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Barry Boches & Associates

Where Do People Shoplift From?


People shoplift from everywhere; big places like Wal-Mart, big department stores like Macy’s, hardware stores, grocery stores; people even take cigarettes from gas stations, either a pack at a time or they might grab a couple of cartons, distract the attendant and rush out the door. If the store did not have a camera system, then they would have no way to remember what the person looked like. May of the common places that get hit quite often, which is why big stores like Sears, Wal-Mart and Target always have security people and cameras.

What Is Theft By Deception?

People sometimes also commit theft by deception, in which two people did it together; perhaps one person is the cashier and her friend piles $300 worth of items on the conveyer belt, but the final total is just $54 because the cashier was under-ringing those items; in those cases both people will be charged with a felony at that point. For either one to be held accountable, they only have to aid in the planning or commission of the offense. They are both participating in the crime because they aren’t paying the full retail value and doing so on purpose.

Can It Be A Case Of Accidental Shoplifting?

Everything depends on the person’s intent and whether they knowingly or intentionally tried to deprive someone of their product, so accidental shoplifting is not done on purpose, although they can’t watch their children stuff their pockets full and then walk out and claim to security that they didn’t know. They won’t charge a 4-year old with stick of candy in his pocket, but if the mother is in on the whole thing, it will depend on what mother and the child later said; if the child said their mother told them to do it and that it would be fine, then in that case both parties would be guilty.

There is no accidental shoplifting, although there can be an accidental situation in which the person went past the last point of paying and meant to put an item back but forgot to, and that becomes a question for the trier of fact, who has to decide what really happened and whether it was an accident or someone trying to pull a scam.

What Are Other Ways Retail Theft Is Done?

Another way people commit retail thefts quite often is by returning items to a store, even if they had not purchased them there. Some people will sometimes go into the store, take something without paying for it and turn around and take it to the return aisle and ask for store credit. The person gets credit for something they never purchased and depriving the owner of U.S. currency, which is theft by deception.

Is Necessity Ever An Excuse For Shoplifting?

It generally doesn’t matter what the necessity was because it’s not be legally justifiable; people can’t just take food from a grocery store because they were hungry. They might have a necessity for something, but it doesn’t give them the legal right to steal someone else’s food.

I can’t imagine what necessity to offend might be. They could have a necessity defense where someone without a driver’s license found someone on the street who needed to go to the hospital or they would to die so they take someone’s car for that. That would be a necessity defense, although I do not think anyone could have a necessity defense in a shoplifting type of scenario.

For more information on Theft By Shoplifting, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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