine ranging from $100-$1000.

Most US states have given stores the right to recoup reasonable costs from those who have caused a loss in their stores. You'll receive a letter from a law office demanding you pay a fee within 30 days or you'll be executed at sunrise. Well, not quite, but if you don't pay the fee, these vultures will make your life miserable until you do.

There is usually a 50/50 split of the money between the store and the collection firm. The money is all profit on the store's end.

I've read online recently, where some attorneys are taking on the task of fighting civil demand fines. Attorney fees are guaranteed to be less expensive than paying the fine, so if you can find an attorney willing to fight, it may be worth it.


Big Brother is tracking you, too......

Months and years after you've almost forgotten you've ever stolen anything, your memory will live on if the chain contributes information to a shoplifting.criminal database. Systems such as APIS and Esteem are keeping your social security number, name, address, what you've stolen and the outcome of your case (whether you've been arrested or not) safe and sound (or are they?) inside their vast servers they share with other department stores.

These systems claim to be used for data research and statistics but collect enough information to be used against you. Whether or not this information is safe and secure and not being utilized or sold elsewhere is anyone's guess, but give a $15 per hour LP access to data like that and you're asking for trouble.




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  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    Excellent Hub and good info -- a girlfriend from my office was shopping with me on our lunch hour years ago in a Walmart-type store. I was in one part of the store and she was in another. Suddenly I heard my name paged over the loudspeaker (which scared me to death) but I went to their office as instructed. My girlfriend had been arrested for shoplifting and wanted me to deliver the message to our boss she wouldn't be returning to work that afternoon. Truthfully, the whole thing scared me half to death. That's been my only experience with shoplifters but it's good to know what happens, etc. Best/Sis

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks Angela, I appreciate the comment. Your story hits home. I've had to make that same announcement many times over the years for friends and family members who just happened to be in the company of someone who ended up in my office. Some of their reactions were priceless.

  • SportsBetter profile image

    SportsBetter 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Great Hub! This was very interesting, I don't shoplift myself, but definitely good know.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks SportsBetter, I appreciate it. I'll be sure to come by and check out your hubs.

  • profile image

    springchix 4 years ago

    I was arrested for felony theft in Kohl's, the LP said items were over $300

    but the actual retail sales price was about $150. Hardly anything at Kohl's sells for the price on the tag. How can I prove this to get the value under the felony status?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    It might be worth mentioning to your attorney, but don't expect Kohl's to jump at it. A couple of the stores I worked in charged suggested retail price. Good luck.

  • profile image

    curiouscat12 4 years ago

    Okay I guess what I want to know here is how prepared for the worst I should be.... I have been shoplifting food for the last month or so and just the other day I notice I was being followed so I left everything and went to my car, as I was leaving I looked in my mirror and down the row of cars is the LP taking a photo of my car, now I have temp plates but I know that can come back to me. I guess the question is can he turn them in and I have the cops come to my house or do they have to see me leave that day with stuff then turn it in. I know they have video I mean if they didn't they wouldn't follow me.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi curiouscat12, Thanks for writing. The LP (or whoever is in charge of shoplifters in the store) is going to apprehend you at the time of theft. If you left your evidence behind, no theft has occurred. Intending to shoplift and changing your mind is not a crime.

    Exceptions to to that could be you leaving the store with hundreds of dollars of items at a time and LP is prohibited from (or afraid to) stop you. Then they would call the police, file a report and let the cops deal with it.

    The photo of your car and plates is probably hanging on a wall in the LP office (and probably emailed to other stores) so they can keep an eye out for you.

    Sounds to me like they're fully aware of what you're doing. It may be time to stop.

  • idigwebsites profile image

    idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

    Great hub! and helpful information regarding the subject. keep up the great hub.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks so much, IDigWebsites. Great hub name!

  • profile image

    ohno 4 years ago

    Questions....

    - During detaining LP asked if ever been in store before to do same thing. No of course. But yes inside. After this apprehension, do LP typically trace back time? Look at videos to see if this similar incident has occurred in past and back track with warrant for arrest? How likely are managers of LP going to backtrack videos? Are there certain angles that really cannot be seen?

    - LP asked for work info. Why? can i say none? Cops also asked, can i say not working. Why do i give LP same info as to cops.

    - Trespassing. How will it be known to stores that someone has entered against the signed contract? The contract said, 'not permitted into any __ store permanently." How would the other store know about what has occurred in this one store?

    -If dumping items in another store but it is seen on video that the items taken are exactly same as in the store that it was dumped in, it doesn't matter does it? It is still shoplifting the items.

  • profile image

    GuiltyAsCharged 4 years ago

    I also had that issue before where I was rightly caught and when detained in the back the LP asked for my employment information, as well as my friends who was w/me but had no knowledge of what I did. They demanded I tell them who I worked for and who my friend was and worked for. I lied about my employer, used a previous employer from years ago, but for my friend I told them where he worked. I was so scared that I just cost my friend his job. It was even worse when they asked how I was going to get home since I came w/my friend. They told me that I would have deserved it if my friend had just left me behind b/c I was a bad friend and person. My friend did end up waiting for me after , they panicking about what had happened. The LP then escorted me out of the store then accosted my friend about me saying that I was a liar and a theif and then tried to get my friends license plate number to report us to the cops. When we drove away the younger LP yelled out he was going to call our employers and tell them what we did.

  • profile image

    ohno 4 years ago

    GuiltyAsCharged, I am pretty sure your LP was messed up the way he acted. I was told by cops that if i came by myself in my car it will be towed. I don't know why it has to do with stealing from the store. So initially i said friend dropped me off. And i stuck to that. And cops threatened again, "are you sure? if you go back to lot and your car isn't there it has been towed." And i still insisted my friend dropped me off. Which of course she did not. I came alone and by time all is done I drove off. But I don't know, what do you think RockInJoe? Why do they ask for employment? Do we have to be honest about that? Why do they ask about how i got here?

  • profile image

    GuiltyAsCharged 4 years ago

    So ohno you are saying you were told that even if you aren't arrested they will still tow your car while they do their paperwork? I can't see how they can do that, I can see why they would try, b/c now they consider that you are trespassing by having your vehicle on their property, but to get the civil fine in the mail, plus a fee for having your vehicle towed seems excessive.

    In regards to the civil fine, the item I took was a $5 bracelet, and my civil fine was $1200. I considered not paying them, but I did, and when I had paid the final installment payment, they said I still owed another $500. I ended up telling them they had to show me how I still owed more money after paying what they initially required me to pay. They were rude to me saying that I was the thief here and by not paying I opened myself up to lawsuits. I said I understood but I needed something in writing showing that I now owe $1700 when the original letter stated $1200. They reluctantly said they would send out the paperwork stating this, and as of today, almost a year later I still haven't received anything or any phone calls.

  • profile image

    ohno 4 years ago

    GuiltyAsCharged - yea, they were doing paperwork and told me car will be towed if i came alone. I thought the cops were being so mean. That area is horrid. You will get civil fine, booked for hours in a cell, and of course the court criminal charge. I got a lawyer but with my case, I don't know what will happen.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Ohnoes,

    LP asks all sorts of questions. Some think they're cops, some want to be cops and others are just doing their jobs and answering the questions on the forum. I don't recall asking people for their employment info, but if they're doing it now, it's most likely so the collection office can contact you regarding your civil fine. Another guess, is, your information will be entered into the criminal database and they want to make sure you're not working for them, or one of their companies.

    -LP isn't going to go back to piece together video for your case. If they have anything, it will be from prior thefts and will not be used in court, because once you have to piece together video, it becomes edited and your lawyer would never allow it.

    -No trespassing notices are pretty much difficult to enforce. There's no way of enforcing them (unless you're caught shoplifting again) and I nave never seen one enforced. I've worked for a couple of large retailers who have issued these and have been told to NOT enforce them.

    -The answer to your last question is yes, It's still shoplifting.

  • profile image

    ohno 4 years ago

    Interesting...that the large retailers say not to enforce trespassing law but make us sign paperwork. I just wonder if once LP finds the shoplifter and apprehends, takes pictures, that all the pics will be posted on wall so employees know who to watch for.

    Thanks for your answers. So efficient!!! You must have had a good quota, you are quite detailed! :)

  • profile image

    Danialisgood 4 years ago

    Hey so I got caught by the lo stealing at jcpennies.

    It was done in the bathroom so no one saw, as i started walking out the door two guys came grabbed me and said walk back to the store now, and then proceeded to handcuff me. I asked to call a parent, but they said i could not use my phone, nor did they give me an amendment right. It was a 40dollar watch.. I went to "jail" got finger printed andpictures taken, they also said i cannot talk or bring an attorney?

    And i will have a court date soon( but my friend went througj the exact same process and said they will get a court date but neer ended up getting one) sorry for asking so many questions, but thank you for your time.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi ohno, We used to take pictures at a grocery chain I worked for and keep them in an album for future references. Some idiot screwed up and snapped a few photos of some juvenile shoplifters and the company changed the rules. No more photos. Pictures are being used at some stores, (and I agree with their use), but are usually kept out of site of customers-at least they should be.

    Thanks for the compliment. My overall record would have been much higher, but the corporate rules governing shoplifting these days are in complete favor with the shoplifter. People don't realize how difficult it is to actually go outside and apprehend a shoplifter today because of the almost impossible rules working against you.

    Good luck with your case!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi IDanialisgood, I'm assuming you're under 18? LP handled it ok. Some chain LP are allowed to make "bathroom apprehensions" as I call them. Even though the crime was not seen, the evidence remains in the bathroom in a trash bin or in a stall. LP is not going to let you use your phone or call your parents if they already plan on prosecuting you. A forty dollar watch is more than enough to send you to jail. Lots of stores will prosecute you for much less.

  • profile image

    Danialisgood 4 years ago

    I am 15, and am very scared.

    But also they didn't read me my amendment right nor did the cop. This is my first time stealig and first time ever breaking a "law" also to make matters worse im am "immigrant".. I know a friend of mine who stole $200 worth of clothes but was charged only 400 did go through everysingle process but did not have to got to "court" what exactly will happen to me.?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Danialisgood, First, lots of 15 year old kids screw up. It's a part of getting older. A $40 watch is not going to get you any jail time or get you deported, so don't worry about that. The worst that will happen (if it happens) is that you will go to juvenile court, appear before a judge and pay a fine. Accept your responsibility, get it over with and learn a lesson.

    Secondly, don't worry about your rights. I've never heard a police officer read a kid his rights. LP aren't cops, so they're not gonna do it either.

    Just hang in there, get it over with and move on. Good luck!

  • profile image

    Danialisgood 4 years ago

    Alright man thanks. I can't appreciate it enough. My friends that got caught stealing didn't go to court, either for jacking but just got a letter of a fine and an attendence to a class.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Danialisgood, Let me know how you make out with everything.

  • profile image

    Danialisgood 4 years ago

    Alright so im back. Got a whopping $350 civil fine. I have a few questions

    1) will this ruin future career?

    2) attorneys are tells me not to pay the fine? ( and listed some reasons why )

    3) will this be the end of it all?

    4) When i got caught the LP said don't bother getting an attorney because we will not deal with them.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Danialisgood, I'm assuming there was no court? If that's the case, here's the way I see it.

    1.) No, your working career and reputation will not suffer. You're 15. You're good to go. Even if you had a juvenile record, it wouldn't affect you. I know a guy who got caught at a Walmart shoplifting when he was 18 and an adult. He had to go to court. He's now a cop.

    2.) Lots of attorneys are saying not to pay the fine. They're saying that it would cost the collector more than the amount of the fine to bring you to small claims court. I'm not an attorney, so I can't advise you one way or the other. If you decide not to pay it, get ready for the phone to never stop ringing.

    3.) Should be. If you didn't end up in court and there are no loose ends anywhere.

    4.) That's an example of LP who doesn't know what he's talking about. That's why there are lawyers. Always speak to a lawyer when there is a legal problem.

    Tough lesson, but it looks like it's over for you.

  • profile image

    tiphanie102 4 years ago

    Just fyi, the retail store I worked for before and now allow going hands on to apprehend. It may be advisable not to "run off" into a parking lot after them, as danger increases, but you can most certainly get physical :)

  • profile image

    Bag-Ban 4 years ago

    With the bans on free bags at supermarkets, how would LP tell between shoplifters using reusable bags as a cover and real shoppers using reusable bags as hand-held baskets?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Bag-Ban. LP has to be extra vigilant when it comes to shopping bags. Besides concealment of merchandise, LP looks for behavioral signs of shoplifting as well.. For example. a lb. of cheese, a box or two of cereal and a steak in a shopping bag, wouldn't really catch my attention, but a person placing a handful of $20 DVD's in a bag, or several packages of expensive cavier or other such items would definitely get noticed and get my complete attention.

    There was a lady who used to shop in one of the markets I worked in and use a large hand inside a shopping cart to carry her items. She didn't exibit any strange or odd behavior (acting nervous or looking around or up at cameras) and she always went straight to the cash register and paid for everything. Some people have strange shopping habits and LP has to determine who is the best person to watch.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi tiphanie102, Thanks for writing. I may be old school. but I've always believed in hands on apprehensions. Once shoplifters know you can't touch them, word gets around and your store is empty before you know it. It's usually the smaller chains and privately owned stores that are hands on. Public comapanies (who have shareholders) frown upon lawsuits and would rather lose $1000 in merchandise, than $20,000 in a lawsuit.

  • profile image

    Bag-Ban 4 years ago

    Thank you, rockinjoe for your reply!

    Another question. Is it possible that shoplifting has a higher probability of success during peak hours at supermarkets, when there are a lot of customers (and shoplifters) there, simply because less attention is paid by LP to each individual person?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Bag-Ban, That would depend on the amount of LP in the building. During peak shopping times, there's usuallly more LP.

  • profile image

    Bag-Ban 4 years ago

    Thank you, rockinjoe, for your reply!

    I might be thinking like the soviets. But, did any would-be shoplifters try to bribe you or other LP agents before the act in exchange for looking the other way when shoplifters arrived at your store to "shop"?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Bag Ban, I've never been offered (nor do I know of anyone) who has been asked to look the other way before a shoplifting took place, but after the fact is a very different story. There have been numerous times when I've been offered money or sex , in return for letting someone walk away. Too many to count actually. It was pretty common back in the day and I'm sure it still happens. It was always pretty funny when someone tried to bribe you.

  • profile image

    agrace3352 4 years ago

    Hi,

    For the past few months I have been shoplifting a few grocery items at a time from martins. I always spend about 30 to 50 dollars each time as well on groceries. I always put the items in my purse down this one aisle where there aren't any cameras. They dot really have many cameras in this store. Today I was in there and got a few items and noticed this woman following me. She even asked me if I needed any help finding anything. I only had like 4 items in my cart. She followed me all around the store and to the check out desk..I didn't steal anything, I just paid for my items and walked out to my car. While getting in my car I noticed her walking outside pushing a cart to the cart collector next to my car. She waited there until I pulled out. I looked at her in my rear view mirrow and saw write down my license plate in her phone.

    I am so scared now and will never shoplift again...

    What do you think will happen now? Will she call the police or was all of this just to scare me?(which worked) I don't see how they would have any evidence.

    Any advice.. Please!!!!!!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi agrace3352, It's my guess that they wanted to let you know that they know what you're doing. There is no better shoplifting deterrent than providing excellent customer service, by asking you if you needed assistance. It's definitely a warning. Same thing with writing down your license plate. It's an LP classic.

    There may not be a camera in the aisle, but it's pretty easy to see what is inside your shopping cart when you enter the aisle and what is left when you come out.

    Although they most likely suspect you of shoplifting, if they had any hard evidence, they would have appehended you before. They're not going to approach you and accuse you of shoplifting on another visit. It doesn't work that way.

    Everything is up to you from this point on. Good luck.

  • profile image

    agrace3352 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for responding!! I'm done with shoplifting.. I have too much the lose over something like that.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi agrace3352, You're welcome. Good decision. Shoplifting is never worth the risk. Glad I could help.

  • profile image

    agrace3352 4 years ago

    So what kind of evidence do they need to report it to the police? You don't think she wrote down my plate number to report to the police?

  • profile image

    dearpage 4 years ago

    I have 2 questions. Can the store make a decision to recall a court petition after it's been filed by LP and sent to juvenile court? (In this case I'm asking about an 11 year old kid's case ) Thanks so much.

    My 2nd question is what kind of documents the 11 year old have to bring to court?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    agrace3352, I think she wrote your plate number down to scare the hell out of you. You said that you didn't shoplift on that trip, correct? There's no reason for her to call the police. Before calling the police the store has to be absolutely positive that a theft took place. Cops don't like wild goose chases. Shoplifting (in low dollar amounts) is a low level crime for most police departments. If you were cleaning the store out of high priced items (meats, steaks, etc.) each time you visited the supermarket. it would be a different story. They would have either attempted to apprehend you themselves or there would have been a police car waiting for you upon your exit.

    Here are the rules most chain stores follow before they are able to apprehend you.

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

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi dearpage,

    I'm afraid I can't help you here. I'm not an attorney and those are two legal questions I'm not able to answer for you. I suggest either contacting an attorney, or find a legal online forum. I'm sorry I can't help you.here.

  • profile image

    dearpage 4 years ago

    Thanks for your response.

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    Bag-Ban 4 years ago

    Thank you for your reply, rockinjoe.

    From your experience, about what percentage of shoplifting are missed by LP?

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    dearpage 4 years ago

    I also have another question that I am very reluctant to ask... In the petition filed by LP for the juvenile court my child is listed 11 year old. In fact, she's 12. Should I tell that I was confused at the moment, or it's ok to leave it like it is-11?

    And one more thing, during the arrest of a juvenile for shoplifting does the policemen put handcuffs on the child?

    Thank you so much .

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

    You're welcome, dearpage.

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    dearpage 4 years ago

    I'm sorry but you probably didn't notice my previous question... I still need your help...

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

    Hi Bag-Ban, If you're writing a book, don't forget to send me a cut. That would be an impossible question to answer. It would depend on a lot of variables. But for fun, let's say that one out of every five persons shoplifts and let's say there are 100 customers inside the store at one time.Add one LP with a great camera system. Out of these 100 people, the LP sees one person conceal merchandise. The LP will have to watch this person continuously (and no one else) until they leave the store with the merchandise. If the LP apprehends the shoplifter and the 100 customers are left alone, the LP will have missed out on 19 shoplifting opportunities.

    So, even though that's a pretty crude example, I would say the percentage of shoplifters missed is extremely high.

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

    Hi dearpage, Don't be reluctant. I know you're obviously upset about this situation and I realize that you don't want to give away too much information.

    I wouldn't worry about the age discrepancy. I think it's a pretty small detail. It shouldn't make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

    As far as the police placing handcuffs on juveniles? It depends on the police officer. I've seen many a police officer handcuff a child in my office. In most situations it's done to scare the hell out of a kid and make sure that he/she stays out of trouble in the future. I've also seen it in cases where the juvenile mouths off , curses or even strikes or resists a police officer (it happens more than you may think) and the cop wants to provide the child with the complete arrest experience. Other cops, just walk the child out without handcuffs. Hope that helps.

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    dearpage 4 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe, Thank you so much for being so understanding and insightful. You're right , it's very difficult for me...

    This situation happened to my daughter this Sunday... She picked up a few charms off the clearance jewelry rack at the department store... So silly and dump. LP person recovered the charms from her shopping bag, they brought the necklaces with missing charms back to the room, and the total damage is $144.98. They didn't let me take the pictures of the charms. They took the pictures of the charms with the necklaces. I'm totally devastated and horrified. She's brilliant kid, best in school, star of all the school clubs and productions, very kind and warm. We worried that it would have an impact on her school reputation.

    On top of everything, I stated that she's 11 years old. And I'm afraid that they would found out in court ( can they?) her real age and accuse me of lying and it would make matters worst... (maybe I should tell that to my lower?) I'm so sorry for wasting your time . But I feel like I can trust you. Thanks again.

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

    Hi dearpage, You're not wasting my time. That's what I'm here for. I don't think anyone will think you're a liar for the age slip up. When a parent picks up their child who's been accused of shoplifting, it's an emotional experience. I've dealt with it many times in my career. $144.98 is quite an amount for a first time shoplifting, (especially for a 12 year old) but it's not the end of the world, either. If kids didn't do stupid things from time to time, they wouldn't need good parents looking after them. I'm glad you have an attorney. They're well worth the money, when they're needed.

    I would discuss the following 3 questions with your daughter and the attorney:

    Did your daughter leave the store or pass the last point of purchase before she was apprehended?

    Did your daughter have a witness of the same sex present in the room (at all times) when she was inside of the security office?

    Was she searched (touched) in any manner by a store employee (either male or female) to check for merchandise?

    Don't write back to me with the answers, as they shouldn't be in a public forum. It's just useful information that could help you in your case.

    She sounds like a great kid. Hopefully, she learned a big lesson. If you have any further questions, (on the shoplifting itself) don't hesitate to write again.. Good luck!

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    dearpage 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for your kind words of support. It really means a lot!

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

    You're welcome, dearpage!

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    Bag-Ban 4 years ago

    Thank you, rockingjoe. You articles and replies are eye-opening.

    Was there ever a time when multiple suspected shopliftings were in progress and you had to choose which one to pursue?

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

    Hi Bag Ban, Sure. Happened all the time. A shoplifter would conceal a DVD for example and then someone would come in and decide to try and lift a TV.. You would obviously try for the shoplifter with the biggest payoff potential, but it didn't always work out like that. Sometimes, the second person (you were positive was going to steal), chickened out and you were left with nothing. No matter how good someone is at catching shoplifters, you need a little luck to make it happen. It's far from an exact science.

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    Bag-Ban 4 years ago

    This question might not be politically correct: Do LP racial-profile shoppers?

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

    Hi Bag-Ban, Sure they do. So do shoe salesman, supermarket clerks, librarians and bank tellers. There are policies and procedures in place to limit this practice, but I'm sure it still goes on .

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    Danialisgood 4 years ago

    So I just receive a letter that instead of going to court I can pay a $100 FINE instead to go to diversion program.. But i also have to pay $350 for the $25 doller watch Itried to stole.. Is there way i can lower the price of the watch more? I need a reccmendation.. Thankyou

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

    Hi Danialisgood,

    The $350 fine is probably a civil demand fine. Is it from a collection agency or law office?

  • profile image

    Danialisgood 4 years ago

    The $350 was a civil fine demand. I'm am sure it was from an Law office I got ot around 3 weeks ago.

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

    Hi Danialisgood,

    Do yourself a favor. You and your mom should check into this with your lawyer before you pay this. This is a civil fine and has nothing to do with the criminal fine. Many attorneys recommend not paying the fine. Seriously, I can't advise you pay it or not pay it, but definitely look into it before you do.

  • Ralph Deeds profile image

    Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

    Interesting. Nice job!

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

    Hi Ralph! Thanks for stopping by! It's been awhile. I hope you're well.

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    Bag-Ban 4 years ago

    At self-checkout lanes, how do LP distinguish between suspicious potential shoplifters and honest shoppers who simply have trouble with the machines?

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    remorseful 4 years ago

    Hi rockinjoe, i have a friend who shoplifted about 4 months ago, he was not caught then but was caught for another attempt, he is scared that the shoplifting he did before he was caught, may be found out about and they will come to his house to arrest him, what are the chances of this happening

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

    You MUST be writing a book, Bag-Ban! Many Loss Prevention Departments (I won't say which ones) are now prohibited from making apprehensions from the self scans because lack of training, common sense (or both) have caused too many mistakes, which have resulted in lawsuits.

    I worked with a kid at a supermarket one time, who stopped a 62 year old retired school teacher once, because she bought $200 worth of groceries at the self scan register, but failed to scan a half gallon of milk. He wrote her up, released her and thought that would be the end of it. It was, until she mentioned it to one of her daughters the following week at dinner. The daughter contacted her attorney, who got in touch with the store. I don't know what the incident cost the store, but I'm betting it was plenty. The woman's explanation that she had scanned the milk checked out against the video. She either fif not scan it over the UPC or the machine malfunctioned. Why would someone buy $200 worth of groceries and decide to steal milk? Common sense tells you that wouldn't happen. If that ever went to trial, all you would need is one smart lawyer to question the reliability of the self scan registers and the woman would have won anyway. A company isn't about to take a 62 year old woman, who is also a mom, grandmother and retired school teacher to court over a $3.50 gallon of milk. It's ridiculous and it sends a bad message to your customers.

    But getting back to your question. I won't go into the methods used to steal from the self scan register, but shoplifters exhibit certain behaviors at the self scan that honest customers do not. Also, when monitoring self scan activity (using video) a well equipped store will also have a computer interface that synchronizes activity with the cash register. It even pops out a receipt.

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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi remorseful, It doesn't work like that, The store will only charge him for the shoplifting that they apprehended him for. They can't and won't back track him.

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    remorseful 4 years ago

    Thank you for the response rockinjoe! However, just wondering, have there been any cases where you found out that an item was missing, reviewed the tapes, then got a warrant for the arrest?

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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Remorseful,

    Personally? No. Store detectives need solid evidence to make a detention. Even though I might be able to piece together enough video together to make it almost conclusive, I still wasn't there to witness it.

    There is an old saying in Loss Prevention. "If you didn't see it, it didn't happen" It pretty much says it all.

    If you worked in my store, (say as a manager, for example) and you said to me, "Joe, I just saw a guy stick a DVD inside his jacket, go get him.", I wouldn't be able to apprehend. Not that I wouldn't believe you, but the rules state that I must see the whole process myself. Even if I saw it sticking out of his pocket, I couldn't touch him.

    You're giving Loss Prevention employees far too much credit. As bright and efficient as some of them are, they are bound by so many rules, that many a shoplifter is allowed to walk away untouched.

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    remorseful 4 years ago

    Interesting! Thanks again for the response. Would you say after 4 months if my friend hasn't heard from them, he's relatively safe and could move on with life? Just curious, how long have you worked as an LP officer?

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

    Hi Remorseful,

    Sorry, again, I couldn't even guess on the time. I'm no cop. I am a loss prevention consultant with 16 years in all areas of the business. Once the shoplifter leaves the store, LP is out of the picture. If you can find a police, or legal forum, they might be better equipped to answer your question.

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    remorseful 4 years ago

    alright, makes sense haha, so if you suspect someone of stealing lets say, 20$, would you call the police?

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

    Hi remorseful, Someone I didn't catch? No. I would wait for them to come back and try it again. However, someone in a smaller family run business or convenience store might.

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    remorseful 4 years ago

    Oh alright, that makes perfect sense. However, I'd like to thank you so much for your time answering all these questions! They must bore you to death, sorry about that! Just curious, is being an LP Officer a fun job or does it get very frustrating/boring ?

  • profile image

    remorseful 4 years ago

    Thanks for the response once again Joe! Sorry about all these questions, they must bore you to death! Just curious though, did you enjoy being a loss prevention officer?

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

    Hi remorseful, You're welcome. No, don't be silly. I love answering questions related to this subject.Being in LP is some of the most fun I've had in my life. It's interesting work and it's one of those jobs where you're trying to stay awake one minute and running out the door trying to catch someone who ran off with 20 bottles of Tylenol. I think I enjoyed it so much because it's something I was something I was good at.

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    remorseful 4 years ago

    Sorry for the late response, Joe! Just curious, if you guys ever did inventory, and you found out an item of small value was missing, would you review tapes going months back and try to pursue the person stealing?

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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Small value? If I was working in a small store and noticed a number of the same item missing, I would do my best to find out if they had been stolen or misplaced in a stockroom or something, but I wouldn't go back months, unless I suspected an employee of stealing on a regular basis.

    If I were in a Kmart, Walmart, or Target though, I'd be more concerned over high priced items in departments where I was experiencing a high shrink (loss) I wouldn't bother with the smaller stuff unless there was something pointing to a pattern.

    Hope that answered your question.

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    remorseful 4 years ago

    Thanks for your continuing responses Joe! Just something ive always wondered, are in store cameras, CCTV constantly recording or just monitored?

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

    Hey there remorseful. You're welcome Keep them coming. It depends on the store. Believe it or not, there are some stores and chains out there without camera systems, entirely. Some of them are so old school, they have LP walking the floors, like they did way back in the day. It's a good way to learn how to do the job, but with the technology available today, more stores should invest in top of the line camera equipment.

    I've been inside stores (within the past 5 years) that are equipped with nothing more than VCRs to record shoplifters. Monitors may be running 24/7, but if you're still using VHS tape, I know no one in LP, who has the time to invest in (nor the patience) reviewing 8 hours of tape recorded in extended play model.

    So to answer your question, it depends on the store or chain. The good thing about this is, shoplifters don't know which stores are well equipped and which stores are not.

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    kmiano1 4 years ago

    Hi if I was caught stealing at neimam Marcus would I be able to work at nordstrom in a different mall?

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    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi kmiano1, To tell you the truth, I don't know If they access their shoplifter database for new hires. Sorry!

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    toryy 4 years ago

    Today I was at dollar store and picked up a tube of concealer and held it in my jacket and walked to the bathroom where I stuck it in my pocket and left the package wrapped in a paper towel in the trash.after I left the store and was in the car with my mom and saw an employ go to the bathroom then open the door and look out...he didn't see me in the car and went back inside...there were cameras in the store and outside...should I expect anything police wise?

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    stupid mistake 4 years ago

    Today I was at walmart and I did something so stupid. I shoplifted something under $5 at walmart, the lp people took a picture of my Id and took my social security number and then let me go. I would like to know what is gonna happen afterwards? Will this be on my record? Could this affect me in the future for jobs or going to school, and what can I do to resolve this matter so that no one will ever find out about it? I am 24 years old and this was the first time that this has ever happened to me. Please help

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

    Hi toryy, Probably not. Concealer is an inexpensive item (especially at a dollar store) and if someone wants to apprehend you for shoplifting, they're going to do it when you leave the store, not when you're sitting in the car.

    Why? You've got too many chances of getting rid of it. Calling the police over 1 makeup item is a little ridiculous, in my opinion, as the cops have better things to do. You did, however, take a chance by doing this and having your mom go through the embarrassment of her daughter caught shoplifting and potential fines that could have resulted. I'm not trying to lecture you, I'm just letting you know that each time you shoplift, you increase your chances of being caught. Good luck.

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    toryy 4 years ago

    Can they do anything if my mom or I return to the store? Do they have enough proof to prove I even stole it since it was done in the bathroom? How likely is it that they didn't even noticed and im just being paranoid?

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

    Under $5 with no police involvement is not a huge deal. You'll (most likely) receive a civil fine in the mail (Google the words, "civil fine-your state" to see what your fine will be) There will be no criminal record, but you may end up with your information in the shoplifter database. What happens with information is unclear. You should not have any problem with future job prospects or it popping up in the future when you least expect it. Good luck.

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

    Hi toryy, They had their chance to apprehend you and now there is no evidence. They can't come back at you on the next trip. It doesn't work like that. That being said, if they suspect you of a crime, the only thing they're going to be able to do, is to watch you like a hawk next time. There have been many times where I have been unable to apprehend a shoplifter for one reason or another, but eventually caught them when the conditions were right.

    You seem to have lucked out on this one.

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    toryy 4 years ago

    Thanks joe! I am never planning on shop lifting there or anywhere else ever again...this paranoid feeling is just to horrible. And just to be clear they can't say anything to my mom?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Toryy,

    You're welcome! No, they can't say anything to mom. They may be suspicious of you, but all they can do is watch you next time you go into the store. The dollar store employees aren't cops. If you're not planning on shoplifting any longer, you've got nothing to worry about. Good luck!

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    justcurious 4 years ago

    Hi Rockin Joe-

    how long does it typlically take to receive a civil fine by large chain store?

    is there a chance if it was your first offense that you will not receive a fine at all even though the LP took down all your info?

    Also what does non-confrontational policy on shoplifting mean?

    does it mean they will not stop you you unless the store censor goes off?

    lastly do most stores have LP's? do the LPs' all walk around in street clothes and follow those people they think are suspicious?

    THANKS

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

    Hi justcurious, Great questions. Here are some answers.

    It will probably take 2-3 weeks to receive a civil fine in the mail. If the LP took down all your info, a civil fine is in your future. It doesn't matter if it's your first offense, ir 51st offense. It's coming.

    When a sensor goes off at the door, they can ask you if you forgot to pay for something, they can also ask you to return to the register so the clerk can deactivate whatever set the alarm off. They can't apprehend you for shoplifting unless LP saw you do it. They can't guess someone shoplifted. And non confrontational is, they're not going to attempt to stop you physically. If a shoplifter gets injured (or worse, an honest customer who gets caught in the middle of a shoplifting incident) the store could be financially liable. If you're stopped for shoplifting and asked to return inside with LP and you refuse, you'll be allowed to walk away. It doesn't stop anyone from calling the police on you, but there won't be a beatdown in front of the store.

    Do most stores have LP? It depends on the store. The bigger stores always have them. How many they have and how often they work depends upon the loss the store suffers every year. You'll find more in a store in a high crime area, than you will in a rich suburb. If they're wearing baseball caps, carrying a coffee and haven't shaved in a week, it's a good chance, they're LP. The girls are a little tougher to spot.

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    Feeling Guilty and Stupid 4 years ago

    Hey Rockin Joe -

    Yesterday I did a really dumb thing on a whim. I was at a Target and I had a few shirts in my arms and went in the dressing room to try them on. Once I got inside the fitting room, I decided to switch the tags on them so that two $15 dollar shirts were only $8 each. Stupid, I know. Anyway, I left the fitting room, left the shirts I had taken the tags from and went to the front and paid. The cashier was young, didn't seem to notice anything and I paid with cash and left the store. I went to one more store next door, then went out to the parking lot and got into my car and left.

    I know the monetary value is pretty insignificant (a grand total of $14) but its really weighing on my conscience and making me paranoid. I made a stupid decision that at the time, I thought no one would catch me on but now I think if they were using cameras, they could easily see that I went in with two $15 dollar shirts and two $8 shirts and came out with differently priced merchandise. And if they did realize it, would they use cameras to get my license plate numbers and find me now that I've left the store? Over a mere $14?

    Thanks

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    Jill 4 years ago

    Ok so im likeing freaking out here,

    I stole a bunch of food from safeway...

    Im a teen chick so it was just like muchie stuff, chips, candy, cake lol ect.

    anyway i was with a group of people and we went are separate ways when we got in there.

    They caught the other group with some soda, so i took of with my friend out the door. They were pointing at me and i had like 30$ of food. They followed me around the store and pretty much walked with me out the door, i played it casual until i got to the edge of the parking lot than took off running...

    They told the friend who got caught that they had caught the other people shoplifiting and said they had evidence...

    So like im 99% they caught me on tape...

    They are right next to my school and there isn't really any other schools it's a small town.

    I live down the road from this store...

    Can they do anything about me stealing?!?!?!

    Im already on Probation and im like crying right now!

    What are they going to do..?!?

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

    Hi Feeling Guilty and Stupid, No. No one is coming after you for $14, Ticket switching (or changing the tags) is a difficult crime to prove, so most stores do not apprehend or prosecute for it. The usual protocol, (if ticket switching is suspected) is to have someone price check the merchandise before purchase. Sometimes it will be done in a way where you won't be accused of the practice, but they'll make it obvious that they know.

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

    Hi Jill, Sure they could do something if they wanted to and thought they had enough evidence. They could call the police (and if they have any video evidence,) they could show it to them and file a complaint. Whether they wil, or not, is a completely different story. You definitely took a big risk in shoplifting from a store just down the street. Good luck.

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    Lady Jen Palven 4 years ago from Philippines

    wow!your hub is really good and very informative. I have watched a documentary regarding shop lifting I was shocked to see that they are very smart people, they used a long skirt to hide the items they get from the supermarket and department stores. Since they have long skirts, what they do is that they put the items in their thighs and walk naturally as if nothing happened. So i hope that the guards in the department stores and supermarkets will really observe and be alert whenever they see a suspicious person around the mall.

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

    Hi allelsematters ...Thanks you for the comment. I have also seen that method in a documentary, but haven't seen it personally-and I hope I never do :)

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    Cindymo84 4 years ago

    Lets say I go to Walmart and I purchased some item and stole a few and concealed them in my purse. When I walk out the alarm rings. Does the lp need to have evidence that he saw me take the item to prosecute me? I can just say I forgot to pay em if he finds them? Do they have the right to search my belongings

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

    Hi Cindymo84, Yes! Suppose you had been to CVS and had bought something earlier in the day and had placed it in your purse. Say also that the CVS cashier neglected to deactivate the tag on the item? The EAS tower on Walmart could set it off. If Walmart LP had stopped you for an item you bought at CVS, they could be in for some major legal problems. LP (anywhere) is not supposed to stop you based on the alarm going off. Those EAS units are so sensitive, anything can set them off.

    Here is what Loss Prevention must have before they can stop you.

    1.) The must see you select the item/

    2.) They must see you conceal the item

    3.) They must have 100% continuous surveillance of you

    4.) You must pass the last point of purchase (the cash registers or service desk)

    5.) You must exit the store.

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    Mommy11 4 years ago

    I am freaking out. I stold 2 pairs of UGGS from a retail store called Lester's. I took the UGGS out of the box and left the box behind. I just threw the boxes underneath clothes on a floor but removed the UGGS out of the box in the fitting room. I also on this same day stold 3 shirts. I am freaking out and wish I had never thought to do this and will never again. I am now scared and worried they will look at their cameras when they see the empty boxes and trace back to who left the boxes empty on the camera and then also see how I took the shirts. Even though I took the UGGS out in the fitting room and they won't see that, they will see how it was me who slipped the empty boxes on the floor right before walking out of the store with then the UGGS underneath my sons stroller in the stroller basket. I don't know what the hell I was thinking and I am really afraid they will track me some how now. Should I be worried? Is there a chance I will have detectives or cops knocking on my door soon? This happened just yesterday. I didn't purchase anything there but I have in the past so not sure if they can get any info on me besides just seeing my identity on the camera and what I look like. I am assuming no one got my plates either from my car because no one noticed anything until I am sure afterwards when they saw or see these empty UGGS boots boxes and that is what I am worried that they will then go look at the camera to track down how these empty boxes were left there empty like that... Please help and tell me your input on this! I am seriously freaking out and don't know what to do now!

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    Mommy11 4 years ago

    I hope to get an answer as I am freaking out over this and getting so sick over it and can't even sleep. This was definitely a lesson learned and I am just freakig out I will get arrested when I am home and I have my 2 year old and another on the way... I forgot tO also mention, they didn't see me take the boots Out of the box since I did it in the fitting room, but in cameras they will see me putting the boxes underneath clothing and leave the store right after. Also prolly on camera wOuld see me take the shirts and put in the stroller. But I could have put them down, where cameras didn't tape that so they don't have proof I walked out with these items but I dunno can I still get in trouble. It happened 2 days ago already... How long does it take for a cop to come and arrest you if the store reported something? I went back the next day to take the boxes so no evidence was left and the boxes were gone which means they saw this already... I am so scared! Help!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mommy11, You have expensive taste. Shoplifting over $250 is a felony in many areas. I hate to be able to tell you I don't have an answer for you, but I don't. There are too many things that could happen in this situation. It would all depend on the store's loss prevention personnel, their camera system, whether or not anyone saw you do it, or call the police and make a report.

    If I found two empty UGGS boxes in my store, I would definitely want to review tape (if I were available) to see who took them. If I had good video, I would also call the police and file a report with any information I had, such as a license plate, make of car, etc. And then I'd wait for you to come back and try it again. There's not much else I'd be able to do.

    Whether or not the police appear at your door is impossible for me to answer. How long will it take? That would depend on how busy they were and their priority of the crime. I'm sorry, but there's no way for me to answer your question.

    Good luck!

  • profile image

    Mommy11 4 years ago

    Oh man I am just so paranoid and scared I really am and I will never ever do this again. I have learned my lesson. I called a lawyer to ask for legal advice and he told me I can hire him to just return the boots back to the store and not reveal any information on who I am and who he is returning the boots for. He said he has done this many times where then the stores have dropped the case, but as an LP yourself would you drop the case if you received the boots back? How long does it usually take the store to report this to the police though? I am assuming this high end store has to have good camera source, I dunno though? I guess I could live in stress and paranoia now for a few months right? Or even a year? Because don't they have a year to report this? Also can they go back and track all the other times I've been in their store and times I've actually purchased things and get my info that way? Not to mention one of the pair of UGGS were put on hold for me with my name because I called previously to put them on hold since they were their last pair... I am just so afraid! I had my 2 year old with me and I'm scared shit now to what will happen to me or my son, and I am pregnant which makes it even worse. I don't know what I was thinking. They didn't technically see me take the boots though, it was done in the fitting room. All they would see in camera would be me putting the boxes down if there was even a camera in that area I am not sure? And what if there wasn't a camera? They can't say 100% it was me who took the boots out. I could of put the box down there with the boots inside or what if they didn't see me out the boxes down but just saw them empty at the end of the day then looked at the camera but didn't see me actually take the boots out in camera? Do you think there is still enough evidence where they would report this to the police and they would come after me? I have shopped there several times before so they will just be able to take my name I put those boots on hold with and look me up on their computers and get my info, as I am in their mailing list as it is! Ugh! I really am gonna expect to have police knowing at my door for this and have a warrant for my arrest right? Do you think so? From what I've explained to you? I can't sleep at night and don't know what to do. I am most afraid to get arrested when alone with my 2 year old... Thanks for your feedback!

  • profile image

    Mommy11 4 years ago

    One last question. So there is a slim chance if let's say their cameras were off or aren't that great that I can get away with this one? Because they will and can only report to police if they have an actual picture on camera from me doing this right? Or even without footage and a picture of me they can still report to police with just info on me like my name and just an employee seeing it or just assuming because it was the same box left behind that was Put on hold for me previously?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Mommy 11, No, they don't need your photo to report a crime. If someone stole your car, you wouldn't have to know what they looked like. All you would have to know is, your car was gone. I don't see anyone waiting a year before reporting a shoplifting, though. If they were going to report it at all, they would do it right away. But as I mentioned. There are too many scenarios that could play out in your situation and any answers I gave you would only be guesses.

  • carterchas profile image

    carterchas 4 years ago from Texas

    I tell young people that many jobs will be forever forbidden to them if they are arrested for shoplifting (especially if they are 17 or older). No bank or institution which requires you to have a clean record will EVER hire you. So don't.

    Also, in Texas, ANY resistance to being legitamately detained for petty theft turns that petty theft charge into a FELONY ROBBERY. I once saw a guy stealing beer from a liquor store have the charge escalated like that. The owner chased and caught him. When he resisted, the owner beat the tar out of him...The police ended the fight with a felony arrest. All for $10 worth of beer.

  • aykianink profile image

    aykianink 4 years ago

    112 comments? I hope you got the job offer you're lookin' for, Joe. Job search is pretty bloody these days...

  • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

    Kimberly Vaughn 4 years ago from Midwest

    Very interesting hub rockinjoe! I never thought about any of this info, especially the section about about not touching the shoplifters. Voted up!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thanks aykianink . Not yet. Not unless we sell the house and move. Not exactly a great time to place a home on the market.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Thank you, Kimberly Vaughn. I appreciate the nice comment and the upvote :)

  • aykianink profile image

    aykianink 4 years ago

    Sorry to hear that, Joe. Here's a random comment that will most likely put a smile on your face: If I were working with you, when you were young and horn--bored, I also would have been dazzled by that woman. Hahaha:-)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    ha ha aykianink ! Thanks for the laugh :)

  • profile image

    Nimu25 4 years ago

    If the store sells items on the sidewalk, and while shopping inside the store you are looking for an item that you remember seeing out on the sidewalk so you go back to get it. You have your cart, filled with several items that you intend to purchase right after you pick up this last thing that is outside on the sidewalk against the store wall. ( the item is too large to carry, and requires a cart, and the carts are all stored inside the store) as you push your cart up to the item and walk away to pick up the item and place it in your cart, LP runs up to you and demands that you come with him, stating that he just witnessed you leaving the store with unpaid items and that the police have been notified. You try to explain what you are doing. Try to make him remember that when he approached you, you weren't even near the cart, you were picking up an item and then heading to the checkout. He says that u have passed the point of sale, and that judging from the estimated amount in the cart, it is a felony. The police arrive and you spend 2 days in jail, followed by a future court hearing with the district magistrate. Is it really shoplifting? Is there a chance that the judge will give the benefit of the doubt? And last, why do they place items for sale out on the sidewalk if it is passed the point of purchase? Technically, in this store, this side of the store is an added on expansion, and there are no registers, or service desk on this half of the store, so you don't really " pass the point of purchase" . Most department stores in this area place large and small items on their sidewalk, and foyer where they store the carts, and I have often did this, as well as seen others commonly routinely do this without incident. My livelihood is out the window if this charge sticks and I'm a single mom of three. I would never even think of shopping and then leaving with a cart of unpaid items!! I am in a very noble profession, and have never broke the law. I have been treated guilty and now have to prove innocent? I can barely function through the doom and gloom of losing my career, amd everything I have worked so hard for, and the impact on my children. I can't wait for you advise on this! Thank you so much for being here. You really are a lifeline to all of us who wind up in situations where we are so desperate for support but have no one to turn to.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Nimu25, Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. I would get a lawyer involved immediately and I'll tell you why.

    Years ago I had a similar situation happen to me. A female shopper entered the store, went to the women's department and selected a $50 Jaclyn Smith jacket and placed it inside her cart. Then she went to the electronics department and placed a $200 DVD player in the cart. She took the hanger off of the jacket and covered the DVD player. Then she left the store. By the time I got outside she was halfway across the parking lot and since I could apprehend in the parking lot in those days, I went after her. As I was walking her back to the store, she told me that she intended to purchase some garden merchandise we had outside, but was going to her car first to make sure she had rolled down a window in her car a bit so her dog could get some fresh air. When I mentioned the covered merchandise, she said that it looked like rain and she didn't want to get the DVD player wet.

    I had enough to apprehend her, so I called the cops. She was arrested and charged and brought to jail.

    There was never a dog in her car, by the way.

    2 or 3 weeks later, I received a call from the city prosecutors office who told me that he did not feel comfortable taking the case to court, as the woman told the police in her statement that had intended to purchase merchandise from our sidewalk. She also produced $1500 in previous receipts from the past two years showing mostly garden merchandise she had purchased from the sidewalk.

    I explained the concealment of the DVD player and the phony dog story and although he agreed she was probably stealing the items, he still wanted to drop the case. Since I (as an agent of Kmart) had done nothing wrong, we dropped the charges with her signing paperwork stating that she would not try and sue us for unlawful detainment.

    Had I followed the woman outside and she remained on the sidewalk selecting merchandise I would have continued just watching her to make sure she went back inside to pay for it. From what you tell me, the LP who stopped you jumped the gun. He had legally stopped you for leaving the store with merchandise you had not yet paid for, but since you wanted to purchase items the store had displayed in the front of the store, It blows his story right out of the water.

    Get a lawyer as soon as possible. From my experience, you have a pretty good chance of beating this. Good luck.

  • profile image

    CaughtAtSafeway 4 years ago

    Hi Joe,

    I got caught shoplifting $60 of stuff at a CA Safeway a few weeks ago. The LP took my info and said they wouldn't call the cops or press charges in exchange for my signing a piece of paper agreeing to a civil fine.

    Could Safeway change their mind and still send the cops after me and prosecute me? Or did I just dodge a bullet on this?

    Also, who does civil fine collection for CA Safeways?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi CaughtAtSafeway, They won't prosecute. They want your money. If they were going to prosecute you, they would have called the police when you were apprehended. You're good to go. You should get the fine notification in a couple of weeks.

    I have no idea who does the civil demand collecting for Safeway. When your letter comes, it will most-likely be from a law firm.

    Good luck.

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    Jillybean17 4 years ago

    Hey joe. I'm 17 yrs old and I went to Walmart the day before New Year's Eve and I went to the earrings section and I looked around at them then walked away. Then when the woman employee walked away I went back and took an earring package that contained at least 4 pairs of earrings but I only wanted one of the pairs so I walked around a bit so I wouldn't look suspicious and I went to the restroom and took out the pair I wanted and hooked em to my bra and threw the rest of the earrings along with the package away, then I walked out of the restroom back to the video games to talk to my brother alittle and decided I wanted to see if I could collect one more pair from the ones I threw in the trash. So I went back to the bathroom, looked in the trash, saw the nasty stuff in there, and decided against it. So then I left the bathroom again and about 10 minutes later me my brother and my dad left the store after he paid for his merchandise. I'm worried that I looked suspicious on the camera, and if I did then what can they do to me if I go back into the store? It was a once in a lifetime deal. I will never steal again.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Jillybean17, Sounds to me like you dodged a bullet. If Walmart had enough evidence to stop you outside, they would have done so when you left the store. They can suspect you stole merchandise all they want, but until they have the necessary pieces of evidence together, they are not going to risk stopping you, as that could place the store in a position of liability and the LP's job in jeopardy.

    Don't worry about going back. They can't stop you. However....If someone had been watching you steal the earrings, or even act what they consider "suspicious" on camera, all eyes will be on you on the next time you visit.

    Good luck!

  • profile image

    Jillybean17 4 years ago

    Ok thank u very much!:) I have one more question. I have a friend that stole earrings from the same store except she did it in the aisle not the bathroom and that was months ago. How come she didn't get caught? Do they have bad security or something? Cuz I live in a town where everything is pretty much backwards.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Jillybean17, You're welcome! There could have been many reasons your friend did not get caught.

    1.) No LP in the building at the time/

    2.) LP in the bathroom

    3.) LP at lunch

    4.) LP asleep

    5.) No camera in the aisle

    6.) Not enough evidence

    etc.

    Not all stores are equipped with great camera equipment, or more than one LP agent. It depends on the amount of theft (or loss) the store experiences each year. Shoplifters (especially small time) can get away 9 times out of 10 with a crime and then suddenly find themselves in handcuffs.

    It's like playing the lottery.

  • profile image

    Collegesb 4 years ago

    Hey Joe, a few months ago, before I turned 18 I was caught shoplifting about $60 worth of items from target. I was stopped at the door and taken to the security room where my mother and the police were called, I was taken downtown where I was finger printed, photographed and Scorned. Target filed a petition which was eventually dropped after my counselor convinced them

    To let me off the hook. Since then I've stolen a few small things from Walmart like chap sticks or lipstick, nothing over $5. Is there any way walmart can use footage from my previous thefts to stop me the next time I come in the store? I think I'm just paranoid but I feel like they watch me whenever I go in now.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Collegesb, No. They won't use previous video against you. It doesn't work like that. If they have enough evidence to stop you, they will when you leave the store, but since the previous evidence (the merchandise) is no longer with you, it cannot be used in your total. . A lot of merchandisers these days don't stop shoplifters for $5 or under. It's really not worth it.

  • profile image

    tonytrick 4 years ago

    I am such an idiot but I have to confess, I stole a cans of nuts ($2.50) from Giant grocery store which had a sign saying it may have CCTV in its premises. I decided to steal it to get the rush but felt completely terrible after stealing it, this is my last time shoplifting. I was not stalked out of the place and was not caught but I am scared they tracked me through my license plate. How realistic would it be for them to track me down?

  • carrie Lee Night profile image

    Kept private 4 years ago from Northeast United States

    rockinjoe: Great article! :) you have taken something most people don't think about everyday and turned it into a very imformative piece. The only shoplifting I EVER done was when I was about seven or eight years old when swiped two pieces of candy out of the brachs bin without paying the 5 cents per sample. I felt so bad and guilty after I did it..right behind my mother's back! I NEVER did it again and I still think about how awful it made me feel til this day. Thanks again for a great article! :)

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi tonytrick, It's not going to happen. No one is going to call the police for a $2.50 can of nuts. Just because a store may, or may not have CCTV, doesn't mean there are cameras in every aisle and doesn't mean someone is watching them all the time. You got away this time. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 4 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi carrie Lee Night, Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it. That's a great story. It's a good thing you had that experience and took it upon yourself to make the decision not to steal You must have been a brilliant child. Thanks for reading :)

  • jayshreepattanaik profile image

    JITENDRA 4 years ago from INDIA

    hi nice thing i have a shop and i will remain alert on theft..

  • YoursChoice profile image

    Adnan Qamar 4 years ago from Karachi,Pakistan

    Nice information sharing... It is very helpful for shop Owners or Managers to get rid of shop lifters.

  • torrilynn profile image

    torrilynn 4 years ago

    rockinjoe,

    it was nice to learn about shoplifting

    and the new information

    and to answer your question nelas I feel that you were unfairly treated none

    of that should have happened to you I am sorry for your dilemma

    thanks for the overall hub joe

    Voted up and sharing

  • nybride710 profile image

    Lisa Kroulik 4 years ago from Minnesota

    I got caught at age 11 eating a piece of candy from an open container at Walgreen's. They took my picture, threatened juveline detention and the whole 9 yards. That was all it took for me, it was very traumatic.

  • L.L. Woodard profile image

    L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

    I found all of the information you've presented here very interesting. It's not a topic I've ever given much thought to, but now realize how the repercussions for shoplifters can be ongoing. Pretty incredible.

    What I found to make absolute sense is the rule that LPs can't chase down a suspected shoplifter for fear of injuring innocent bystanders. How I wish police departments had the same common sense rule when they engage in a chase with someone who has simply broken a traffic law. Endangering the public at large for such a small infraction seems to me to be irresponsible and not the best use of resources.

    Great hub; voted up and Shared.

  • Beltane73 profile image

    Holly Kline 4 years ago from South Jersey

    Really interesting! Thanks.

  • profile image

    LPprofessional 3 years ago

    I have bee in the LP field for a little over 2 years. I have worked at 2 different companies. The first was Kmart. We could not touch shoplifters or chase after them, however, the current company I am with is much different. We can chase shoplifters and use physical, "measurable" force. The nicer retail stores let their LPs be more hands on.

  • profile image

    power to the peephole 2 years ago

    Hi Joe I started swipin boos from a big chain cooperation since liquor came out I jacked them almost every weekend of the summer till they hired secret shoppers. We still continued to push our luck for a while and I have been getting bottles for the past year and a half I'm a minor as well. The people in the store didn't take to long to catch on but it didn't stop me I've never used a car there so they couldn't get a license and I don't have an id to this day. However recently they installed these new high tech very high resolution cameras in the liquor isles. it also goes ding dong whenever u walk in and out of the isle. I still picked them up in front of the camera but didn't conceal it in the isle I walk to the first empty isle I can find with no cameras then conceal. I walk out the door sometimes it buzzes sometimes not. I found out the little metal stickers make the buzzers go off so I ditch them in random spots. I walked out the door with the container completely consealed. However this store must know me cuz I use to pack up on munchies and walk out. The day I found out the l.p were not allowed to chase me he stopped me after I walked out the doors. The buzzer didn't beep. But I gave hime the cart anyway and started walking, he demanded I sign paperwork. I casually declined and continued fast walking looking over my shoulder to see if he'd start chasing he walked back in. Rumors spread a concerned parent of one of my friends gave the store my picture and name. However I never gave them my name in the act of a crime. My p.o. knows and is trying to pend a charge. How sketch do you think this is. I'm planning on getting a lawyer if this turns out to go down. But I had a friend that supposedly got busted for every bottle she jacked in the past month because of video camera footage to go along with the picture name and info her mom gave them bout her stealing. My mom called to ask if they knew who I was they completely denied knowing ,y existence or my friends experience getting caught on camera. Smells fishy I should be trippin really hard but I don't want to jump to conclusions

  • profile image

    Anon 2 years ago

    I have a friend who stole some make up from Kmart and was in line paying for everything else she was buying (she said she took two things out of her purse to pay for too). The LP agent called PD and said they were on the way and when she left the store the agent just watched out the door. She thinks they got her license plate number. Can they use her name and car against her?? Or because she got away they can't do anything? They didn't stop her at all. So how can they accuse her of stealing anything? Unless the cameras totally show it.

  • profile image

    Cherpie 2 years ago

    What I never hear about is how people get "rehabilitated". Stay clean. my last scare, was over 24 hours ago. I am going cold turkey. I never had any other addictions or even use any chemicals including cigs and alc. I tried not to go into any store at all, but needed groceries. It was physically painful not to swipe something, anything. I hope this gets better with time.

  • profile image

    Angela 2 years ago

    On the way out my purse trigger the alarm, the worker tell me to stop, I did not, I went to my car, she run after me and take my plate number while I was driving away...

    It was my only time to that store.

    What do u think will happened next? Will they call police?

  • profile image

    worried at the desk 2 years ago

    joe, i work in a large chain store. everyone steals here. i know that doesn't make it right. i would take small items like a candy bar or bag of chips for lunch, or maybe a notebook or two for my kids at school.

    recently a girl who works at customer service with me and i have started taking $5 or thereabouts daily from the register, but never more that $10. no one person is responsible for the count in the drawer, as there are actually 6 people doing transactions on it all day. we are very careful when we do it and we never do it in front of the cameras (duh!)

    what are the chances we will get busted?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hey power to the peephole. Sorry for getting this a month later. That's quite a story. If you're a minor, you've got more worry than a shoplifting charge. You could also get hit with a POA (Possession of Alcohol) charge. That being said, the way you described it seems pretty above aboard to me. Finding your identity through other sources isn't a crime. I could show a tape to anyone I wanted and ask if they knew you.

    As far as shoplifting. If you walked out the door, you've committed a crime. Giving LP the cart back doesn't make it a non crime.

    As far as your friend being convicted solely on camera footage, I'd have to see the footage. It would have to be real good and show every step of the act, or a halfway decent attorney could argue and probably get it thrown out.

    Let me know how you make out. I'm very interested in this case. Good luck.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Anon, How do you know the LP called the police? Did they stop your friend first and tell her that? Anything Kmart LP does no longer surprises me. They used to run one of the best loss prevention departments in retail and now (along with Sears) they've unfortunately become laughable. That being said, it's still not an excuse to steal from them.

    To answer your question about your friend. Could the LP use her license plate to identify her and call the police? Yes. It's doubtful though. Sounds to me like the LP didn't have enough on her and wanted to scare her.

    Makeup is a high theft product. It's usually watched a little closer than other items.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Cherpie,

    Many shoplifters I've caught over the years have told me it was a rush. Not only to steal the item, but to also get away clean with the crime. Same for store detectives. It's a huge adrenaline rush for us to go after a shoplifter. We never know what we're walking into. It could be a fight, a weapon, a totally and completely insane person, or just a general boring stop. I guess we all get our kicks a different way.

    I've never been a person who had to deal with addictions (aside from the cigarette habit I gave up years ago) , But I've known people with them. I hope you beat the shoplifting habit. Shoplifting is damaging to your career, family, bank account, standing in the community, etc. It must be a horrible way to live. Good luck to you,

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Angela,

    I'm sure you're ok. You didn't tell me what you took, but no one is going after you because you set the alarm off. Anything can set these things off.

  • profile image

    Kathy 2 years ago

    I was in kohls the other day, had some items in my cart, went to dressing room & did place some items in my purse, I left store & was at my car when a LP approached me, asked me to come back into store which I did not do, I just left, he did take a pic of my license plate & did say he was going to call cops. What do you think the outcome will be?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi worried at the desk,

    It's not a matter IF it will happen, it comes down to WHEN it's going to happen. You will get caught, if you haven't been already. What do I mean by that?

    Service desk cash shortages are examined using exception based reporting software, which shows every detail of every point of sale unit in the store. If I were looking for a thief, I may look (for example) how many No Sales were used on days with shortages.Then I would attempt to match them up to the shortages using whatever video were available.

    If you work at one of the top 3 retailers, you can bet there is video being used at the desk. The problem may be in how good the camera is and where you and your friends are when the money comes out and concealed. There are many methods, (which I'm not going to go into here, for obvious reasons) about how to steal at the service desk, but you can rest assured it will catch up to you eventually, one way or another.

    What will happen?

    It depends how much they have on you and how the LP District wants to handle your situation. You may be questioned, the police may be called and you'll be charged with stealing merchandise and embezzlement. It's also possible (If they don't have enough visual evidence), that you could see your hours becoming less and less until you have no choice but to quit.

    Sometimes the needs of the business dictate what happens to the internal thief.

    One time I suspected a service desk worker of stealing cash from the drawers and finally had great evidence of her in the act shortly after Thanksgiving one year. I was about to question her and was told by the District Operations Manager NOT to touch it until after Christmas. Why? The woman had worked in the store for 30 years and was the best customer service manager the store ever had. She knew more about operations than the store manager and his assistants. They didn't want her to go to jail during the Christmas rush because, quite frankly, they needed her. She ended up walking out with the police on January 2nd. She had stolen over $4,000 during the holiday season, alone.

    Don't kid yourself. Stealing cash is a huge deal and retailers and LP take it very seriously.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kathy,

    You got caught and walked away. You walked away because Kohl's wasn't allowed to drag you physically back into the store. They know who you are, what you took (most likely) and they know that you know. Taking a photo of your car and license plate is the icing on the cake.

    I'm sure you've asked yourself the following questions.

    Did they call the police? Will the police knock on my door and question me? How would being arrested impact my family? My spouse? My kids? Will it be on TV,or perhaps in the newspaper? Will my boss see it? My friends? My family?

    I don't know what you stole at Kohl's or the city or town in which it happened. Will the cops follow up? Your guess is as good as mine. A cop with nothing to do that night may follow up. They may just have taken a standard report and told the Kohl's LP, "Call us if you see her again."

    I don't know. Neither do you.

    All you can hope for, is that you've gotten away with it and vow to never do it again. If there had been a police officer driving through the Kohl's lot that night, you definitely would have taken a ride. Whatever you took is not worth the problems your being arrested creates.

    I'm not preaching, nor am I judging you. I'm just providing some unasked for advice. Good luck.

  • profile image

    Kathy 2 years ago

    I know what I did was out of character for me, and def was not worth it. I know better than to do that & there is no excuse for it. I'm NEVER going to ever think about doing that again. I thank you for your response.

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    You're welcome. Didn't mean for that to come off like a lecture. I usually have no idea how old the person, I'm replying to is.

  • profile image

    Kathy 2 years ago

    It's ok, I appreciate it

  • profile image

    soterriblysorry 2 years ago

    Hey,

    So I am feeling so terribly guilty about this but 4 days ago, I went to a local grocery store (WA state), put some items in a small hand basket (groceries- no alcohol) and then left the store. I deeply regret this but I needed the food and didn't have the money. No one approached me or spoke to me. It was late at night (3am). As I was pulling away there was an associate standing at the door and looking at me. (maybe getting my license plate?) I don't know if the police were called but I did pass a police car with his lights on headed in that general direction.

    Is there a way to find out if I am being investigated?

    What is the likelihood that they did call? I think I took about $40.00 worth of groceries.

    I looked on crimereport.com but no theft was reported (they say they update every day based on police reports)

    I really appreciate any comment. I'm sick with guilt

    I am just so deeply sorry. I am NEVER ever going to resort to this again...

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    soterriblysorry,

    It's possible the cops were called. but doubtful. If the police car you passed on the way home had its lights on, you can rest easy. Shoplifting is a low level crime and hardly calls for emergency lights.

    The worst that may have happened is that you have probably been captured on camera leaving the store. (Even supermarkets with shoddy or minimal cameras will have a camera on the exits.) They'll be looking for you to return and try it again, but that is probably the extent of it.

    Someday when you can, find out the store manager's name and send the store a money order in the amount you've stolen. Include a note about happened. It doesn't make it "not a crime", but it may make you feel better.

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    Help me I messed up. 2 years ago

    I stole from a harris teeter today. I got stopped in the parking lot loading the thing into my car. The manager was running after me. As I was loading them in he came up and said can I see your sales slip. I said sir I stole this stuff and I will pay for it. I unloaded the car and asked him if he wanted me to come in. He said no and just don't come back. There was another employ there that I think took my license plate number down. Am I in trouble. Please help.

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    Help me I messed up. 2 years ago

    Please give any info as I am freaking out. I know it was wrong to steal and to be honest I have no idea why I even did it.

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    Help me I messed up 2 years ago

    Can you help me rockinjoe??

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

    Hi, Help me I messed up,

    It sounds to me like this is your lucky day. If they wanted to prosecute you, they would have done so at the time of the incident. I don't know what you took, or the value, but you were very fortunate the store manager did not prosecute.

    The other employee was with the manager, either as a witness to your theft, backup in case of an altercation, or both. Don't worry about your license plate.

    As far as the manager telling you to "not come back", do what he says. In many states, once someone in authority, (such as the store manager) tells you not to return (and you do), you can be charged with trespassing and be arrested.

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    Help me I messed up 2 years ago

    Thank you so much. It was dumb a few cases of water, Landry soap, and a few other little things. So you think I will be ok? This is never going to happen ever ever again.

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    Help me I messed up. 2 years ago

    Max it was worth 80$ or so.

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

    You're fine. No one is going to seek a prosecution after letting you go. It doesn't work like that. The store didn't lose any merchandise, it was for a low amount of money and you were completely honest with the manager.

    I know you're a bit shaken up now, but take a deep breath, relax and be grateful. Good luck!

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    Help me I messed up 2 years ago

    Thank you so much!!! Again very very stupid thing I did it will never ever happen again.

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    Paranoid and regretful 2 years ago

    Hi Joe, I love reading your articles and I was wondering, 4 months ago, I was with a friend and we stole a bar of chocolate, probably around 3 dollars. We left and there weren't any staff on the floor or around us so I don't think anyone noticed. A month later (so 3 months ago), I went to the same store, and I hadn't eaten all day so I was hungry and without thinking, I just took some candy, again only around 3 dollars and left without any trouble (no one stopped me or people watching as far as I can tell). The first time with my friend, I only got a rush probably because I felt better about it with a friend, but the second time, I just left horrible afterwards and lost my appetite. Now I'm scared that they reported me. It's been 3 months and I haven't had the police knocking on my door, but should I expect them to come looking for me? Am I safe? I swear I'll never do it again, I learned from my guilt the last time.

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    Paranoid and regretful 2 years ago

    Also, my town does daily crime reports with some crime mapping website. I didn't see any reported crime around that area on that day, so should I feel safe? Does that mean they didn't report it to the police? Do LPs sometimes just take note of a crime for next time but not do much more (or completely not notice at all).

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

    Hi Paranoid and regretful,

    Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you're enjoying my stuff.

    It's a good thing that you got that scary feeling when you shoplifted. It will help you to resist temptation in the future.

    You're definitely ok as far as your past thefts. If you were in trouble (or had the police looking for you) you'd know about it by now.

    I don't know how old you are, or what store you shoplifted from, but (like most shoplifters) if you were to continue, you would get caught eventually. If you're a teenager, you'd probably get away with getting your parents called and having them pay a civil demand fee. (If your parents were not available to come and get you, sometimes the police will come out and take you to the station until you can be picked up. (It's not fun. Trust me!)

    If it were me and you were in my store, I might let you get away with it a few times. Why? I might be busy watching someone else, or on a conference call, or up to my neck in paperwork and not want to waste the time bringing you back to the office for a $3 candy bar. But, if you came back more than that, I'd have to put a stop to it.

    I've had people that I've stopped as kids approach me when they're all grown up and tell me that getting busted for shoplifting is the scariest thing that ever happened to them. It's so not worth it.

    Good luck to you

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    Paranoid and regretful 2 years ago

    Hi Joe, thank you so much for replying! I definitely feel better and I can tell it's not worth ever stealing again. I am a teenager, although I had turned 18 after the first incident and before the second (recent high school graduate, but I don't think people can tell) and it was a CVS store (I hear the one in my area has lex security, but that doesn't justify what I did). Still, thank you for your reply and I definitely won't be continuing ever again.

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    Kathy 2 years ago

    I have asked you a question a week ago involving my situation at kohls. I got a message from a police officer, what should I expect to happen, I have not yet called him back

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Kathy,

    I'm sorry I missed your message. If a complaint was filed by the store (which appears to be the case) my advice is to consult with a lawyer immediately before you get back to the police. Unfortunately, once the complaint goes to the police, my advice is useless. I'm neither a cop or an attorney. I know this is what you didn't want to hear, but it really is the best advice,

    Let me know how you make out. Good luck!

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    Joseph Addams 2 years ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Paranoid and regretful,

    You're welcome! :)

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    Kathy 2 years ago

    I spoke to the officer & he asked me if I could come into the station & tell him my side of the story, I asked him if I needed a lawyer & he laughed & said no ur fine. I'm just not sure what to expect

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    Anon 2 years ago

    I am a person who wears wigs for personal reasons, and today I walked into PartyCity just to hang around until it was time for dinner. While I was there, I was debating whether I wanted to try out one of the wigs, but since they don't allow for products to be brought into bathrooms and the changing stall was not protected from being opened up by any random person, I decided against it and made to leave the store.

    However, AS I was leaving, a store person asked if I was going to pay for the wig I was currently wearing. He had seen me adjusting it and thought I was trying to get out of the store with one of their wigs without paying; however this was my own personal wig that I had been wearing before I entered. Because of personal reasons, I couldn't say anything without revealing something embarassing, so I had to mime that I didn't need to pay because it was my personal wig. The guy couldn't understand me so he brought over another guy who asked the same thing, and after I nodded to the question about whether it was my wig or not, he let me go.

    Now my question is:

    1) Does PartyCity have cameras towards the parking lot?

    2): Do they check security cameras after they let someone who they MIGHT think shoplifted even if that person hasn't shoplifted at all?

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

    Hi Anon,

    Thanks for writing. I'm not familiar with Party City or their security camera set up. If you were looking for some sort of proof that you were wearing the wig on the way in, I'm sure other stores in the same plaza have cameras covering the parking lot. But that won't be necessary in your case. If you did not steal, no one can stop you on suspicion of theft, except a police officer.

    Unless someone has hard evidence that you've stolen something (they're an eye witness, they have video, etc.) THEY CANNOT STOP AND QUESTION YOU. All you have to do in that case is, keep walking. For some reason, people feel a need to explain themselves or become nervous when questioned like that. It means nothing. In fact, if you're blocked from leaving (and innocent) you can possibly press charges.

    This also goes for the big stores. Sometimes when you're on your way out of Walmart, the greeter will ask to see your receipt. It may be their job to ask, but there is no law requiring you to show it. I never do.

    The US is a free country (so far) and a corporation who attempts to infringe on your personal freedoms (even just a little bit) does not deserve your dollars or your cooperation.

    If you want to make a complaint, get a number for Party City corporate offices and talk to someone with a title. (Don't call the store.) Let them know what happened and give them a chance to make it right.

    Good luck!

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    worrying idiot 2 years ago

    hi, it was a total whim and really stupid but yesterday I wore a bra out of a gap that I had never been to before and probably won't again. I bought a pair of pants and paid with my card. I wasn't stopped, or payed any special attention to by the staff, the alarms weren't set off and so i don't think I was found out. I did it in the dressing room so I know there's no way that anyone saw me actually put it on. I regretted it as soon as I decided to do it and won't ever do it again. The total was less than twenty, do you think I should expect any action against me?

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

    Hi worrying idiot,

    The Gap (like many stores throughout the world) have let coverage of the dressing rooms (or fitting rooms) slack off over the past several years. Next to the customer service center, the dressing rooms are the #1 place for theft in any softlines store. Back in the day, there was a dedicated employee assigned to those areas who would count the articles going in and then again on the way out. This position seems to have disappeared. This was ALWAYS my #1 gripe in any department store I've worked in.

    You pretty much said it yourself. There's no way anyone saw you do it in total privacy and the Gap lost $20. There's no way they can do anything to you now, or in the future.

    Many senior LP execs read my articles on a regular basis and know how I do NOT condone shoplifting under any circumstances and know how I feel about this issue, but if they're not covering their fitting rooms, they get what they deserve.

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    Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

    Rockin Joe,

    Great read. Informative and helpful. I did not vote funny or beautiful, but I did vote up, useful, and interesting.

    Good work.

    Your profile page does NOT have a Fan Mail slot, so Iam sending you my note of thanks for following me right here. Thank you.

    Rockin Joe, (sorry for this being so slow in coming)

    I wanted to send you my Personal Note of Heartfelt Thanks for becoming one of my followers. This gesture means so much to me. I just hope in some way, I can pay you back someday, and that you will not regret following me.

    Always feel free to write me about anything you want with total-confidence. I am always up for new ideas in hub-writing, healthy criticism, and good input on how I can make my hubs better.

    I

    just want you to know that I love your work and encourage you to use your gift of writing as much as you can and you will touch a lot of lives.

    Thank you again for being in my world.

    If I can ever be of help to you, just email me and I will do what I can to help you as much as I can.

    Sincerely,

    Your Friend for Life,

    Kenneth

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    kayhughes22 2 years ago

    Hello,

    I have read though almost all of these questions and answers. Now I have some of my own questions I really need answered because this mom of two with one on the way made some seriously stupid choices with shoplifting. I got caught and charged with theft three but am concerned about pervious items I have taken that they didn't actually stop me for. Can they use past theft against you if they never stopped me for it? I know what I've done is wrong, I'm utterly embarrassed with myself and want to fix my wrong choices. I've even looked into counseling so I can stop this on going problem I've had for years. What do I have to look for in court with this situation?

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

    kayhughes22, Sorry for the late response. I've had lots going on lately. I can't comment about what or may not happen in court, but as far as the store surprising you with additional video of merchandise you may have taken in the past, I wouldn't worry about it. You don't need a therapist to tell you to stop shoplifting. You have no choice but to stop. Good luck.

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

    Hi concerned parent, I hope your daughter learned her lesson. I can't comment about the LP physically attempting to stop her, but if that's true, he/she should be dealt with by a superior. Sounds like your daughter got lucky. The police did not put an APB (All Points Bulletin) out on her, as I'm sure they're busier in other areas. Whenever I was in a situation like this, the officer(s) who responded, would usually say something like, "Call us if she comes back in." That's ok for the cops to say, but LP aren't cops, so we were unable to press charges on past thefts. (Even from a few days ago.)

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    confusedandworried 22 months ago

    Hello, Im really confused and stressing out, a few days ago I was at jcp and took some jewlery, $26 value. Im 18 and in Michigan by the way, Once i was out of the store and about to leave the lp stopped me and said i had to go back with them or Id go to jail. They took my info and made me sign a civil demand notice, the lp also gave me an 'issue slip' that says I have to go to court in about two weeks. The police werent called and the merchandise was recovered. What should I expect? Why did she give me a court date? Shouldnt that happen only if I dont pay the civil demand, which I probably wont recieve until after my court date. Please help, should I plea guilty? Or not guilty and get a public defender. Please please help me.

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

    Hi confusedandworried, The civil demand notice is just a way for the retailer to collect on a shoplifting incident. Officially, the civil demand is a way for retailers to recoup their shoplifting losses. In reality, the money is usually a 50/50 split between the retailer and the lawyer's office whose name is on it. Most defense attorneys would advise against paying it. It has nothing to do with the law as far as shoplifting.

    I haven't had to deal with a "issue slip" in years. If you have a court date, before a judge, I would contact an attorney just to get his/her opinion on your case. Provided this is your first offense, the judge will take it easy on you. At a total of $26, it's not the end of the world. Trust me. Good luck.

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    confusedandworried 22 months ago

    Hi rockinjoe, thank you for your answer. I understand the civil demand, I've been looking online and almost every site talks about it. The only thing is I haven't read any case similar to mine when it comes down to an 'issue slip'. Could you please explain to me exactly what it is? Is it an arraingment for me? Since the police weren't called Im confused as to why the lpo gave it to me. She told me the merchandise was undamaged and salable and she would put it back for someone else to buy. Yet she gave me the issue slip, so is she choosing to prosecute? I spoke to an attorney just to get some insight and he suggested I plea not guilty and hire a lawyer. My thing is, they are expensive, and many places say that I will not be granted a public defender because jail time probably isn't going to happen. I would like to do a diversion program but how can I be allowed that? Would I need an attorney? Or can I plea no contest and ask for the diversion program. Also, many sites say that you should plead guilty and then ask for a diversion program, but wouldn't that be setting myself up to be convicted? Sorry for all these questions, you're the only one that has answered anything for me so far besides the attorney I spoke too and even then, he wasn't very helpful.

    Thank you again,

    Confusedandworried

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 22 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    hi confused and worried, They had issue slips (or a summons) when I first started in LP, but I never had to deal with them. A couple of years later, the city I was working in at the time, changed their rules, so I never had to use them. Usually, the person issuing the slip is authorized by the PD or city to do so, by becoming a constable. If it specifies a court date, you have to be there, or they will most-likely issue a bench warrant for you.

    I wish I could help you more, but I cannot dispense legal advice. That would be like asking me to fix your toilet. I wouldn't be able to do that either. Check out Avvo.com and you can ask a lawyer a question and still remain anonymous. Let me know how you make out.

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

    Hi, I MadeABadMistake, Most of the big chains are using a database to keep track of shoplifters and dishonest employees. Shoplifters are kept track of whether or not they are prosecuted. The database documents store incidents, such as sexual harassment, accidents and workplace violence. The stores say they're used to keep track of restitution payments, shoplifting statistics and to weed out the good from the bad when hiring for retail jobs. Some in the business believe this information has the potential to be sold to other companies for profit. Be assured, if you stole from a big box store, you're in the database. Good luck!

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    blondiegirl 21 months ago

    I stole a pair of eyelashes from a hair supply store and the lp stopped me and pulled me to the side, the police were called and they handcuffed me took my finger prints and took my picture. The eyelashes were worth $35 dollars. I am 18 years old and my record is clean, I was being dumb and wasn't thinking. I am so scared and learned my lesson, will this affect in my the future? If I apply for jobs do I have a criminal record? I have a court date a month from now. I am scared the judge will send me to juvi or something. I just want to forget and move on from it. Will it go away and be sealed or stay with me forever?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi blondiegirl, You can relax a little. You're not going to juvie. You committed a misdemeanor and have no previous record. If you have a lawyer, (which I highly suggest) you might even be able to get it pleaded down to a lesser crime. Either way, you'll probably come out with a small fine (or if the judge is in a good mood) , a filing where if you have no police action for 6 months or so, the charges disappear.

    It shouldn't affect you in the future, as far as employment is concerned. Employers are more concerned with felony arrests.

    Good luck!

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    IMadeABadMistake 21 months ago

    So does that mean I could never get a retail job? I have a friend with a shoplifting conviction ($245 from Target...she was an employee and she stole video games) who now works at Sears but her conviction was from like 8 years ago.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Just guessing, because the shoplifter database was not in my area of experience, but I highly doubt any retail store would check every name on every application through the database. It wouldn't be feasible. I would guess that it's used sparingly, as when hiring a manager, for example.

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    Foolishme 21 months ago

    Hello good sir! My question is that, is what I did consider shoplifting? There was no concealment involved. I didn't put anything in my purse or jacket or pockets. Here's the scenario:

    I go to a store and bring a basket that you carry around in your arm and put the stuff that I wanna purchase. But I also get stuff to put in my basket that I'm "returning." So when I go to the register I tell them that im returning a couple of stuff just for an exchange. They therefore asked for the receipt. I tell them I don't have it anymore. So it looks like im still "paying" for what I took through the credit of the "returned" items. Hoping for your knowledge. Thank you in advance.

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Foolishme, I wouldn't call what you did shoplifting, but I would call it suspicious, as most customers make their returns upon entering the store.

    Had you attempted to return merchandise you placed inside a basket while shopping for other items, however, you could be arrested for refund fraud. Different from shoplifting, but definitely in the same family.

    That being said, there is also no set rule requiring a merchant to accept your return without a receipt. Liberal return policies from just a couple of years ago are changing after rampant refund fraud and the sinking economy.

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    curious 21 months ago

    My son is a mentally disabled adult/child. He's book smart, however, his common sense and paying attention are not his best traits. He was in a huge retail chain and his girlfriend got caught lifting with items in her purse. He had no idea. Their story is that he didn't know what she was doing. After leaving the POS area, the alarms beeped and they were brought back inside. He had nothing on him. She had stuff in her purse ($68 with of product). They called the police on her (not him). The story I have is that the LP said they don't charge those with nothing on them. The police said they were taking them both in to get their story straight. They were not read their Miranda rights when arrested. I had to pay a $500 cash bond to get him out. (Note: Since paperwork is being transferred to different county, I do not have access to the police report yet!) Let's day their stories are true (they are consistent), I have a difficult time understanding his arrest but completely understand hers. Can you enlighten me here with respects as to the LP'S comment and he still being arrested? Just confusing to me as I've never been in this situation myself! It's also my understanding, this isn't her first time either. I spoke with both of them with her parents and my wife and explained that this isn't love. Love is holding each other to a higher standard. Please elaborate based on your experience. Why was my son arrested? Would it be productive to go and talk with the manager and/or LP based on the info I've provided you? Thanks in advance for your assistance and posting information!

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi curious, Just a few years ago, (at a couple of the larger chains I've worked in), it was pretty customary, for LP to apprehend additional suspects (your son , for example) when one person had the merchandise on his/her person and the other did not. The person with the merchandise would be charged with the full amount and the additional person would be charged with a $0 amount. That would usually mean that the person without the merchandise had an active role in the shoplifting, such as being a lookout, or had handled the merchandise during the theft. Obviously, I can't comment on what happened with your son, as I wasn't there. I would be more concerned why the police arrested your son. Even though the store may want to charge a suspect, the arresting officer has the final say. You should be able to get a copy of the police report for $10 or so from the police station. (It's a public record) This should shine a little light on the cause of his arrest. I'm sure you've gotten him an attorney. If not, that's your next step.

    I would save your breath as far as speaking with anyone at the store at this point. They won't comment and in most cases, they won't even speak with you. Let an attorney handle this.

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    Foolish 21 months ago

    Rockin Joe, I have read every. Single. Post. You're a kind man! I recently was caught shoplifting at kohls. As I've read, it was a by-the-book apprehension. Not until this incident did I realize the full extent of what I've (been doing). I favored another big box chain. Unattended dressing room= easy to me (but that's how kohls got me). I never got followed or given extra customer service. No one at my car etc. But when kohls LP grabbed my arm, I urinated on myself. It woke me up! I was foolish, wreckless and flat out STUPID. ALL FOR CLOTHES!! I have such great remorse and heartache from my actions that I've become physically ill. It all replays in my mind constantly. I have a fantastic family and blessed life. 30 something year old wife, mother, great friends, good job, every other month I cook for our city's local family shelter etc Im kind and generous and apparently the most SELFISH person I know. I will never ever in my lifetime do anything illegal again! It sounds crazy and weird but I'm kinda thankful I was caught. After doing tons of reading and research Ive realized I could've gotten in bigger trouble. What if the "other chain" caught me and added up all the incidents ? What if I decided to start while my kids were with me?? Ugh my heart!! It's been 7 weeks so almost 2 months since my last "offense" at the "other store". Concealed a $20 under garment under my purse. Probably on camera. Terrified that I'll get another charge. I Freak out every time I get a weird phone call or check the mail. I've had real life panic attacks. I get sick to my stomach when I need to go to a store. I don't take a purse and I literally walk with my hand out and up. I'm still awaiting my court date (3 months time frame long wait ) praying and hoping for the best outcome for first offense w/ lawyer. Please please please to the people who've done this once STOP STOP STOP now!!!! Save your self from fear , anxiety, stress, panic, guilt and shame ! It's a horrible existence! God be with you

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Foolish! Wow! That's quite the testimonial. I really appreciate your sharing it here. You're a good person, too. Everything is going to work out for you. The judge will take it easy on you first time. You may even be able to expunge your record after a year or so. Don't be so rough on yourself. Just move on and appreciate that family of yours. You're on the right path. Good luck!

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Self-InflictedTorment, Great topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

    As far as turning over filmed evidence to the police, that practice has been in place as long as cameras have been in operation. For example, if I were having a particularly difficult time catching a shoplifter who had been hitting me repeatedly for high priced merchandise, I may call the cops and ask them to come down and take a look and see if they know the suspect. Also, the police have been known to ask for footage if they are investigating, a credit card fraud, for example. So the sharing of information between retail and the police has been going on forever.

    Cameras, (as we know) are extremely instrumental in other areas besides shoplifting. Holdups, break-ins, employee theft, vendor fraud, and (especially in the world we live in, now), shootings and terrorism. The new breed of high tech security cameras are truly amazing. Unfortunately, most chains remain in the 1990's, with low tech, inexpensive solutions. LP budgets are abysmal and many trained LP rely on old school techniques, such as simply 'walking the floor',looking for shoplifters.

    As far as the RiteAid issue. I would agree that a $50 item on a shelf at Rite-Aid would be all alone for the reason you stated. I used to do that with several high ticket items in my stores. For example, I would put out a single $279 electric shavor and if I noticed it missing, I would check in the computer to see if it were sold. If it weren't, I'd determine I had a problem and would aim a camera at it. I would never place a high ticket item on a shelf without a camera available to watch it. Most LP subscribe to this practice-unless they're unbelieveably stupid. Now you say you turned away from the camera, so whoever may be watching couldn't see you conceal it. Have you considered other cameras in the store that pan, tilt and zoom across the entire distance of the store? For example, I had 3 cameras in the front of the last Kmart store I worked in, (Service Desk, Front Entrances and Cash Registers) I could flip around and zoom into the very back aisles of the store. Most shoplifters are concerned with the cameras they can see. It's the cameras they don't see that get them busted. Be careful. Stealing $50 will definitely earn you a ride to the police station. Thanks for the comment though and good luck!

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    Torment 21 months ago

    Greatly appercaite the response! Just briefly, with your experience, how many times have turned over footage to the police in situations as described in your third part ^

    Also, if they don't have footage of the item being concealed, do LP's or managers usually get police involved?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 21 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Torment, Probably a handful of times, if that. I would only call the police if I were losing large amounts of merchandise at once. Chances are other stores in the area were, as well and the police would usually already be on the case.

    As far as your second question, If I didn't have footage of an item being stolen, that was my fault. I wouldn't call the police for a single item. Of course, If I were running (or owned) a small store and a single item cmae up missing, I might. I worked LP for big chains. Hope that helped.

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    sigh- 12 months ago

    So i have a story for you and im not sure if you'll answer but i would much appreciate if you did.

    Recently i had been on a school trip (im in highschool, aged 17 living in the state of colorado) and for lunch we stopped by at the mall, me and a couple of friends of mine decided that it would be a good idea to go looking around. well, we ventured into the hot topic store on our little trip around the store and started observing merchandise, me and my friend picked something up but i had dropped the item when i had seen an employee coming in our direction and soon after we were detained because a merchandise package was found near us. security was called down and we placed out everything we had in our pockets to show our innocence so we could be let go but they kept us there, none of us had the merchandise on us and it was later found and we were released without signing anything, however we had told them that we were on a school trip and thus they contacted the school later on and now our principle knows what happend? i cant be arrested if i was let go? can i? please i really need help ive been so stressed about this ive been sick and having really bad anxiety attacks i just dont want this to affect mine or my friends futures please help! btw no police were called and we didnt give up names or any other information they just had us leave after the merchandise was found. please help im just scared about what might happen.

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    Imanidiot 11 months ago

    So I am an idiot and I shoplift makeup every once in awhile and I was caught today stealing 8 dollar nailpolish. There was a cop present but I wasn't arrested, they took my license and my picture but I didn't sign anything. However I had just shoplifted a few things from Walmart right before, do these big chain stores communicate? Like would Walmart go back and look over their surveillance? I've never stolen anything more than $20. Also I'm expecting to get the $150 fine, if I don't pay it right away (within 30 days or so) do these press civil charges immediately? Also if I'm caught on camera shoplifting from other stores but was never apprehended is it possible for them to send me additional civil fines?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 11 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    HI sigh, Sorry for my absence. You've obviously discovered the joys pf being stopped by LP. I am a bit disturbed at HT stopping you with no evidence and (apparently) inside the store, but groups of teens attract security people like moths to a light bulb.

    I'm sure you'll know by now, that nothing happened when you were let go LP. I'd also tell you that "I hope you've learned from the experience", but I'm certain you already know. Good luck!

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    KaitJ 10 months ago

    So I recently went to a store to make a sketchy return of products. I purchased them fair and square, BUT I did not have the packaging on the items meaning no barcode - the beauty products could be returned if opened and used. However, I think packaging of some kind is necessary.

    Anyway I foolishly decided to take identical items from the shelf to use the new packaging for my used items and place the new items back on the shelf (if that makes sense). So to do this packaging switcheroo, I went to the fitting room and started opening and repackaging the items...I got nervous when I started hearing people outside the fitting room, so I decided to place all the items in my shopping bag (paid for and new) and go to the restroom. When I left the to go to restroom, I noticed a man standing outside the fitting room. I went to the restroom and finished my packaging business in the stall. One employee went into the stall after me and found some evidence I had left behind (wrapping and such). Then I left the restroom, and the same guy was hanging around outside the restroom. I sat on a bench in the store - waiting for him to leave since I had the items in my shopping bag (unpaid for and paid for). (I went in with the items in the bag so I left out with the items in the bag so I wouldn't look suspicious). I was going to wait until I got to the counter to make my return/exchange and place the other items back sneakily. However, I was sitting on the bench for about 10 minutes and the guy wouldn't walk away. He was pretending to look at merchandise on the shelves.

    Finally, he came over and told me he wanted to ask about items I had in my bag. I told him I was going to make an exchange and he called me a liar. Then I stood up and he grabbed me and twisted my arm very roughly. I pulled away and walked back to the restroom, assuming he wouldn't follow me in; but he did.

    He stood there while I hid in the stall and tried calling my friend who was in in the area. He said he called the police, so I said I would wait for them to show up. I couldn't get a hold of my friend, so I decided to come out because I was so embarrassed - this man was in there accusing me of stealing and women were coming in and out of the restroom. I came out and he snapped a pic of me on his phone. Then I told him to let me explain myself. He came over aggressively and demanded I give him my shopping bag; so I did. I didn't have receipts, so it looked suspicious...all I had was the gift card the stuff was purchased with.

    He looked in my purse, which had only my belongings in it. I showed him how some of the items were used in the shopping bag and weren't from his store - another location though. He told me to leave and he would only give me the stuff back if I had receipts. I was so shaken up. I just left. It was embarrassing being yelled at and man-handeled.

    I left and no police were anywhere I could see. He said I was GOING TO JAIL.

    Why I am scared:

    1. They have my photo.

    2. I had no receipts.

    3. I "concealed" merchandise and took it into the restroom and it wasn't paid for.

    4. Strangely, on my way home...I took a detour and went another route. About 5 mins from my home, there were about 10 police officers stopping and checking cars. I didn't notice them stop anyone in front of me. One officer stopped ME and asked for my license. Said it was a "safety" check. He told me to turn on my hazards. Then walked behind the car and checked my license plate??? Or was seeing if my hazards were on. He then let me drive away. A few cars up, I noticed one car stopped by a cop with their hazards on.

    My FEAR about this is that that LP guy sent my photo to local police and they were looking for me - only stopping people matching my description??? They saw my license for about 40 seconds and my plate, could they have recorded it and I'll have a warrant out for my arrest soon?

    It seems extreme to search for a suspected "shoplifter", but I live in a city where cops have NOTHING better to do. The merchandise in all was around $200

    So I am freaking out. Not only did I get manhandled today. I gave up products I rightfully purchased and can't get money back for them or the items back PERIOD without proof-receipts. Plus I can't afford an attorney or a fine right now. So I am scared to go back there and explain myself.

    What do you think? Worst case scenario...

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 10 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi kaitj, You had quite a day. If I were the LP you dealt with, I wouldn't believe the story, either. But since it's really "out there" and you took the time to write it, I'll just say, I've seen crazier things happen,so you're probably telling the truth.

    Returning merchandise without the original packaging is common. Whether or not the store will accept your return, is another issue. Obtaining original packaging from the shelves to repackage your items, (which is not illegal), is not a good idea-as you've already learned.

    The two issues I have , is you being manhandled by the store employee and your apparently not being stopped outside of the store.

    That being said, the only thing you're guilty of, is concealing merchandise and although that's usually enough to have the police question you, it's not enough to be picked up for shoplifting merchandise.

    The LP guy taking your photo is a scare tactic. He also may be saving it to show to other employees in case you decide to return. Being prosecuted the next time you walk into the store? It's not going to happen. Being followed around should you return to the store. Guaranteed to happen.

    I am willing to bet my next check the police stopping cars had nothing to do with your event. In a world where Amber Alerts and threats of terrorism are common, the cops aren't going to stop individuals because they may or may not be a shoplifter. Even in a town where the "cops have nothing better to do."

    So, to answer your question? Worst case scenario? I'm guessing you lost your original purchase and learned a lesson on how to return merchandise. Other than that, I wouldn't worry about it.

    Good luck/

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 10 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    To the person claiming to be LP, working in a store with a "hands on policy" for shoplifters, please comment with the name of the company, in which you're employed and I will publish your comment. You don't have to give your name of course, but if you're going to distribute LP advice in my hub, you're going to have to come clean and let me know where you work. Thanks!

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    Pepper 10 months ago

    Can a store retrieve personal information from debit or credit cards? If so, can they put two and two together from video evidence of a shoplifter who makes cover up purchases with a card and proceed to prosecute? Or does the shoplifter have to actually be stopped?

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    Joseph Addams 9 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Sorry for not answering your questions, everyone. I haven't been getting my notifications for some reason.

    Hi Pepper-They can, but they're not supposed to. You're supposed to be stopped by LP personel. However, they can call the police and say they have a problem in their store, but probably won't unless you've been cleaning them out. Good luck!

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    kingna 8 months ago

    hi so i was at kohls... tried to switch price tag to make it lower... when i got at the counter along with my other stuff i was gonna buy, the woman scanned it and the real price appeared so i end up not buying it... she called another employee to make sure that the price was right, anyways, i still did not buy it... would they review the video and get me arrested?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 8 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi kinga, Thanks for writing. You're ok. I know of no big box retailers who prosecute on ticket switching. The usual procedure is, if Loss Prevention sees a ticket switch, they will call the front end manager or cashier and have the item price checked. When it comes to ticket switching, it's so low on the priority level, it's almost non-existent.

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    kingna 8 months ago

    thanks you are awesome

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 8 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    You're welcome. Good luck.

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    kingna 8 months ago

    do you still work as an LP?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 8 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    I consult here and there, but I currently run an entertainment company.

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    kingna 8 months ago

    wow can I apply? hahaha

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 8 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    LP is actually a really great job, or at least it used to be. More regulations than ever, now. But if you can follow instruction, learn the rules and stay focused, it can be lots of fun. Go apply. Be warned: Sometimes it's so boring, you'll be crawling the walls, but that can change in a split second. It's not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.

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    Dumb Mistake 8 months ago

    Hi Rockinjoe,

    I did something really stupid today and I don't know why, but I pocketed a bottle of $9 nail polish. I had a few other items that I took up to the register to pay for and as I was going toward the front I heard a guy talking to one of the employees saying something like "man these toothbrushes are so expensive I bet people steal them all the time". I was a little confused but I paid no mind. It just seemed weird that anyone would talk about stealing in a store, it seems like a faux pas. I pay for my items and get in my car and I see the guy talking about stealing toothbrushes in the car right next to me, like he left the store just as I was leaving. I drove away and he didn't follow me after I made a turn at an intersection, but he definitely could have taken down my license plate number because he was driving right behind me for a little while. Do you think that guy was an LP trying to "burn" me or just a weird man? Can I be charged with a civil law suit even if he didn't confront me as I left the store? I'm freaking out and this has really scared me straight. I promise I will never do this again!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 8 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Dumb Mistake,

    Could have been a burn, Not sure. If it were me, I would have mentioned nail polish. The guys sounds like an amateur,

    On the bright side, no one is tracking down your plate info and sending you a civil. Doing that covert stuff is expensive and time consuming. No one is going to any trouble for a $9 bottle of nail polish.

    Just know, if it was a burn, the guy knows who you are and will watch you next time you go in the store. He can't do anything to you. Unless you steal again. Good luck!

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    Dumb Mistake 8 months ago

    Thanks for the response! I honestly had no idea that there were undercover LPAs in stores. Just out of curiosity, do most major chains have people like this patrolling the isles? And how can I become one of these people? It honestly sounds like a great job and a way to repent for my misdoings. You have a great hub by the way!

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 8 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Dumb Mistake, Yes. Most chain stores have LP either walking the floor, or inside an office with (sometimes) pretty awesome surveillance equipment. Overall, I had a blast and received an excellent education. If you're sharp, focused, detailed and confident enough to go outside after potentially dangerous shoplifters, this could be your thing. Be prepared for a lot of nights weekends and holidays. You can also check out LPJobs.com and search your area. Good luck!

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    Lala 7 months ago

    Hi so 2 days ago i foind some shoes at a clothing store at the mall they were no ones no one was around so i took them and walked out but when my cousin came to the car she told me that they asked to see the cameras and that the employee from that clothing store said yes they can , my question is can they come arrest me to my house or will i ever get arested for taking something i found , i was to scared and ashamed to go back so i kept them , my nerves have been so worried all day since 2 days ago thinking i will get arrested any day please help

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 7 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Lala, I'm not quite sure I understand exactly what you took. You say you took a pair of shoes at a clothing store. Did you put them on and wear them out? Did you conceal them, or did you just carry them out.

    The reason I ask, is, yes, you did commit a crime. Depending on the dollar amount of that crime (I don't know if the shoes were $20 or $500), the store could possibly call the police and make a complaint. Is it unlikely that will happen, but if the shoes were expensive enough and the store had your contact info, it's definitely a possibility.

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    Lala 7 months ago

    I didnt steal them from a store it was someones purchase that they left behind and i found it, they where in a bag on the ground, but then they came back to look for them but i didnt noe i was in the car my cousin told me that the customer asked to see the cameras , from there store even though those shoes were purchased at another store (shoe store)not that one , that was hollister clothing store

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 7 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Lala,

    If you took someone's purchase they left behind in another store, it's still a theft. I've helped customers find lost items with the use of the store's cameras, (usually cell phones, keys and wallets), but it's pretty common for LP to assist in those situations.

    If the camera shows you walking out the door with someone's merchandise, it's no longer the store's issue. This person probably (and hopefully) called the police. I know I would have.

    Good luck.

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    WorstDayEver 7 months ago

    Today around 1:30 I went to stop and shop as I have done many times in the past. Today happened to be different because I had to shop for three people. I usually use a scan it for myself. I grabbed some

    Shopping bags and placed my scanned items in bags which i tied off. The other items I interned on paying for i placed in open bags by like items. At the scan it check out the scan it machine bounced back and did not work which I waited for an employee to assist me with. When she came she said she had to scan several items so it would work. Before I could tell her that there were multiple transactions she started scanning the unscanned items (which were to use during another transaction) obviously these items didn't show up so as I tried to pick out my items that would all items were now out of bags and all over the place. I then said okay let's take everything out and rescan at a self checkout belt. As I was doing this she watched me non-stop and also asked other employees to come over. At this point my five year old daughter is now anxious and running all over the place. I am scanning each item individually and trying to separate orders as best as I can (which I ended up giving up on since whenever I put an item on the silver tray next to the register she would put it back in my cart as if I was not going to purchase it). After splitting it into two transactions she comes over and says I did not scan one of the fall decorations. I said yes I did but she rescanned anyways. I found my receipt and showed her I had paid for those items. She said you had two and I said no mam I only have one. She scanned my bags then took the double scanned items off my transaction.

    I know that having the multiple bags filled with items scanned and unscanned must have looked suspicious but this is how I have always shopped at this store. I will no longer be doing that or doing more than transaction at once.

    I waited in the customer service line to ask to speak to a manager but after being in a confused/upset state I left but promptly called the manager when I returned home. Packets of meat and fruits had been ripped open by the force she was using to open the bags. I wish she had called a manager over and I should have asked for one myself this point but I was taken aback.

    No manager was called. I was not taken back to any LP room. I paid for my items and left with all cashiers and everyone watching etc. I am mortified.

    I knew my OCD shopping and bagging would get me into this one day and I will never do this again. My five year old daughter was helping me bag items and she was mortified as well. What would come of this?

  • rockinjoe profile image
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    Joseph Addams 7 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Worst Day Ever,

    This sounds to me like a case of non-working scanners, untrained employees and poor customer service. Add a frustrated shopper and it turns into a big mess.

    I would do one of two things:

    1. Call the manager of the store, tell him/her the way you were treated and see what they say. They may compensate you in some way for the embarrassment that was caused. You're the customer. You're the one who pays the salaries. Never forget that.

    2. If you get no satisfaction from the manager, contact the corporate offices.

    Stop & Shop Corporate Office

    1385 Hancock St

    Quincy, MA 02169

    Phone: 800-767-7772

    Good luck!

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    Zues 7 months ago

    Im 15 and was caught stealing about 40 dollars worth of alcohol from target (Ive stolen alcohol about 3 times prior to this). As i was walking out a lady stopped me and told me she knows there is a bottle in my bag and that if dont hand it over she will call the police. I handed her the bottle and she asked what school I go to. She said that my school will be informed and I am not allowed back to the store. I was not taken into any office, didnt sign anything and the police were not called

    1. Would it be safe for me to go back if i didnt sign anything stating a lifelong ban or that i am not allowed back in? If they do notice or remember me what will happen?

    2. Because the police were not called can this in any way hurt me in the future?

  • rockinjoe profile image
    Author

    Joseph Addams 7 months ago from Standing right behind you!

    Hi Zues,

    That lady, (I'm assuming a store manager, because LP would have detained you and called the police), gave you quite a break.

    Asking you for school informationis a scare tactic, unless you had shoplifted during school hours and she had intentions of notifying your principal or school resource police officer.

    I can answer your questions in one answer.

    You've been verbally warned not to trespass at Target. Should you walk in and you're recognized, they can just call the police and have you picked up.

    You wouldn't be able to sign anything at your age. You're a juvenile and you have zero rights.

    The only way this can hurt you in the future is if you choose to either trespass at Target, or shoplift from them again.Had the police been called, you may have had a possession of alcohol by a minor, charge, in addition to shoplifting.

    You've been handed a "Get out of jail, FREE!" card. My advice is, use it.

    Good luck!

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