Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hello. I am the Black Shadow. I am an undercover Loss Prevention professional. I have caught hundreds upon hundreds of shoplifters and dishonest employees. I am still in the profession, however, there are many companies out there that want to screw you over. I've seen people go to jail for years on a shoplifting beef and much of the time, that's not the fair way to go.

Please tell me your story. I will give you the best advice possible to deal with your situation. If you don't want to post your story on this blog, that's understandable. Feel free to email me at In the same respect, please realize that I've left you the option to post your story and be anonymous.

Black Shadow

P.S. If you post an 'Anonymous' message, please look for a key word in my reply that was originally in your message...this is how you'll know I'm replying directly to you. Either that or send me an email directly at Thanks.

The only place in the world where Truth is my bitch.


  1. Hi, I was caught shoplifting at Macy's in Georgia. The shirt i stole was on sale, but it's retail price was 32 dollars. I'm a minor and i don't care the amount of money i have to pay, i just don't want it on my record. Do you think this is possible?

    It's my first offense.

  2. Julie...
    Were you arrested? If you were arrested and the police were called, you have options. You can ask for an ACD or Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. This means that you are released and put on a six month probation period (with out the Probation Officer) and as long as you stay out of trouble for that six months, the charge will go away.

    If you were not arrested, meaning that all you did was get caught, do some paperwork in the Security Office and you were released, then there is no criminal charge. You will have a fine from Macy's though. You need to make sure you get that piece of mail before your parents do and find a way to pay the fine. Some states have a maximum fine that a retailer can charge you. Some retailers in some states are allowed to fine you up to 5 times the amount of the merchandise you too. I would figure your fine should be anywhere between $150 and $250.

    Let me know if there's anything else.


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  4. I was also caught shoplifting. I got away but the person who was with me gave my information and they summoned me to court. they then arrested me and charged me with felony shoplifting. this is my second time being caught the first time was three years ago so i wondering what should i do and say when i go to court. I also left all the merchandise at the store when i fled.

  5. are screwed man.

  6. i was caught shoplifting at Dillards in Springfield. the police officer took down the information off my driver's license and took my address at school and questioned me about my scholarships. i am 20 years old. i paid for the merchandise up front, and signed a paper saying i would never enter dillards again. i am a little worried since this is my first offense. will my parents get called? will my school get called? will i get fined for anything? will this be on my record? i'm so scared right now. please respond asap. thanks.

  7. Quote Original

    I was also caught shoplifting. I got away but the person who was with me gave my information and they summoned me to court. they then arrested me and charged me with felony shoplifting. this is my second time being caught the first time was three years ago so i wondering what should i do and say when i go to court. I also left all the merchandise at the store when i fled.

    My Advice

    Okay…here’s what’s in your favor. You got away. If they didn’t catch you, you could be anybody and when it comes time for court, there’s going to be an obvious gap between the time the store’s Loss Prevention Investigators tried to catch you and the time they see you in court. They are going to need to prove that was you in the store. You could argue that your friend gave them your information because you had an argument with her and she gave up your information because she was pissed at you.

    This may be your second time, but were you arrested the first time?

    Thirdly, are you sure it was “Felony Shoplifting” you were charged with? Do you live in Louisiana? That’s one of the few states I know of that charges felonies for stolen merchandise valued over $100. Most crimes of shoplifting, the charge is a misdemeanor, until it reaches $1000. Please double check your charge sheet and make sure that it’s the right charge.

    Lastly, get yourself a lawyer and don’t talk to the police without your lawyer present. This is important. Cops know how to say things that will make you want to talk. Believe me…I use the same techniques when I’m interrogating people!! The cops are allowed to lie to you to get information out of you. There is legal premise for it and it doesn’t violate your Constitutional rights…unless you’re a minor…then you really need to make sure you have a lawyer or a juvenile advocate there with you.

    If you’re current in school, bring school records, grade/ report cards, evidence of community service, letters of good character from teachers, doctors and people that are well-known in the community. Do your best to pay a fine and have the charges dropped or “Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal”…also known as an ‘ACD’. Work on this and update the blog to let us know how you’re doing.

  8. Quote Original:
    "i was caught shoplifting at Dillards in Springfield. the police officer took down the information off my driver's license and took my address at school and questioned me about my scholarships. i am 20 years old. i paid for the merchandise up front, and signed a paper saying i would never enter dillards again. i am a little worried since this is my first offense. will my parents get called? will my school get called? will i get fined for anything? will this be on my record? i'm so scared right now. please respond asap. thanks."

    You paid for the merchandise in the front of the store? That’s odd. 99.9% of the time, they simply send you a civil restitution (which is basically a fine) and either let you go or contact the police. In this case, you said they contacted the police. If the police officer took down your name and information from your Driver’s License, then you should be receiving a court order to report to court. Sometimes the police officer will give you the court date before you leave the retailer’s office.

    The paper you signed to stay out of Dillard’s… take that very seriously. If you’re in the mall and stop in Dillard’s to go to the bathroom, they can have you arrested for trespassing.

    Something I’ve seen in the past that you might want to try is writing a letter to the store manager of Dillard’s. Explain what you did and apologize in the letter. Request that you be allowed to re-enter the store and shop. Dillard’s (we have them here in Phoenix) is a high end retailer and they love the business they get. If the store manager appreciates good paying customers, then your letter might get you back in there.

    Your parents won’t be called. You’re a legal adult and calling your parents isn’t the business of the police. 2 ½ years ago…they would have called your parents.

    The school will not get called either. You haven’t been convicted of a crime…so technically, you are innocent…RIGHT NOW. Do realize that if this goes on your record, you could have trouble with graduation or possibly even staying with the college you’re at. Most colleges run yearly background checks to see if everyone’s staying out of trouble.

    Everybody makes mistakes and this was yours. Hopefully, it stays the worst mistake you’ll ever make.


  9. Hi i got caught shoplifting at jcpenny. I dont know why i did it i had money in my account. I stole $248 in clothes. I told them the complete truth when they caught me and i felt like a complete idiot. I am really nervous about my court date i have a 4 year old and a 3 month old. I have never done this before and never even would have considered it but i have not been on my bipolar medication cause i just had a baby and sometimes i do irrational things when im not on them, who it matter if i told the judge that? Please any advice or what my punishment will most likely be will be helpful. Thank you

  10. To $248 at JC Penny:

    You have some things working for you. You need to print out your bank statement and credit card statements so that you can show you had the money available. You need to tell the judge that you entered the store with the intention of purchasing all the merchandise. If you walked in there with no money available, then you would be in more trouble. It would mean that you entered the store with the intention of stealing the merchandise. Always carry some money with you!!

    You have kids and this is just petty shoplifting…not homicide. Nobody’s going to take your kids away. It takes a lot to do something like that. You do need to think about your children the next time you want to shoplift. The next time, you might not get off easily. You could spend time in jail.

    In addition…you have medication on your side. You simply say that you went off your meds and you were unable to think clearly. At that point, you’ll need to come to an agreement with the judge where you promise to take your meds. If this happens again, you won’t be able to use that excuse twice.

  11. I left you a comment about my accomplice that snitched on me. The first time i was arrested for 28.00 and they let me did pre-trial prevention. That was 3 years ago. At the time of the incident I had a stroller and when they stopped me i kept going and left all the merchandise at the store. Like i said before the girl gave them my info and since she was a minor they let her go. They didnt have me on tape putting any merchandise onto the stroller and since it was two of us for all they know it couldve been the other girl who did. yea im sure its a felony because i researched it myself plus i live in GA and if the merchandise is over 300.00 its a felony I had 341.00, supposedly. The other girl was a minor and she was scared thats why she told but she still screwed me over. Do you think i can beat this?

  12. To: My friend snitched on me...

    Did you read the last thing I posted to you? If you scroll up and look for the heading "My Advice"'ll see where I gave your advice to your specific situation.

    I have to ask you...when you left the merchandise at the store, did you leave it inside the store or outside the store?

    How do you know what the retailer's Loss Prevention has on video? Did you lawyer tell you that?

    If you actually exited the doors and went onto the sidewalk with the merchandise, they are going to have to prove it was you. They can do this by one, two or both ways.

    1. The Loss Prevention Investigator writes a sworn statement to the police stating they witnessed you remove the merchandise from the store without paying for it.

    2. Video that shows you removed the merchandise without paying for it.

    3. A combination of #1 and #2.

    So, now I refer back to my previous question...did you exit the store with the merchandise, or did you leave it inside the store and then walk out?

  13. I left the merchandise on the outside of the store but like i said before they summoned me to court for a warrant hearing. When I went to the warrant hearing they played back the tapes i wasnt on any of the cameras and when i took the merchandise i was in a dressing room so of coarse they dont have any proof of that either. So any the judge found probable cause that i may have taken merchandise so he issused the warrant but he told me to go ahead and get a lawyer because it still had to be proved in order to convict me.

  14. I was caught stealing from a small grocery store. As I was checking out with other items an employee asked me where the other items were. I pulled out the items and paid for them. She verbally harassed me and made me empty all my shopping bags and look through the receipts from other grocery stores that i had shopped at and started to put items from other stores onto the counter even though i had receipts for them. She then grabbed my arm and held me when i tried to leave after paying for the food and she blocked my way until another employee took photos of me on a phone. I told her I did not want my photo taken. She told me not to come back and I agreed. My friend who knew the story was in the store and noticed a photo of me behind the counter. I really dont want my picture up there. Is there any way I can ask them to remove it?I was not arrested and the police were not involved.

  15. To: Employee took photos of me on a phone...

    You have a rather unique case here. You were stopped by non-Loss Prevention employees and treated in a way that was invasive and in many ways illegal. The employees of that store stopped you, and technically arrested you. You are arrested when, for a legal reason, your forward movement is prevented.

    It was a wrongful arrest because you didn't leave the store with any unpaid merchandise. Technically, you didn't steal anything. They are supposed to wait until you exit the store.

    Was this a big name grocery store?

    Here's what you need to do...write everything down. You need to write a statement with all the details you can think of. Do that as soon as you read my response.

    Then you need to contact the store's District Manager. If you can find the store's District Loss Prevention Manager...that would be even better. You need to explain your story and give the names of the employees that "handled" you in a very embarassing way.

    They have no right to hold you and take camera pictures of you. You have a very good case for a lawyer and a civil lawsuit as well.

    If you want to give me the name of the store, and the city and state where the store is located, I can find the person you need to speak with. If you want to provide me with that information, you can email it to me at

    Lastly, you can go back into that store and shop. What are they going to do if you go in there? Legally, they can't do anything to you. You need to make sure you don't hide any merchandise and don't cause any trouble. If someone bothers you about being in the store, just ignore them.

    To all who read this blog, these types of situations give Loss Prevention Investigators...honest investigators...a very bad image. I never would have stopped this woman until she left the store, and I definitely would not have taken her photo with a cell phone camera and posted it where other customers and employees can see.

  16. RE: To: My friend snitched on me...

    Did you get yourself a lawyer?

    If the judge found probable cause for a warrant, then I would recommend a lawyer. Your lawyer will know what to do. Ideally, I would not take this to trial. I highly recommend that you deal this one out. If a judge has enough evidence to issue a warrant, then you have something to worry about. They might not have you on video, but a jury might decide the puzzle fits together differently, and convict you.

  17. I am 18 and was recently caught shoplifting merchandise under $10 at a grocery store. I was taken to the back room. They took down my information from my driver's license and made me pay a civil penalty. They informed me that I was banned from that grocery forever. I left crying and ashamed.

    What exactly am I charged with? Can I get a job in the health field?

  18. You stole something under the dollar amount they require to call the police involvement means good things for you. You need to make sure you pay your fine and stay out of trouble.

    In order to be "charged" with something, you would need police involvement. This is going to stay in the grocery store Loss Prevention Office and it will not become public. You can still get a job in anything you want. However, if you get the type of job where a polygraph examination is performed and you are asked, "Have you ever stolen anything?" and you answer will get caught and probably won't get the job. Honesty is the best policy in a situation like that.

    You can keep your secret to yourself, unless you are given a polygraph. On a job application, where it asks if you've ever been charged or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, you can still say no.

    Obviously you're nervous and you can now see that whatever it was you took...just wasn't worth the hassle. Whatever your fine is...that's what you paid for the merchandise you took. It will likely be the most expensive food you've ever bought...and you don't even get to keep the food.

    Best of luck to you!!
    (and have a great Thanksgiving!)


  19. Thank you Black for helping me. You're right, it wasn't worth the hassle. I am sincerely sorry for my actions and learned a huge lesson. I promise you, it will NEVER happen again.

    I have a few questions in regards to your response: what exactly is a polygraph examination? The grocery security is the one that took my information. Isn't that police involvement? am I charged for my crime?

    Thanks again and I wish you a happy Thankgiving!

  20. Hi Again,
    There are some jobs in the country that require a high level of honesty such as military, police officer, corrections officer, or any job that deals with sensitive material. There are some jobs like that in the Healthcare field (where you said you wanted to go)...In order to get these jobs, they hook you up to a polygraph. I should have explained this earlier, but a polygraph is a "Lie Detector"...and they ask you a bunch of questions about your past that you must tell the truth about.

    For example, let's assume someone commits a murder and gets away with it. 3 years later, after the suspicion has gone away, that murderer might try to get into the police department as a police officer. One question you are asked in an interview with the police is "Have you ever committed a violent crime?" or "Have you ever knowingly killed someone?" and if you answer "No", the question will likely make this person's heart race. The "Lie Detector" measure heart rate and pulse. If the heart rate or pulse increases on that question, then the person is not being truthful about the answer. Does that make sense?

    About this grocery store...if they are the ones that took your information, then that's where it stays. There won't be any police involvement, but they will likely keep your information on a computerized database. So stick to your word...and DON'T do this again. Next time, you will likely be arrested.

    I truly hope you have learned a valuable lesson!

    Best of Luck!


  21. Hello, today was BLACK FRIDAY in NYC. it was really hectic and chaotic, so i thought i could shoplift a few things off of BestBuy. After about an hour of taking things, i was caught by an undercover worker i guess? my friend was already detained and we were both screwed. Fortunately, they made us pay for the items that we took...but they made very stupid claims. I took a headset worth $20, and the people that I was talking to, asked me "how many of these do you want", and i said 1, several times. After about saying that i wanted only 1 of these items, they looked at me like i was idiotic. They said, "NO, customers want one, you on the other hand ..." so they made me buy 2. Scared out of my balls, i say okay, but they never charged me for the item. Instead, they took out the item out of the box, and gave me the box with the charger without the earpiece. They then took my $44 and told me to leave.

    My friend on the other hand hand to walk the path of misery. The merchants at Best Buy detained him, and made him pay for a mouse he was going to take. After he was charged with it from the store, they took the receipt and the mouse out of the box, so he was left with just a box. He went to complain but he was pushed out of the store.

    So at the end, i ended up losing $44, and my friend, $55. We got nothing, and i am sure that the people took my money and split it 5 ways since they never charged my item. they only gave me back the stupid box. I know i was clearly in the wrong, but do you know if what they did was illegal? i would like to get this in writing, and get vengence on those fking bastards. Nothing was written down either..., if you could help, can you provide me with evidence, like maybe a website? or a quote from the Bill of Rights or something. o yeah, they continued to mock us...till we left, and even then, the people at the front entrance smirked and almost spat on us.

  22. Hello, today I was caught shoplifting. I live in NY and I have never done anything like this in my life. I don't even know why I did it. I had the money for it, and now I feel horrible and embarrassed. I am the type of person that if I get too much change from a cashier, I give it back. I am scared to death of what will happen. I have an anxiety disorder and suffer from depression. I take medication for it, and also have meds I take when I have an anxiety attack. The loss prevention person refused to let me call my doctor (told me I couldn't use my cell phone), and told me if I came and filled out a trespass form that I would be free to go. He refused to let me leave the back room of the store. Little did I know he had called the police. He had me arrested for taking something that was under $30. He said "I told you you would be free to go, but I didn't say how you would be leaving". I explained to him that I was in therapy for anxiety and sometimes OCD behavior. I am not a bad person, and I feel horrendous. Can you please give me some advice? The only "bad" thing I have ever gotten was a speeding ticket. I cooperated with the police and did everything I was supposed to do. I can't afford a lawyer.

  23. To: JUSTHELPME...

    Black Friday is a very heavy day. Most of the time, I don’t watch out for shoplifters. It’s more likely that a child would be kidnapped on that day. However, it seems that Best Buy has a different policy.

    I am very bothered by your situation. Not only was what they did to you unethical, but it was also illegal. Let me make sure I have the situation correct, first. Did they take your money in the office, or did they take you up to a register and make you pay for things up there? If they took your money in the Loss Prevention Office, then you have a serious problem. It’s likely the staff is taking money from you. In that case, you need to get in contact with the District Loss Prevention Manager. Don’t go back to the store. Call the store and ask for the name and number of the “District Loss Prevention Manager.”

    What they did to you was highly invasive, unethical, and illegal. I suggest you contact the person I talked about and get something done about it immediately.

    And stop stealing!

  24. To: "I live in NY..."

    Your situation is going to be difficult for you. I understand that you are not a bad person, but you did a bad thing.

    The Loss Prevention Agent that stopped you is allowed to say what he said in order to get you back to the office. I don't personally feel it's necessary to lie to people, so I don't use tactics like that. Because I use words and not my fists...I've had 3 fights in 7 years and I've worked in some of the most shoplifted stores in NY City, Phoenix, and L.A.

    You need to explain to the judge that you think you have a medical problem that you're willing to get help for. You stated you have OCD...maybe your OCD is Kleptomania. In that case, you can get counseling (click on the Shoplifters Anonymous link at the top right side of the page) and medication to help you calm down.

    I will never excuse OCD as a reason why people steal because "free will" is the majority of the decision when it comes to theft. You weren't forced into it, so now you'll have to deal with the consequences.

    Let the judge know that you're willing to get help and do as much community service as possible to keep this off your record. Enroll yourself in school if you're not already and make sure you bring that up on your court date.

    Were your fingerprints taken? Are you a minor? Were you asked to sign anything?


  25. Thank you very much. They did not charge me through the machine, and they did not give me a receipt but i have the item. My friend on the other hand went through the register. I do not know what you want me to do though. I wanted to get proof that they were wrong, in like writing or something. I was planning to get vengence by hurting the guy that messed with me, they were trash talking into my ear and everything. They also gave me nothing in return for my yeah.

    Just give me some proof or something, and i will appeal to BESTBUY. The thing is, i put myself at risk because i am a highschool senior, i am about to graduate in 2009 and i do not want to risk my chances of getting into college. I would love it if this could stay hidden until im already in college, you know what im trying to say?

    I also want vengence for my friend. The workers practically sold him an empty box for $ yeah.

  26. i would also like to add the fact how we could fight this....if we were actually caught stealing. what they did to us...degrade us human erase the fact that we were stealing...?i would like to know. how would we come off looking as thieves compared to the other people?

  27. To: Justhelpme

    Here's the bottom line. You were the victim of a robbery. You don't need to worry about the shoplifting part. You NEED to get down to Best Buy and make a formal complaint. I can promise you that if you wait...even another week, there might not be video of them stopping you.

    You're not going to go to jail. They already had that chance. Besides, they have now committed a crime by taking your money. If anything, you can have those guys fired and maybe even sue them. If you personally go after them, then you might get charged with assault or worse. I have two college is Criminal Justice and the other is Forensic Science...don't mess with the science. You will not win. There will be evidence that you assaulted them.

    On the other hand, if you wait any longer, there may be no evidence of your case left. You need video. Once the police and the District LP Manager have the video, you can see other employees that were witnesses and the police or store management can get their statements. Then you'll have your case locked in. But if you wait until after you've gone to college, no one is going to care. If you truly want to see them pay, you need to get on this like yesterday.

    I'm trying to find the name of some District Loss Prevention Managers for their advice, but I need you to give me the information on the Best Buy store you were in and it's location. I can help you out a lot better once I have that information.

    You can post the information about the store on this site.


  28. My case is an old one, but I just want to see if it could've been handled differently.

    On Columbus Day of 2006, my friends and I were in Target in Westbury, NY. One of my friends and I separated from the rest of the group, and took 2 items (computer software, $100 for one and $90 for the other). We placed the boxes on the shopping cart, then placed a dry-erase board over that. We took turns tearing open the boxes while walking up and down the isles, then took out the CD's and put them both in my pocket. Then we shoved the empty boxes on random shelves throughout the store.

    We rejoined the rest of our group after we did the deed, and our friend paid for the "legitimate" items, but I still had both CD's in my pocket. On our way out, just before the detectors, we were stopped by three plain-clothed individuals, identified themselves as part of Target's Loss Prevention. He said to us "we just want to have a word with you two." The two of us were brought to a back room, and the guy said "alright, let's make this quick. Empty your pockets." So I did. Long story short, we were in that back room for about 2 hours, while they scoured the store for the torn boxes, then wrote down our info from our ID's, then took Polaroids of the both of us, and the merchandise (the open CD's and boxes). I'm uncertain if they were going to force us to remain in that room, but I didn't even want to try since the guy still had our ID's.
    Two police officers arrived, we were searched and cuffed. We were taken to the police station, where we were booked, had our mugshots taken, and were fingerprinted. We had to pay $400 bail and had to show up in Nassau County District Court (in Hemptstead, NY). The both of us were 19yrs old at that point in time, and we were both granted an ACD (our first offense), we also had our charges bumped down from Petit Larceny (a misdemeanor) to Disorderly Conduct (a violation). Our sentence was 21hrs of community service, a $195 Nassau County fine, $300 restitution, and $1150 for the lawyer.

    I have mentioned this story to a few people in the past, and I was told that if we both fled the store, we would've gotten away with it, since the LP personnel are not allowed to give chase. Is this true? Were there any other procedural technicalities that would've saved us this headache?

  29. it was Black Friday, so November 28th, 2008 around 10 AM - 11 AM. i was at the Best Buy near Queens Center Mall in Queens, New York.

    theres the link to the store. Honestly, i do not understand how my shoplifting doesnt tie back into this. They caught me shoplifting and made me pay THEM, not the store, $40. so yeah, and they trashtalked like crazy into my yeah...i dont understand how i would not get into trouble for something like this. if you could, could you expand some more?

  30. They should still have all of that on video. They will probably be seen watching you in the store, you will be seen leaving the store, they will be seen going after you, they will be seen escorting you back into the store, and finally, they will be seen kicking you out of the store.

    Why would your shoplifting tie back in? Is someone who commits a murder immediately judged and executed? Of course, not. They have rights…and so do you. You have the right to be arrested, charged, go to trial and be found guilty or not guilty. These people judged you and punished you all in the same day. They took your money. They robbed you. I can promise you this is illegal and unethical. I am going to contact the store in question and find the name of the person you have to contact.

    They already had the opportunity to get you into trouble and they screwed that up when they broke the law. I'm sure you have seen cases where cops beat up suspects and the case gets thrown out...right? This is the same concept...accept they are not cops. They are civilians and they have less rights than cops do.

  31. To: "Columbus Day of 2006"

    I am not going to tell you how to get away with shoplifting. This blog is for people that are mistreated during the process or for those who do not understand the process.

    Target has its policies and although I know what they are, I am not going to divulge them on this site. That would be an invitation to shoplift at Target and I am not interested in opening them up for numerous grand larcenies by people reading this blog.

    You were caught and given an ACD. Consider yourself lucky. Also consider the fact that had you run from me, I would have carefully followed you to a location and called the police, or I would have taken down your license plate information and you would've had cops showing up at your front door...embarrassing you in front of your friends and family.

    Target Loss Prevention is very sophisticated and has abilities of detection and apprehension that are far greater than most other companies are. You also have to realize that if you have a company that has a "No Chase" rule, you always have your hard-core LP team that will bend the rules to get the job done.

    On a personal note, I never would have let $190 walk out my front door without a chase!


  32. uhm. they didnt detain me outside of the store, they took me into the backroom while i was in the store.

    heres how it went down

    i was shoplifting an earpiece.

    an undressed worker saw me take it.

    he detained me, and grabbed me by my jacket.

    he held onto me, talking into my ear (trash talking) as we were walking to the backroom.

    in the backroom, they started to ask me idiotic questions.

    after me replying with my own answers, they refused to take my answer, and made me answer it their way...

    they took my item, and gave me the BOX only.

    they took my $40 without charging me with it. so they just took my $40 and told me never to show my face there again.

    as i was walking out, an idiotic worker smirked and trashtalked as i headed out.

    all done, i come home and post this up, trying to find answers/

  33. I know that Best Buy is covered with cameras and they will have everything that went down on camera. Best Buy is THE technology store. I know they have good surveillance equipment.

    When I get the name and number you need to contact, it's in your best interest to contact him right away. You need to make sure they find and save the video from the incident.

    In addtion, don't let those guys know you called on them. The district manager is going to handle this behind closed doors without anyone knowing.

    I'll write again tomorrow.


  34. I shoplifted at a store in a SM City (Cebu City, Philippines) and I got almost busted. I used to purchase t-shirts on that store until last week, I was tempted to shoplift for the first time in 3 and a half years. Yes, I've shoplifted before and realized it was bad so I stopped it and now I feel the same way just like the day I decided to stop it.

    I have shoplifted Surplus Shop last week for 3 times and never get caught. This morning I went there again. I was observing the people around me if there were any chances that I could shoplift again and I saw a guy. I know he works for the store because I see him watching people picking out items in the store and he also has a uniform... then he suddenly vanished.

    The store has these glass walls and around those walls, there are clothings that are hung up, so people passing by outside the store could see what they are selling inside.

    I said in the first sentence of my first paragraph that I got almost BUSTED. Here's what happened... I already had 2 cargo shorts in my shoulder bag. When I was going to the 3rd one, I saw an EYE outside the glass looking at me while I was trying to get the short inside my bag, but I didn't went for it. I only saw an eye because there were clothings covering him. I was pretending that I didn't see him, so he could still have the confidence to sneak at me. I was thinking that he saw me shoplifting the 2 shorts I already have in my bag before I saw him sneaking at me.

    Since most of the spaces beside the glass walls have hung up clothings, I took the advantage of returning back the 2 shorts so I went to the side where there were less people around and still have the clothings to cover me while I return the 2 shorts. I quickly pulled off the 2 shorts and mix it with the others. I was really shaking when I returned the 2 shorts and I was afraid I might get busted by him. I walked along the side of the glass wall where he could already see me and still he's following me from the outside. I had my mobile phone inside my shoulder bag and get it so I could have a reason to close the zipper of my bag.

    I walked out the store with no shoplifted items with me and I didn't look back, so he would still think that I didn't see him. I was still walking in the mall and I was being vigilant if someone's following me and when I see no one, I finally went out the mall and grabbed a cab, dropped a few blocks away from the mall, took a walk for a while and grab a cab again on my home.

    Black Shadow, if I show up to the store again, will they arrest me? I bet he already reported what he saw me did. I'm really not shoplifting again anymore I swear to God. It was the last of it. I'm a graduating information technology college student and I still want to work as a programmer someday and I don't want a record of me as a shoplifter. It would really freak out my parents if they will know about it.

    Please tell me what to do. Can I still show up in that store and purchase items? Can I still visit the mall where that store was located? I really don't know what to do. I was planning not to show up in that store in a year or two, so he or his co-employees could have time to forget about it.

    Sorry for my English.

  35. I returned the 2 shorts, so if he did check on me, he wouldn't have anything to prove that I shoplifted. If I didn't return the 2 shorts, does he have the right to check my bag? like... "Excuse me sir, can I check on your bag if you don't mind because I think you took something unpaid?". If I say, "No, I'm in a hurry.", what would he probably do?

  36. To: Cebu City, Philippines

    I am not aware of the laws in the Phillipines, so my perspective comes from U.S. laws and regulations.

    Because you removed the merchandise from your shoulder bag, they can not stop you. At the point you left the store, you did not have any merchandise on you, therefore, you did not commit any crimes.

    You can continue to enter the store, but you should expect that you will be followed. Just don't do anything stupid. You're there to purchase merchandise. Don't conceal anything in your bag ever again. If you feel like you have to steal it, then you don't really need it.

    Also, don't forget that you're in college. An arrest on your record will not look good. You will have trouble getting jobs that require a special clearance and that could hurt your career. And it's not a criminal record that will hurt your career. It's the fact that the crime you committed makes it so that others cannot trust you.

    Best of luck to you.

    Write again if you need more details.


  37. To: Justhelpme

    I have the information you need. The District Loss Prevention Manager you need to contact is a guy named Joseph Fracacci or Procacci. I heard the name, but it wasn't very clear. I'm not sure if that's the right spelling either. His phone number is 973-449-1332. It's a cell phone number. Call him and make your case. You may have to go in there and write a statement, but do what you need to do to get these guys fired.

    Tell him you have a lawyer too. That will make him sweat and he'll be all over this case like a cheap suit.

    Let me know how the conversation goes.


  38. If feel really terrible about what I did and I feel like not going to the mall anymore to have some shopping. If I enter other store in the mall, will they still be following me? I mean it's a huge mall. It's the 11th largest shopping mall in the world as of 2008 and if they will still follow me, they'll be wasting their time 'cause I'm not shoplifting anymore and it would make me feel like I'm a criminal.

    Here's the link of the mall:

  39. Caught at Macy's...
    I was caught just before leaving Macy's in Ohio with $450 worth of clothes in my bag. I was escorted by loss prevention personnel to the back room. My three year old daughter was with me. They asked for my I.D. but I didn't have one.
    I'm the wife of a foreign student and I'm legally considered his dependent. I don't carry my passport on me. Although I'm not allowed to work in this country, I did have money in my credit card to pay for the merchandise but chose not to because my husband can't afford to spend this much on clothes. I don't have a social security number. They didn't call the police but they took my picture and my name and address, and let me go with a civil demand letter asking me to pay fine of $350 in about two weeks, after they send a letter of instructions. A week after the incident, I received a letter from the country court summoning me to court. I was too embarrassed to disclose the incident to my husband at first but finally decided to tell him and handed him the Macy's and court letters. My husband and I are terrified now because we can't afford to pay any fine no matter how small. We owe medical bills and we're struggling with living expenses especially with a child. My questions are:
    1- can we write a letter to Macy's loss prevention explaining our situation, apologizing and begging them to reconsider in the hope they drop the fine?
    2- Can they revert the complaint so that I don't have to go to court?
    3- If I ended up going to court, what will likely be the verdict?
    4- What are the likely costs associated with court?

    Since I can not legally work my husband will be the one who has to pay any fines and he's broke! We can not afford a lawyer and we're very worried!
    I'll appreciate your advice on this.

  40. To: Caught at Macy's...

    Your situation is not so different from many. You can write a letter to Macy's and request they remove the civil demand, but it won't likely work. Once Macy's sends the civil demand request to the civil demand company, it can't be taken back. I'm suprised they let you go with the civil demand, but never advised you they were planning to call the police anyway. They should have announced that to you.

    If you do go to court, you need to let them you are a dependent and on a student visa. Be open and honest about everything. The judge has the power to revoke your student visa, and you'll be deported back to your home country. The United States has the right to tell you not to come back, too.

    Hopefully, they will drop all the charges considering your situation and you will be left with the court fees. That will be anywhere from $100 to $1000 (but going up to $1000 is very rare). If you're worried about your finances concerning the situation, you can either get a part time job, getting paid "under the table" or utilize some of your school grant money to pay the fines.

    You need to be very careful here. You're a guest of this country and you don't want to ruin your status here, or you won't be able to attend school or work here.

    Let me know if there are more questions...


  41. To: Justhelpme

    I haven't heard from you in some time. What's going on with the Best Buy case? Did you contact the number I gave you?



  42. Hello,

    I have enjoyed this blog very much, and I was wondering if you know where I can find resources for understanding the Loss Prevention job and shoplifting itself better.

    I have been trying to find concepts for a potential screenplay, and shoplifting seems just risqué and taboo enough of a topic to deal with. However, I know very little on the subject and do not know how to research shoplifting and the people who prevent it.

    If you can suggest any books, websites, classes, and so on, I would greatly appreciate it.



  43. Hi,

    I was caught shoplifting 3 DVDs at Wal-Mart. They totaled to about $50. I was brought into the surveillance room and they took down my info. A police officer came but did not arrest me. He told me that he will be issuing a warrant for my arrest within the next week and he will call me and let me know when it is out. At that point I should go turn myself in. Then they let me go. This happened earlier today so I have yet to get a call about this warrant. This is my first offense.


  44. This incident occured at the Naval Base on 32nd Street in San Diego, California. I recently turned 18 years old, and I took about approximately $60-$70 worth of makeup merchandise.

    As I was waiting for my family to finish their purchases, we walked outside of the store, and a Loss Prevention person stopped me and asked for my military ID as well as my drivers license. They told me to follow them to the back, I followed them, and responded to any questions they had.

    We went to the back, I sat in a room, the head person of the Loss Prevention group was questioning me, "Do you know why you're in here?". And obviously, I did and I admitted my fault and actions. I was freaking out, but was not crying. I tried to keep a strong charisma because I knew what I did was wrong in the first place. I took out everything I had in my bag that was stolen. I also let them check my bag for anything else. The police came (I don't know if it was the military police or san diego police, but they were in police gear). The woman police searched me in my clothes and took down my information and social security. They took my picture, told me I was banned for a month from military bases, let me go home after doing like 45minutes worth of paperwork. This is my first AND THE LAST TIME getting caught for shoplifting and I have a court day coming up. They gave me a ticket stating "ARTICLE 18 - SECTION 641 - THEFT OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY". I'm a hard-working individual, working consistently, and currently at a university.

    Basically, I just want to have these questions answered.

    1. What do I say/bring/do in court?
    2. Are there going to be witnesses in the court that will see me? Or will it just be like a one-on-one session with the judge?
    3. Do I need a lawyer?
    4. Is this going to be on my record? And if so, how long?
    5. What will they say to me?

    Basically, I understand what I did was wrong, and I SERIOUSLY learned my lesson. Also, knowing that it hurt my parents hurt me the most too because thats the least thing I wanted them to see me get caught for shoplifting, and them to see a good child like me do this was shocking because they knew they raised me better than that.

    So, please, let me know what is going to happen to me!

  45. I'm an 18 year old living in California and was recently caught for shoplifting 45 dollars of merch at macy's. This is the first time i ever stole anything in my life. i was only detained and released by the LP in a matter of 10 minutes because i co-operated, so no police was called.

    i am wondering what amount of fine am i expected to pay?

    also, i have heard shoplifting cases by which macy's does not choose to persue. would this be one of the cases?

    thanks in advance!

  46. hey....I am planning to shoplift...dont try to stop me i just want to know if they have no proof aka camera or saw me.. or can see the item and i am out the store can they search me? and also

  47. i'm 18. and i'm caught shoplifting in nj. when i got caught by the lp's, they said if i don't lie to them, they will not call the police. and they ask me to sign a pay back of 500$. and i was sent to the police station. i've 3 summons, as 2 is for shoplifting and another is.. i scan the price tag and get store credits. they said i'm a felony. cause is more than 1000. do you think i will go to jail? btw, is my 1st offence.

  48. I've been shoplifting for the past few weeks. For a new year's party, my friends and I decided to get some alcohol to make it "more fun". I went to the grocery store, where I usually get alcohol, but while I was in the liquor department, one of the employees called over the phonething "Security to the liquor department." I got out of there, but I'm pretty sure the security people saw my face. What can they do? Can I ever go back to that store, even if it's for something else (something I legally bought?)

  49. To: Mark H.

    My best suggestion is to check out That's where stories from around the country are written as well as the latest technology in Loss Prevention.



  50. I'm 15 and i recently got caught again; $280 worth of merchandise, this time the cops came (extremely rude and cocky) but they didnt do anything; just told me to call my parents. This is the 4th time I got caught. I really have tried to stop, this time I will. I have questions concerning this though;

    1) Is it considered a conviction? If I wanted to apply for jos and they ask me something about convictions would I say yes or no?
    2) Will it be on my record? meaning colleges and job offers will be able to look at it? I heard that when you turn 18, all records are cleared for a clean slate.
    3) They told me they will send a fine of $350 but will I be able to have options to pay for it since I want to pay for it myself? and will they include the stolen merchandise stolen also?

  51. Oh yeah ,
    4) They took a picture of me and the merchandise I stole, do they send this to the government or to their other stores in different locations, or is it for them to keep?

  52. Hi I'm a 19 year old college student who was with the wrong person at the wrong time. Our incident occurred at a Macy's. At the time I didn't know what he was going on or what he was doing. He walked into the store with one bag inside of another and proceeded to fill the bags with merchandise inside of the fitting rooms. He then called me and said he left a bag accidently left it behind. So i went in and got it for him and left to meet up with later. Nothing happened when I walked through the doors, we didn't get caught.

    After that I am no longer with him, but I was wondering if I can get in trouble from this? We were never stopped leaving and no censors went off . Its been about a week and nothings happened yet, do you think I'm in the clear now?


  53. Hi,

    I was shoplifting at k-mart, and after my friends and I walked out of the bathroom, we were going to leave when we heard something about the home department (I'm not sure what, we were walking by that section is when it was announced and we were the only ones there) and then "Security to cosmetics." I kinda walked faster and dropped the eye shadow outta my sleeve as we were leaving, and it was the only thing I had on me. We made it to the door and into my car and left without being stopped, we didn't run or anything. However, I'm pretty sure the cameras saw what happened.

    What happens now?

  54. Hi

    I need your help. My friend and I were caught at JCP in nassau county, and were charged with petit larceny. My friend had $350 worth of items and Ihad $150. We both were caught by the security and they took the items...filed the complaint and then they arrested us. We wwnt to the first court date and they gave us a second date to come too. We both have taken the Stoplift class. We both have clear records. Can you please let me know what can our punishment be. Would we go to jail or pay fines. We are really confused. Should it be better if we get a lawyer. Or court date is tomorrow. Pls help us out

  55. ***I need your help...
    Im sorry but I have to add that we got a letter from JCP lawyer or something stating we have to pay $500 each so that JCP doesnt claim us o something. Should we pay that fine. It has to be paid within 20 days of the time we received it

  56. To: JCP in Nassau County, NY...

    You are not going to jail. This is your first offense. You will need to pay that fine and the fines the court assigns you. You could end up with $2000 to $3000 in fines. NY is a very anal state when it comes to petty crimes. Now with the economy the way it is, your fines will be strongly enforced.

    Your fine letter (restitution) says it has to be paid within 20 days, however, not too many people can come up with $500 in three weeks. Call the company issuing the restitution notice and make a payment arrangement with them. 9 times out of 10, they will go for it.

    JCP has one of the best Loss Prevention programs in the country. When you're in one of their stores, you really need to be careful. I have managed a JCP Loss Prevention Team. They're tough. The company's tough and they will do what ever is necessary to make the arrest (within legal limits).

    Best of luck!!


  57. To: Feeling Bad... (Kmart)

    They didn't catch you stealing. They thought you were stealing and made the announcement to scare you. Apparently, it worked. I know Kmart very well. If they had everything they needed to make an arrest, then they would have stopped you.

    You can return to the store, but if the Loss Prevention folks recognize you, then you should expect to be followed...either on the floor or on camera. Just stay out of trouble. If you feel like you have to steal it, then you don't really need it.


  58. To: Wrong place at the wrong time...

    You were in the clear as soon as you walked out the front doors and nobody stopped you. Some say that "it's only illegal if you get caught." I don't agree with that notion, but you didn't get caught. There's nothing anyone can do now.

    You said you're no longer with this person. Was he a boyfriend or schoolmate? I highly recommend you don't continue any relationship with him. If he's stealing that much in one instance, he could be doing it professionaly. In that case, definitely stay away from him because the police are likely looking for him. That high dollar type of theft is called Organized Retail Crime. He steals a whole bunch of merchandise and then sells it for profit. It's dangerous and you can get into a lot of trouble just for being "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

    Best of luck to you!!


  59. Is it illegal for a loss prevention officer to threaten you saying " if you don't stop youll have to take on me and the guy with the box cutter..."?

  60. To: Anon...

    It is not illegal!

    At least the way you put it isn't illegal. If he or the other guy had threatened to use the box cutter on you, then it would be a different story.
    If he had said something like, "If you don't stop, you'll have to take on me and this guy who's going to use the box cutter on your neck," then you would have a big case.

    Let me know if this answered your questions.


  61. yes it helps, but stopping my forward motion is technically arresting me?

  62. On christmas eve me and my boyfriend went into k-mart and stole two candles and a stuffed frog for his mom for Christmas, on the way out the loss prevention guy stopped us. The total of the items was like 25 dollars. my boyfriend was 17 and i was 17 at the time (i turn 18 in 7 days on january 28) so since we were minors our parents had to come get us, i was a nervous wreck crying and all. He asked for our information and made us sign something. My dad wouldn't answer the phone so my mom who i dont get along with had to come get me, i ended up screaming at her in the office right in front of a cop. My boyfriends parents wouldnt answer the phone so the loss prevention man called the cops to come get him, and said he would have to go to jail. the cop didnt take him to jail but just took him home, and was really nice and cool to him. it's been almost a month and still no court papers, i havent heard anything from them. what do you think is gonna happen. btw the loss prevention man said to the cops he would press charges. i live in virgina

  63. To: Anon...

    Stopping your forward movement is technically an arrest, but arresting you is not the issue here. Wasn't the issue that you were nervous because you thought you were being threatened by someone with a box cutter?

    Clear this up for me.


  64. Hello BlackshadowMy son was caught shoplifting a 20 videogame in Sears. He gave them back the merchandise, but they have sent a letter from their lawyers for 150. Since he is 18, they feel he is an adult. As far as I know he has never stolen before, but kids don't always tell the truth. He went from being a student in gifted classes to being in a school for kids that were having difficulties finishing. He was recently tossed out of school, and teh cops picked him up for lying to Sears. He told the police officer at Sears that he was 16. He was already in jail for several hours. So, what else can they do to him. He is on two types of meds, for ADHD and Panic Disorder. No excuse for what he did. Why should I pay the fine? He is already got to see the judge at some point. So, I figure Sears can eat the 150. What will happen to him if the fine is not paid? What will his sentence probably be? I am not sure what to do. The loss prevention manager will speak with me

  65. To: $20 video game in Sears…

    Your son was caught shoplifting. Until he learns what he did was wrong, he is responsible for that fine. He committed an adult crime, and he should be responsible for the adult punishment. Sears will not eat the cost. They have your son’s Social Security Number and they will put this on his credit report. If he gets a job, they can garnish his wages until it’s paid. The best thing for you to do is call the company and make payment arrangements. They will work with you… but you have to take that step. When you see the judge, based on the medications he’s on, he can request an ACD or “Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal” which basically means that your son stays out of trouble for a period of six months to one year, and the judge can wipe your son’s record clean.

    As far as sentencing, this is his first offense and it was only $20. He’s not going to jail. Write down the information I told you about the ACD and take it with you to court. He also needs to stop lying. It’s not going to get him anywhere. The police will confirm everything he says. If he had not lied to the police, they might have just let him go.

    Good Luck!


  66. are u just not gonna reply to my thing about kmart and the stuffed frog?

  67. To: Stuffed Frog/ Candles at Kmart…

    Well, first of all… it doesn’t sound like anybody received any tickets or court dates. In my experience, you both got off lucky. I don’t think a stuffed frog and candles added up to the amount of money that Kmart needs in order to prosecute you…and no, I’m not going to tell you what that amount is. You will likely end up with fines from Kmart. I have worked for Kmart in the past and, depending on the state, they will take the amount that you stole and multiply it approximately five times, and that will be your fine. You live in Virginia, so that might be a little different. I’ve worked for Kmart in New York and Arizona. You took approximately $25 worth of merchandise, so, in either NY or AZ, your fine should be some where around $125. It could be as much as $500. If you want, go to Google and look up “Virginia Civil Restitution” and this should bring up the fine amounts for misdemeanor theft. You and your boyfriend were caught together, so each of you will receive a restitution notice. Pay this fine! When you receive your notice, you’ll get a phone number with it. Call and make payment arrangements if you can’t pay it all at once. They will work with you. If you avoid this fine, it will end up on your credit report. When you go to apply for a job (most companies pull credit reports now), the employer will see that it’s for theft, and you won’t get hired.

    If you have more questions, email me at or post on this blog.

    Good luck!


  68. I currently work for Kmart in VA and If I'm reading the frog story correctly the LP mgr will file a juvenile petetion with juvenile intake. The only time I contact police on juvie is if over 200 any other time I go to juvenile intake "quicker less head ache". The juvie system in western va is very slow sometime 3 months before papers are received. Civil Demand for kmart is 250 if they charge criminally and $500 if they do not. What city did the offense occur I may have more detailed information.

    LP UC

  69. To: LP in W. Virginia

    I was a LPC for Kmart. I should first say that each state is going to be different. We manage our shoplifters under the dollar amount rule for everyone. I've called the police on 11 year olds before. It's policy and I can't get around it. I will typically contact the parents first, but if I can't get a hold of anyone, PD are brought in. We don't have a "Juvenile Intake" like WV has. In AZ, where I have worked with Kmart, Civil Restitution was around $300. I have also worked for Kmart in NY, where they were fined 5 times the amount they stole, but not to exceed $1,000.

    On another note... to the "Stuffed Frog" thief... listen to this guy from Virginia. He seems to know what he's talking about. I have never worked in Virginia before, so you should take what he says over what I say.

    Best of luck!


  70. i am the stuffed frog theif and it happened in waynesboro va

  71. From JNM

    I just finished talking to the loss prevention head of a large retail chain (I was an employee). Coming out of the meeting, I have admitted to stealing over $1000 worth of clothes over a four month period, I wrote a letter admitting my crime, and am due to meet my manager and take back all of the stolen merchandise tomorrow at noon. The police have not to my knowledge been contacted. I plan to cooperate to the fullest extent. But I'm really worried and unsure about what is going to happen. Any ideas? I'd really appreciate it.

  72. To: LP UC

    "Stuffed Frog" said she's from Waynesboro. What do you know about the county it happened in? Can you shed some light on the laws in her area?


  73. To: JNM...

    I'm not sure what to think. Your writing style suggests you are sorry for what you did. It really depends on the retailer you were working at. Would you mind giving me the name of the company? You still remain anonymous, of course. At this point, in my experience, the police are contacted after you've written a confession. It's bad business practice to wait until they have the merchandise back and then call the police. Cooperation is the best policy in a case like this. They've obviously gathered enough evidence to have an interrogative interview with you.

    Also, what state are you in? That will also help in determining if what you did is a felony or a misdemeanor.

    Lastly, typically (99% of the time) they will only be able to legally charge you with the amount they can prove in court. My recommendation is if they do call the police... keep your mouth shut and don't say a word after that point. You are entitled to a lawyer and that's exactly what you should do.

    The way an interview works is they get you on the hook for a small amount and use that against you to admit to more until you can't anymore. It's very unlikely they have proof of $1000 in theft over four months. If, in fact, they waited that long before busting you, then you are the victim of an unethical practice. The worst part is if they watched you steal until you reached an amount that would be considered a felony. That could mean jail time if you are convicted of the crime.

    You have some questions that need to be answered. Contact the Loss Prevention manager and ask him/ her if the police will be contacted. They will be straight with you.

    Please keep me updated.

    Best of luck!


  74. I've just shoplifted but I wasn't caught. I have no idea what came over me and I feel so bad now. Thing is, I'm very very very anxious now that the loss prevention team will go thru security tapes and call the police?

    Basically, I first bought a home appliance using my credit card. Then I went upstairs to the clothing section. There, I took a few pieces off the hangers (leaving hangers on rack) as well as some pieces WITH the hangers and went to the changing room. Before I cam out, I put two tops into my bag.

    Even though I wasn't caught there and then, would it be possible for employees to go thru security tapes and see that I was the one who took clothes off the hangers on the rack and connect it to the fact that those were exactly the clothes that are missing. And then retrace my steps to the home appliance section (two floors down) to find my identity since I paid with my credit card? Am so so worried now.

    Would it be supremely stupid to try and "return" the clothing items tomorrow via a similar changing room switch (except I'll add items rather than emerge with fewer)

    - Extremely anxious

  75. To: Extremely Anxiouus...

    The rule in Loss Prevention is that you have to be caught at the time of the theft. Even if they saw you on tape and lost you at some point, they can't stop you. They need to maintain 100% surveillance of you while you're in the store. If they lose that, they won't stop you because you could (theoretically) dump the merchandise. If they stopped you after that, then you can file a lawsuit. You have to pass the last point of purchase and be heading out the door in order to be arrested.

    As far as the appliance purchase is concerned... they're not going to trace back your steps for stolen shirts. If you had purchased the shirts first with your credit card, and then tried to steal the appliance... I guarantee they would trace back your steps, get your credit card number, name, home address and file for a search/arrest warrant with the local District Attorney.

    If you want to return the clothes, that's fine too. You're not stealing anything, so they can't stop you. If you do decide to put them back, don't make it obvious. Bring them back inside a backpack, go back into the fitting room and leave them in there.

    You can also return to the store. However, if they saw you the last time and didn't stop you, you can be assured that if they see you again, they're going to watch you like a hawk. Be careful when you're in there and keep yourself out of trouble.

    Bring me more questions if you have them.

    Best of Luck!


  76. dear, blackshadow

    my friend got caught stealing understand for my other friend and he got caught and he's been with security for a couple of hours now and we don't know what's going on, he's 17.

    is he gonna go to jail?
    go to court?
    do community service?

  77. To: 17 year old caught stealing...

    He's not going to jail. He's simply going through a process to make sure they have all his information. He will likely be taken away by the police and then picked up by a parent at the police station. Security might also be waiting for the police to arrive and the police can make the decision to have a parent meet at the store or the police station. If the police are called, your friend will definitely go to court. As far as the punishment is concerned, he might get community service or the judge could simply write this one off and tell the kid to get his stuff straight and stop breaking the law.

    He is 17, so he's a juvenile. The judge will probably be lenient depending on the parental situation.

    Just tell your friend to keep his head up and realize that he committed an adult crime and he MIGHT have to pay an adult price for it.

    Best of Luck!!


  78. hi i just caught today stealing in walmart in Illinois the price i steal 50 dollar worth the police give me yellow ticket and write down my info and the walmart detective said that the walmart store are gonna send letter/bill i pay $250 for the ticket and $250 for the walmart whats gonna happen next do i go to court or just pay the $250 for wallmart im 30 years old and my first offence if they send me a court date and i cant go coz we're going on vacation for 1 month what happen to me if i cant go?

  79. hi dark what this means the police give it to me after the get my information a copy of statue...(720 ILCS 5/16A-7)
    Sec. 16A-7. Civil Liability. (a) A person who commits the offense
    of retail theft as defined in Section 16A-3 paragraphs (a), (b) or (c)
    of this Code, shall be civilly liable to the merchant of the merchandise
    in an amount consisting of:
    (i) actual damages equal to the full retail value of the
    merchandise as defined herein; plus
    (ii) an amount not less than $100 nor more than $1,000; plus
    (iii) attorney's fees and court costs.
    (b) If a minor commits the offense of retail theft, the parents or
    guardian of said minor shall be civilly liable as provided in this
    Section; provided, however that a guardian appointed pursuant to the
    Juvenile Court Act or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 shall not be liable
    under this Section. Total recovery under this Section shall not exceed
    the maximum recovery permitted under Section 5 of the "Parental
    Responsibility Law", approved October 6, 1969, as now or hereafter
    (c) A conviction or a plea of guilty to the offense of retail theft
    is not a prerequisite to the bringing of a civil suit hereunder.
    (d) Judgments arising under this Section may be assigned. pls answer ...i feel horrible

  80. i got caught at macy's today for the attempt to steal in missouri. i was with a friend and we both had $40 less worth of merchandise and were headed to use the restroom when we were confronted. a loss prevention person took us in the back room, made us return the clothes, run our lisence for background checks, sign forms saying what we attempted to steal and that we could not enter macy's for a year. I am 20 years old. He said that since we didnt try to leave the store and since we were cooperative during the process that the police would not be contacted. we both were given envelopes to send in a payment of $250 which i plan on paying immediatly. I am a hard working college student with nothing on my record, i have never even had a speeding ticket. will this be avalibale for back ground checks? will i be taken to court? once i pay will i be free of this? i am distressed about the situation and have definetly learned my lesson. i just need to know if this will come back to haunt me later on.

  81. Just a few hours ago I was almost caught shoplifting in a large independently-owned bookstore. I feel pretty bad about it and was shaken up.

    When I came into the store, I had a bag of merchandise purchased at another store. I gave it to the person behind the counter and received a ticket. Over the next half hour, I collected a few items and then headed to the coffee shop where I had a drink of coffee and sat for awhile. To my knowledge, there are no cameras in the coffee area.

    After reading for awhile (lots of people do this in that shop), I put the books in my bag as though I had already purchased them. Then I went to the bathroom, took the barcodes off the books and flushed them down the toilet.

    I walked down to the counter and exchanged my ticket for my bag from the same person. Then I walked out, and the buzzers went off. This confused me, because I had taken the barcodes off. Anyway, the person who had taken my bags before asked me to stop, but I kept walking. He followed me outside and kept calling to me. Finally, he caught up with me. He asked why I had left without coming back into the store. I told him I didn't want to. He told me they have my picture on camera and that I will not be allowed back into the store. Then he walked off. From what I see in this forum, I was very, very lucky.

    This was an impulsive shoplifting experience for me and I am feeling remorseful now. Because the employees did not actually see me put anything in my bag, and because no one actually looked through my things, can they ban me from the store? There really is no evidence that I even stole from the store. For all they know, I could have had another purchased item in my bag that set off the alarm. I have been a patron of the store for quite awhile and would like to continue shopping there on occasion. I am also worried because my boyfriend and I live somewhat near the store, and he may want to go in at some point.

    What should I do in the future? If I enter the store, will they make a scene? If they really don't have anything on me legally, would it be wise to contact the manager and see if they will let me back in? If I'm able to do this, I'll return the merchandise which is next to my front door. I don't even want to touch it!!!

    If I tried to return the merhandise and talked to the manager, can I still be charged or prosecuted?

    Thanks for any advice you may have.

  82. I just want to clarify that I had a bag with merchandise purchased from another store, and I also had another backpack on. I kept the backpack with me, and that is where I put the merchandise I stole. The other bag was dropped off at the counter and then picked up right before leaving.

  83. Hi,

    I was recently caught shoplifting $68 worth of merchandise at JCP. I cannot even believe I actually attempted it. Even now I can't think of any reason that I did. I am from RI, and it is my first time ever being arrested. I have a hearing coming up in a week, and I was wondering what to expect. I plan to pay whatever is asked of me and do whatever is asked of me. I'm just worried that the process may drag out, and I have to return to college (out of state) not long after the hearing.

    What happens if I plead "no contest" vs. "guilty"?
    How long will it take for the judge to decide my sentence?
    Is there a way I can talk to the judge (or anyone) about my sentence either before or after?
    Is there any possibility that I will have to spend time in jail?
    What happens after?

    Thank you.

  84. To: $68 at JCP...

    $68 is not a lot of money. You won't be doing any jail time. You can expect the judge to be hard on you. You committed a crime and he will make you pay for it somehow. You will likely get a fine and maybe some community service. Are you working right now? Are you going to school. If you're unemployed, make sure the judge knows that. If you're going to high school/ college, make sure the judge knows that, too.

    Pleading 'No Contest' means that you are not denying the charges, but you're also not pleading guilty to them. I don't recommend it. If you're concerned about which plea to take, get yourself a public defender. He or she can speak on your behalf and in your best interest.

    You won't likely be able to sit down and speak with a judge, but you can definitely write a letter to the judge. Write it today and mail it today. Call the courthouse and ask where a letter to the judge for your case should be sent to.

    In the end, you will probably get a fine from the courts and a fine from JCP. This could be above $1000 total... you need to make sure you contact the company that gave you the fine and make arrangements with them to get everything paid. They're not going to ask you for everything upfront, but you can make installment payments...just make sure the fine gets paid, or life will get worse for you.

    Best of luck!!


  85. Hello. I had a question about how shoplifting law works in Arizona. I stole a $9 bottle of eye drops from Walmart. I was not caught. However, there are video cameras all over the store. After I had the bottle of eyedrops concealed, I paid for two other items with a debit card. My question is: if a Walmart employee finds the empty box that the eyedrops were in then finds me on security video stealing the drops, then finds me again on the video tape of me paying for two other itmes and locates me by using the information from my debit card that i paid for two other items with, can I be charged even though I left the store uncaught? Thank you for your help.

  86. To: $9 eyedrops...

    You do not have to worry about being tracked down. It will cost too much money to spend the time trying to track you down over a bottle of eyedrops. You also have to realize that you might have been followed and they might have lost you and that's why you weren't arrested. The next time you come in, you might be recognized and someone will definitely follow you and catch you the next time.

    Also realize that if you were caught, that bottle of eyedrops would have cost you about $500...and you wouldn't have been able to keep the eyedrops. Do you want to spend that kind of money on something that you can't have? I doubt it.

    If the eyedrops are for contact lens purposes, simply ask your eye doctor for a contact lens kit and you can get one for free. I know the drops are expensive, but how much would you regret it if you got caught and realized that if you'd just paid the $9, you wouldn't be in a mess?

    Good Luck!


  87. HI I Stole lip stick and foundation worth $ 20 in Sephora in Jersey City, NJ in last week. Store Manager caught me he called mall security then took my information down , address, and took sign on some paper I dont know what paper was that. Then he let me go home. I was so scared that I called that person next day to apologies then he said nothing to worry we are not going to charge you you have to only pay fine and you will be all set. Then I called them again because sometimes it takes time for letter to come and pay fine. He said I will ask our head office and see if you can pay it by credit card on phone or if there is some other way. He was very nice to him. he said nothing to worry. I just want to ask should I trust him, if I pay the fine will it come in my reocrds.Please tell me ASAP.

  88. To: $20 in Sephora- Jersey City, NJ

    If you were going to be charged with a crime, then it would have been done by now. 99.9% of the time, they will bring the police right to the store and you will be taken away by PD. That didn't happen to you. If it does, it is a very shady thing to do and I would suggest retaining the services of a lawyer.

    Your fine. This fine is important. It's important that you pay the fine and get it over with. Whether you can pay by credit card, check, cash, or whatever...get it paid. If you don't, then they can take you to court for civil reasons and then your name, information and what you did will become public record, which is what you're trying to avoid.

    Your find can be anywhere from the cost of the merchandise you took ($20) up to a few hundred dollars. Is it worth it? $200 to $300 for lipstick and foundation...and you don't even get to keep it?

    Now, take that a step further and imagine that you were arrested. Add on a misdemeanor arrest, humiliation, and another $2500 in fines. I've worked in NJ before and judges are hard on shoplifters.

    Let me know if you have more questions.


  89. Thank you. Yes, when I will pay fine is that over? Should I expext anything else from them? Are u sure once I pay the fine it will not come in my record? I am going to pay fine immediately but please let me know which is the best pay to pay it. Thank you. I am not going to do this again. I will never do this again and I dont want anyone to know this . Please help.

  90. My friend stole $65 worth of clothes today and apparently I was guilty by association. She got a citation for retail theft. My fine was reduced to disorderly conduct. I didn't steal it. Do I plead not guilty? I can deal with not going back to the mall for a year, but I don't want to pay any fines -- one to the state and another to Sears for the items that I didn't steal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  91. RE: $20 in Sephora- Jersey City, NJ

    Once you pay your fine, you should not expect anything else from them unless you get caught doing this again. How you pay the fine is up to the company. Some may let you use your credit card. Others may tell you to wait until you receive the fine in the mail and then pay it with a money order, check, or credit card. Talk with the corporate office of Sephora.

    Nobody will ever know about this through me or the Jersey City PD. The only people that could leak this information are the Loss Prevention people that work for Sephora.

    Anything else?


  92. Hi, i live in Indiana ive never had any priors at all, ever. Yesterday I was caught stealing at JCPenneys department store. I stole shirts totalling in $110. The loss prevention employee brought me into a small room and had me sign 2 papers saying i admit i did this. and gave back the merch. A police officer came and told me i would be released into my own custudy, i was not arrested or given anything, just a copy of the paper saying i admit to doing it from the JCPenney loss prevention and that i was banned from the store for a year. he said id get a paper in the mail. Im not sure what I am being charged with, cuz the police didnt say much. but if I am I need to know if it would be wise to get a lawyer.

    also, im really not the type of person to do something like this, but i have considered filing a complaint against the loss prevention officer, while i was stuck in this little room, he was talking to the witness employee and they were talking about some guy that used to work there, and he began talking about how this past employee had walken in on a mother that had strangled her 4 kids... and was going into graphic details about that... well my daughter died in front of me in the ER in April of 04 and i suffer from PTSD, and him saying that really bothered me and i asked him to stop talking about it... could i file a complaint on him even though i was there because i shoplifted??

    also from reading your blog im just curious on something... if you steal something in a store, and leave, come back like weeks later, they cant charge you with anything?? did i read that right? i was always under the impression that if they got you on camera they could use it later...

    thank you.

  93. I got caught shoplifting for the first time yesterday at target in VA. I Knew what i did was wrong and i was completely honest with the guys, however as i walked up to the doors, before i left i was grabbed harshly by two men and then almost dragged to the back room before we entered the Security officer slammed my head against the wall and told me to shut the hll up, or he would break my wrists with the cuffs. The only thing i was saying is im sorry, i have the movies... ill pay for them. i didn't put up a fight or anything. i was then put in a back room and handcuffed to a hook in the floor so that i was lying on my back. It this point he took my wallet and id and the loss prevention guy was generally nice about it except that he insisted on knowing where i sold the items. I never sold them they were just for friends. Essentially they called the police and because its under 200 the gave me a summons and banned me from the store. He also told me he had me on tape for two other times which is true, because i was with a guy who had stolen them and he convinced me to do it for him*(idk what i was thinking)... but he didn't charge me for the others but made me sign something saying that i had stolen them. What should i do? i am a good kid and just got mixed up in the wrong crowd.. I'm 19 and i do a lot of community service, i go to college and have a good job.. it was 150 dollars in blue rays is there anyway i can get this to not be on my record? I will pay any amount of money to not have this on there, Will the judge care that i am president of a community service organization at school, and my past history with them. or that im on the deans list? I plan on getting a lawyer, but i was hoping you could help me... I am freaking out...

  94. Hi,

    I was recently detained for shoplifting at a local wal-mart. It was the first time I had ever stolen anything, and I admit, I still have no good reason for taking the items. Anyways, I had a question about several aspects of what happened:
    1. The LP guys asked me to pull out my wallet and to count how much money I had and to show them the cash. I think I had $45, and after I showed them they told me to put it away. I thought this was strange, but I just assumed it must be protocol?
    2. I was asked to sign a paper declaring that I would never return to any Wal-Mart in my home state ever again. If I am remorseful and have truly learned my lesson, is there any way to get the ban lifted?
    3. I was just curious about how long it took to receive a Civil Demand in the mail. The incident occurred about a month ago and I have yet to receive anything. The address on my license was my parents', and when he asked me if it was correct I said no, and gave him my current one. He seemed to think I was being honest, so should I worry that the letter still went to my parents?
    I would really appreciate some advice here. Thanks.

  95. Hi Mr.Blackshadow,
    I was terminated from CVS a month ago. Because one day, store manager caught me paying a drink($7.92) after it is been opened. She reported it to the district manager. Next day LP guy asked me a lot question and made me write a statement, then fired me.
    My dismissal might have more to do with retaliating against me for reporting the pharmacy manager couple of weeks before. I reported my manager for focing me work off the clock, so i might be viewed as "problem employee" they want to get rid of.
    Anyway, I have no problem that they fire me for breaking company policy, but later i realized my name is showed up at National Retail Theft Record, that means i would never be able to find job in retails.
    It is totally unfair that i will be haunted for a crime i never commit. what i can do to fix that?
    I have the store receipt for that purchase. Item never been taken out of store, and i was in the line of check out before i got caught.

    Thank you very much,

  96. There is no criminal charges against me, and no police involved. Just my name showed on National Retail Database, as a "blacklist".

  97. To: $110 in Indiana JC Penney's...

    You have dealt with a terrible ordeal. I don't even know where to start with this one. First of all...the shoplifting. Try not to get confused here... you were arrested, you just weren't hand-cuffed. If they called the cops, then you will still have to go to court and answer for the crime. That's beside the bigger issue here. I am terribly sorry to hear about your daughter. I can't imagine how that must have felt. On top of that, to be stressed out even more by a bunch of show off Loss Prevention employees that wanted nothing more than to intimidate you.

    I personally think you should file a complaint. You need to allege the LP employees didn't stop talking about the incident after you asked them to. You also need to explain, in detail, what happened to your daughter. Then file a lawsuit against the store. I doubt you would win anything, but it might be dignifying to do so.

    Please keep me in play and let me know what's going on.



  98. more info for cvs termination.
    i am living in Texas. and i realize something on my record when i was applying for another retail store pharmacy. That probably showed as "theft"on my credit record. Btw i have good credit, and no criminal background.

  99. To: shoplifting at a local wal-mart...

    The reason they counted your money is normal and the police would have done the same thing, had they been called. You walked into Wal-Mart with money on hand, but you didn't pay for your merchandise. This basically means that you might have entered the store with the intention of paying, but didn't. Now, imagine that you walked in with zero dollars in your wallet...then it would look like you entered the store with NO intention of paying, which would look worse on you in court. It's just a way to let the LP guys know what your intentions were when you walked into the store.

    As far as being banned is concerned, you were trespassed because you're a threat to the integrity of the store. You have to understand that the reason why retail prices go up in this country is in part due to stealing. When merchandise is lost, the money has to be recovered from somewhere. So...they ban you from the store to prevent you from stealing again (at least from Wal-Mart) and they fine you and put that Civil Recovery back into the bottom line of the store.

    As far as receipt of the Civil Demand notice... you should be looking for a letter from a law firm called "Bennett & Deloney". It typically takes 6 - 8 weeks to get to you. If you don't want your parents to get it and opening your mail, intercept their mail for a while.

    Any more questions...let me know!


  100. Sheryl...
    First, I need to know how you know your name is in the National Retail Theft Database. Those who are in there are not supposed to know they're in there. Please help me understand this first, and then we'll move on.



  101. hi Mr Blackshadow,

    OK,,,Honestly, i am not sure about it, just because i had trouble find another job. There is another coworker of mine, she worked at CVS for 7 years. She got fired at same time by the same people, because that night she got caught by taking out a bottle of water($1.00) which she thought i had already paid for it, but i didn't.(She didn't ask me to pay for it, and i didn't offer to do so). She've recently applied all the retail pharmacy stores around, like wal-mart, Randles, target. Their managers or HR brought her down even she didn't mention she ever worked for CVS. They told her clearly there is "theft"record they found.
    When i applied Walgreens, i honestly told the pharmacy manager what happened to me at CVS. Her sounds like it is not really a big deal, and believe what i told her that i didn't mean to steal; but later after she look up something call the CVS, told me there is nothing she can do, because i been marked as "theft" or what. I was shocked though. I am so afraid i would end up like my coworker never able to find job in retails. Because i think we were fired at same day by the same people, and we both filed complaint against manager. That is very possible that we are marked the same.
    The difference between me and my coworker is, I only worked there for four months, but she had worked there for seven years. She took item out of store for whatever reason, but i didn't. My coworker kept telling me that our name will be showed up some sort of record, so all the retails can put it out and simply refuse to hire us. so worried...

    Thanks again

  102. Dear Black Shadow,

    Let me start off by saying I don't know everything about this case because my friend just called me today and told me all of this. He has to stay in jail tonight and has court tomorrow morning. He called me to tell me because we were supposed to hang out tonight and he didn't want me to wonder where he was.

    So, my friend was just arrested for stealing from his job. He worked at Blockbuster and over the past few weeks or so, he has been taking some cash from the register. He texted me earlier this morning saying the store was being audited so he was bored because the store was dead slow and there was him AND the manager there (for the audit). I then got a call from him from a number I didn't know and when I asked where he was he told me he was arrested. I asked how and he said he left to get lunch and was pulled over and they saw the warrant for his speeding ticket he still hadn't paid (i knew about the ticket and he was planning on paying it this month before he renewed his license) he then told me it was for something else that I didn't know. He said it was from stealing from Blockbuster. He said they said he had stolen a little over 1,000$ over a period of time. He said he had been taking a little bit over some time to help pay for rent since Blockbuster had cut hours. He said he has to stay in jail tonight and that he will see a judge tomorrow morning. Then he said his parents will make bail and will take him home.

    Of course I'm worried that it could turn out worse for him. As far as I know he has never stolen anything before. The only other thing I know of was the speeding ticket he had not yet paid off. We live in Texas... Dallas area to be more specific. I don't think he has anything on his record except that speeding ticket. He says he's going to make everything alright and that he's going to pay it all back but I'm still worried he might have to spend more time in jail or something. Please help me understand this whole thing better.

    Thanks in advance,


  103. Hello. I am 17 and live in California. I recently shoplifted at K-mart. I took 2 video games that are worth about $60 combined. They brought me to the police station and now I have to show up in court for burglary. What I'm wondering is what might happen to me, I know I will probably get fined but how much? and is there anything else they could do to me(community service etc;). I am also wondering if this will stay in my permanent record forever and affect my future terribly.

    PS. I want to be a chef.


  104. To mr.Blackshadow,
    Shop rite
    Me and my dad went to shoprite for shopping in NY.Accidentally,My dad opened a bag of cashews and put some cashews in my pants pocket with out paying it.Then my dad left the cashew packet in shop. The loss prevention officer called us and noted my dad's DRIVER'S LICENSE,address,name,DOB and my address,name,age and DOB too. Thank god... we weren't arrested. They didn't call the police.What they said was if we come to that shop and do it again they will call the police.I am freaking scared... we weren't banned from the store and my dad went back to storeone time and purchased chicken too.My question is can the Loss prevention staff may report this to the police. Will this stay on my record.They said no. Do i have to consult a lawyer. I am a college student.Will this keep me away getting from a job.Will this goes to my record?.Me and my dad has clean record.The item worth 7 dollars or 8 dollars something.What should i do.I can't sleep ,eat or focus on my happened accidentally.Can I trust that LP officer?.Does this keep me away getting jobs in shop..?they never send a letter or anything like civil demand.Can they send a letter like civil demand letter in future?They didn't tell us to pay the fines.My dad said we can pay the amount to LP officer but they said no. Can shoprite people sue us or does this goes to court. please reply sooon...

  105. I said I am 18 years old.

  106. dear Black Shadow,

    Today i've made the biggest mistake of my life. I dont know what the heck i was thinking when i stole from JCpenny, illinois. today..but, i did. I stole 2 perfume bottles from JCpenny worth $150. I was escorted back to the backroom, and was searched and later cops were brought in arrested me took me to the police station. There i was processed i payed $ 100 dollars to bail myself out. I was given a court date. I wanna know what's gonna happen next ? this is my firt time ever shoplifting anything in my life and i got caught. I am a college student and currently looking for internships. If they do a back ground check will this come up ? after going to much more fines do i have to pay ? aslo, at the store the loss prevention officer made me sign a document in which stated: if jcpenny cannot resell the product then they would have to recover the losses but, in my case since they found the boxes he i most likely dont have to pay. Please tell me what's gonna happen after i go to court. and will it stay on my record for ever ? i am 21 years old. planning on going to grad school.

  107. actually it was $116 not 150. sorry.

  108. This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. I got caught stealing a 15 dollar cd, i am 18 years old.... i have stolen tons and tons before... everything from video games to a tail-pipe for my car. Over 2000 dollars of merch. well i can say my reign came to an end today. thankfully i was getting all klepto for a minute there. anyways i walked into a grocery store today in ohio, walked around for a bit(first mistake), walked back to cd's, grabed the cd, went to the linens dept. slice the top with a bixcutter and took the cd out... very slick like. anyways long story short. im walking out, a plain cloths guy stop me. i go to the back room, sign paper and blahh....
    now! my question to you is.. its only 15 dollars, anything under 20 they cant called the cops, so the cops werent called and i have to pay a fine within 30 days.
    IF i mail this money order they have requested within the 30 days does this mean i am done with the process and can move on about my life... or will i gte mail from them and my parents find out. or worse can i get a criminal charge even though they never called the cops in the first place.

  110. I recently got caught stealing something less than $10 (which was totally not worth it, and don't know what must have been running through my head) from a rite-aid. I don't do these kind of things, but maybe because I see my friend do it all the time I would try it, I don't know, I was stupid. Moving on, I had purchased a few items and once I stepped outside the store the LP had stopped me but at the time I thought he was a police officer because he flashed a badge around his neck and put it back in his shirt. He brought me to the photo booth on the side and told me to empty my bag. when i was done he told me to leave it open and I did, where he picked it up and looked in it. He took down my drivers license and ss# and made me sign an "external loss incident report." I asked him what was going to happen and he said that I was going to receive a ticket or fine in the mail. After I left the store, I was reading everything he filled out and all the fine print on the paper. it said he was an employee of rite-aid and that I knew at the time of signing. Also, I noticed that he marked I voluntarily let him do a further search (into my bag) in which I didn't. I went back in to clear up exactly who he was and he told me he was an employee and I asked him when did i offer further searching and he told me it was when he asked if he could look in my bag, but i told him he never asked, he just did it. That's when he said that i could of said no and at that point they could have called the police. so in point, i was wondering:

    1)do LPs have badges and do they have anything to do with law enforcement?
    2)if i did not go back in, could he have followed me and could i have gotten in more trouble?
    3)did he have the right to look through my bag?
    4)could he have called the police since it was under $10?
    5)lastly, what should i be expecting in the mail, he didn't clarify it to me and will it be on my record?

  111. To The Rite Aid shoplifter:
    1. LP's have badges. They are not involved with law enforcement, but the badges are designed to let suspects know that the store has employed the person in a position of "legal" enforcement. Most stores just print up name badges that identify the person as a loss prevention associate. "Real" badges just help to give immediate response.

    2. If you did not go back in, you could have gotten into more legal trouble. He could have followed you to your vehicle, reported your license plate, and if the cops did catch you, you would be likely arrested. It's always better to be caught by LP and released with a fine than be arrested by the police, charged with a crime, and wind up having to pay those penalties as well as the store fine.

    3. He did have the right to look in your bag after you poured the contents out. If he only saw you steal the ten dollar item and asked you to return it, you could have handed that item back to him and denied him the ability to search the bag. He can only claim against you what he physically saw you take. Anything else that has his stickers or price tags on it that is suspected theft has to be verified either on camera, by witness, or by your own admission of guilt. When you emptied the bag onto the counter and left it, you expressed to him permission to search the bag. He didn't have to ask you if he could look in the bag because you followed his direction to leave the bag. That's not unconstitutional considering his line of work.

    4. He could have called the police, and the police can charge you. HOWEVER, Rite Aid would not likely have charged you with theft. The police can charge you even if the company doesn't directly charge you if the crime is serious enough. They probably would not have charged you because of the dollar amount, but you would still be responsible for the store fine.

    5. Expect the store to mail you a request for Civil Restitution. You agree to pay the fine (100 to 1000 bucks, no more than that) and they will not charge you officially nor will they submit your nonpayment to credit bureaus. Pay the fine (probably 100 bucks because of the small amount) and you will have nothing to worry about. No charges, no screwed up credit, no other problems. The store will likely recognize you and follow you if you enter again, and if you break the law while on their property, they will definitely charge you with the next crime.

    Hope that helps!

  112. To DUMB:

    Pay the fine and you are done with it. No criminal record, no jail (wouldn't have to worry about that anyways), no future problems. They will not contact your parents. At 18 you are legally an adult. At 17 and 364 days they would have called your parents, but you are no longer a minor and your parents can't be held responsible. The fine should only be 100 bucks. Anything higher is not right on their behalf. If they request more, contact the company that they use to send out the letter and ask why they want so much. The fine is usually five times the amount, but 100 bucks minimum fine.

  113. I recently got caught stealing alcohol. I'm 20 years old and live in Indiana. I have two alcohol related tickets on my record from my freshman year. These tickets are very common on my campus, and they have a class that everyone goes to and that's basically it. The officer who did my paperwork did not know about these, but he told me it is possible that this will lead to a Class D Felony. The security from the store had previously said it was a Class A Misdemeanor, or a $100-$300 fine. Here are my questions:

    1) A Class D Felony for a first offense on a bottle of alcohol? Really? Do you know what the most likely outcome will be, and how long it may stay on my record? My concern is post-college employment. For employers I know I will have to disclose Felonies, but Misdemeanors are not required.

    2) Is there anything I can do to lessen the repercussions? It is my first time offense, and the two drinking tickets may not even show up (the court claims they are expunged after one year if you don't get caught again.) I cooperated with the officers.

    3) Is there a place I can find out the exact procedure to follow that stores must follow for shoplifters? I want to see if they did anything wrong, that I may be able to get out of it, or mitigate my losses. My guess is no, but it's worth a shot.


  114. Hi. I made a huge mistake and shoplifted from Belk. I went in and looked around the store. I took 4 dresses into the dressing room, which noone else was in. I took the security tag off one of the dresses and put in it my purse. I left the other dresses in a different fitting room where a bunch more clothes were. All of the fitting rooms had several items hanging up in them. I then left the fitting room and casually looked around the store. I exited and got to my car. While I was buckling my seatbelt and about to leave, a woman in plain clothes tapped on my window. She said "The lady inside says she needs a yellow dress back?" I replied saying I didn't have a yellow dress acting confused. She asked me again if I had a yellow dress. I denied and told her I was in a hurry to get to school, and I had to leave. "She said wait, she's coming out here to talk to you." She was holding a black cordless telephone and told me "I'm going to call the cops" as I pulled away. I still drove a way, stupidly. After away from the mall, I discarded the item into the trash in fear that I would be stopped and searched. I drove an hour back to school. Today, 2 days after the incident, a police officer calls my house. He spoke to my mom and explained what happened. They had gotten my tag number and were able to reach her. My mom said she didn't know and wasn't comfortable giving him my name. He told my mom the police and store would work with me to keep it off my record and not affect my scholarships if we called him back this friday or saturday, because he is going on vacation.

    does Belk have a viable case against me?
    What are my potential consequences? I live in SC.

  115. Im not sure if you handle these kinds of questions.....

    But here is my story. I entered the store with the intent to steal an item. The item I wanted was not there. I then got the idea to steal a wakeboard off the wall. I thought no one was watching but certainly they were. I extited the store with the item. I soon realized I was being chased down by an employee. He told me to drop the items and I did and kept running. I left for about an hour later to pick up my car with the police outside the building. The store had many cameras with many oportunitys to get my mug shot. So my question is how likly is it that I will get caught?

  116. my friend and i were at walmart a couple weeks ago and got caught shoplifting by the loss prevention officers. they had been following us around the store and have irrefutable electronic and eye-witness evidence against us. everything was totaled up to be about $150. everything was for my friend, i just helped her--huge mistake. my friend was banned from the store, but i ended up not getting banned. the cops were called, took our id info, and we were both searched but not cuffed. being young and naive i assumed that we weren't under arrest because of no cuffs until the cop mentioned they weren't needed because we were cooperating. does this violate our miranda rights by not informing us of them? so can anything we ended up saying in that room for two hours be used against us? i am a juvenile in virginia and have a meeting with a juvenile intake officer this week and am asking for any suggestions for the meeting. i have good grades, already have 150+ community service hours, and other than a warning for a speeding have never been in trouble before. any idea as far as sentencing and how it will affect my life in terms of job applications and college? i don't want this indiscretion to be a weight keeping me from these things; a guilty conscious is punishment enough.

  117. I shoplifted a shirt a week ago and then went to the store in a different location today to exchange it for store credit. They scanned the barcode and had me sign the receipt. They then asked for my address and I gave it to them. They gave me a gift card and I left. I was wondering if there was a chance that they would find out that the shirt was stolen and track me down for it since they entered in my address. And if so, what do I do?

  118. Hi, I sent you an email but id really like to know by Monday. I was caught shoplifting at Kohels in ohio. I stole a bra that was from 30-40$ I went into the room filled out paper with my ssn address phone number and my work info. Im wondering a few things.
    1. Do I have to go to court?
    2. Can I get probation or get arrested since there was no police called and they just let me leave?
    3. Will they call my work?


  119. I was arrested and bailed out from the Brea mall in California. I have three charges, ended up with a felony - PCC 459, 496a, 488. I stole a 20 dollar item from one store (the store misgave the wrong price...I think to make me look worse), and a 16 dollar item from another.
    I don't know what I was thinking. I feel very shameful for what I have done. I am 21, and I go to a top tier college, I volunteer to tutor kids weekly, I work at a free clinic every weekend, and I am founding a community outreach project in Vietnam.
    My situation has just been stressful - with my father's passing and money stresses for paying for college and the reduction the money i get for work study, i just felt so deprived.

    please tell me where i stand in this. i am hoping for an expungement/dismissal, as i plan on going to med school.

  120. Yesterday I put under a hundred dollars of merchandise into my purse in the dressing room of American Apparel. There are no cameras, an employee noticed an extra hanger with no article of clothing to go along with it. I was stopped at the register and asked about where it had gone. The lady kept asking if she could peak into my purse, I said no. She then said "It would make things a lot easier." I lead her back to the dressing room and just said "Alright, you got me." and I took the shirt and pants out my bag. She took me to the back room and called the police on me, I stayed there until they came. I spent two hours in jail and then my friend bailed me out with $250. I recently turned 18. This was the first time I've ever been arrested and I left the store in cuffs with her saying "You are never ever allowed in this store again...Ever!"

    Where do I stand? I have court in ten days but I need more time, my friend said I could ask "To seek council" as a legal loop to push my court date back. Is this true?

    What do I do?

  121. I was recently caught stealing a few produce items at a whole foods in NY. It was completely stupid thing to do and it was in no way worth it.
    After I was approached, I went into a back room, and complied with each step. The LP officer took my picture and the information from my license (but did not ask for my SS #). He stated that this would not be going on my record. However, he stated that once I signed the no trespassing form, which he gave me, I could never re-enter another Whole Foods in any location. He said that if I chose to do so, if I was identified, I would be immediately arrested without warning.
    While he was taking down the information from my drivers license, he noticed that my drivers license was from was from another state. He asked me if I had an address in NY. Given that I go to school in NY, I gave him my college address. However, I stated that if he was going to mail me anything, it would be better if he sent it to a different address, as I be unable to check my school mail for a while (given that it's summer). He stated that he would not be mailing me anything.
    My question is - does that mean that I will not likely have to pay a fine? Additionally, given that this will not be recorded on my record, does that mean that future employers will be unable to discover this idiotic indiscretion?

  122. why are you not responding any m0re

  123. okay i got caught stealing at walmart like $20 worth of stuff...some mascara and some lotion and i opened up some twizlers and ate some of them I was planning on paying till i saw that crazy line!! and i only had those 3 things so i decided to walk out a man walked me to an office where he asked for my drivers license and my social securty number her took photos of my items and a head shot of me..the information on my drivers lisense was incorrect like my adress but i ddnt tell him ..that was all he did then he asked me to leave. Do i have a permanant record now?

  124. is blackshadow gone?

  125. So, i worked at a retailer and was caught stealing, i used peoples credit cards to buy gift cards and after 4 different occurrences the loss prevention professional came in to talk to me.
    I was super nervous and he saw how sweaty i was and i think he realized how over my head the whole situation was. He talked about how it was a global investigation and that he was there for that reason. It all seems so big to me and really took me by suprise, at some points i couldnt even recollect the situations he was talking about.
    He told me that it is in the best interest of the company to keep this in house to keep the integrity of both parties. We went situation by situation and we talked about the details of how it was done and how much was charged. We then filled out a paper talking about each occurrence and from beginning to end how each situation was handled and has a witness sign it with me and also him. He then ended the conversation and i was terminated the next day and nothing else has been done. Do you have any idea what could be going on or what i should do.

  126. I got caught shoplifting in Lord and Taylor 5 years ago and never appeared before the judge. So, fast forward 5 years...I now have two kids, a husband, a 3.8 GPA and I'm getting ready to sit for the NJ registered nurse's exam. This charge will seriously mess up my life. Do you have any suggestions on how I can beat this charge? I also have a prior conviction of criminal impersonation...I know I need a lawyer BTW

  127. im 18 and in the uk,long story short a couple weeks ago i saw a pir of sandals in the back office adn wore them and another colleague saw them and told our manager, a couple days later she asks for a recipt and i panick and give her a fake and things are fine as she doesn't contact the store with it. so a couple weeks later i steal a dress with the intent of wearing it for uniform and get out of the store ok but make the mistake of asking to go back onto shop floor after closing as i left my makeup bag, i get let in by the security guard with my bags and come down to the store's deputy manager who asks me which concession im from, what i went to retrieve upstairs and she looks in my bag and notices the dress and asks for a receipt which i don't have so she asks me to sign a piece of paper saying only that i'd bring it in when i was next working. when i next come into work my manager along with the area manager of my concession speak to me in the back adn run through what happened the last time i was working, so i tell them however i tell them that the dress was from another store and they ask me to bring the dress in the next time im working and im left to go back to work. the next time i come into work again the same two sit me down in the back and i show them a similar dress, they write down it's description which matches that of the stolen one and give it back to me, they then ask me to watch cctv footage of that night which corroborates with my story, they ask if i have any comment and i say no, they then tell me that the barcode for the receipt that i gave them for the sandals doesn't match the date of the receipt and if i had any comment, i say no. they then ask me to read and sign my statement which i do and then tell me that they have to suspend me with pay and that i would receive a letter in the post. i know what i did was wrong and the weight in my stomach tells me it will never happen again but i don't want to get a criminal record. what do you think the letter will say, a fine? a court hearing even though the police were never called at any time?

  128. i got caught shoplifting from walmart, about $85 worth of stuff and i know its stupid because i could have paid for it but i didnt so now of course i must face the consequences. so first off just like most of the others who have posted a comment here, i have been banned from walmart. they filled out all this paperwork called the police...the manager told me everything she was doing and why, as well as tell me what the police would do. she told me they would give me a citation? and that walmart would mail me a fine i would have to pay for...i was too scared to ask how much-would you happen to know? but the police took too long to arrive so she said she would just let me go. and i walked out...i was wondering because im sure the police showed up sometime after i left...does a police officer need me to be there to give me a citation? because walmart does have all my information after all...

  129. I have a good one for you. I have regularly shop at a chain of thrift stores and was arrested for shoplifting. The problem is I was not intending to steal. My routine is to shop the shelves and pick up small electronic items that I research on my dataphone for potential resale. Once I have researched I either purchase or put back the items. In this case I purchased one item and had two that fell down in between the dog blanket that my dog sits on in the cart. I was particlularly tired this day as I had spent all day shopping at their other stores.. The lP guy came out of the store and questioned me about what I had under the dog. I was surprised but realized that I just forgot about the two items. They consisted of a broken digital camera 9.99 and a power supply unit with a wireless network card rubber banded together 19.99. I did not want them but got distracted with the item that I did purchase and spaced them out. The lp seperated the two rubberbanded items and asked a store worker for the price of the item that had no tag on it. It came back with a 19.99 price. so it became three items. After sitting around for two hours the lp guy tried to get me to sign forms basicly admitting what they alleged I did and I refused on the basis that I disagreed with him saying it was willfull theft. The police showed up and arrested me. The officer asked me for my cash to inventory and any other personal items i had and I complied. I had a satalite remote control in my pocket that he ask if it was the stores and I told him it was purchased at the chains outlet store earlier that day. It had their sticker on it with a two day old date and the LP guy said their was no way that could have made it to the outlet store that quickly and took the remote from me. I argued his point of how fast some items make to their outlet store but he did not want to believe me. The officer questioned the whole thing and decided to take all the items an log them in as evidence. Then I went to jail to be booked. After 6 hours at the jail I went back to my car and later called the stores main office and talked to their head lp person and explained my disatisfaction with the episode. She was nice and said she would look into it and get back to me. My problem with this is my reputation is at stake here, Never had any problems with the law other then a traffic ticket. The humiliation and embarassment as I know many people at these stores for which I'm now trespassed from. My livleyhood is at risk being that spend lot money at these stores purchasing goods for resale. It seems it been a bit blown out of proportion. I just forgot to set the items back.

    Any ideas how I should handle this?


  130. one other thing, the small remote they took from me, 2.99, changed the class of the crime, in oregon, because it pushed the value over $50.00. I question that as the two items that where rubberbanded together only had one 19.99 price on it. The remote was mine and they could not have seen me allegedly steal it as they did not even know I had it until I took out my stuff for the police officer.


  131. canada

    i know you're from the US, but i was still wondering if you could possibly answer my questions.
    I was caught shoplifting at the bay and it was a $24 belt. I was followed out of the store without knowing and then a woman said excuse me you have my belt and then she held up the tag that i had ripped off. I was then made to sit in the back room. She first read me my rights and asked if i wanted to speak to a legal advisor to which i said yes. she then called the so-called legal advisor that i never got to speak to. i waited forever and then i had to fill out my information and then a police officer showed up. he was pissed off that he had been called down for a single item under $30. i didn't have any ID on me so even though i'm 18 he called my parents. i asked him not to call my parents but he said that he would either call them now or arrest me and call them from jail. once my parents showed up and they identified me i was released into their custody without being fined or anything because it was my first offense - BUT-the police officer said that if i'm EVER caught doing anything like j walking, speeding, or even spitting on the ground , i would be arrested because it's on my record now.

    1.was he allowed to call my parents even though i'm an adult? when i apply for a job, want do i say on my application? if they do a crimial record check, will my first offense show up?
    3.i go by my middle name, not my first, so that's what i gave them without really thinking. is there any way that this "file" isn't even under my name?! i actually have to worry my whole life about being arrested?

  132. Heres my situation IDK if im in trouble yet or not but I kind of think I am
    Im a walmart employee and a friend of mine recelty told me that some cashiers are going to get in trouble for shoplifting the loss prevention lady was talking about it

    I kind of think I may be the one I am a cashier several customers come thru my line sometimes and whatever they pay theyll be like keep the change or whatever or be like heres your tip and give it to me to keep well of course I keep it
    Theyll even buy me drinks sometime and stuff im so scared that I might actually be in trouble for stealing what do i do

  133. hi!i was at a store yesterday and inside the store a empleyee saw me putting an item in my purse so i had a basket from the store with more items and she ask if she can hold that i said ok and took the other items out of my purse but she came back and i dint have enough time to take everything out of my purse she then told me to please give the items i had in my purse and without saying anything i did and the she asked me to i didn't take anything but when i got to my car i saw her writting my car plates and i i just wanted to know if the police where called they can come to my house and arrest me even though i did't take anything......if the employee called the cops and told them what happen and then gave my car plates can they come to my house or can they send me to the way this is in california please respond to me a.s.a.p i couldn't sleep all night thinking that i can be in trouble.....thank you so much for your time....

  134. i was accused stealing at a kohls in travis county, texas. i took under $50 of jewlery. i was pulled in, they showed the cops the tapes. i denied everything. i also had other jewlery in my bag that i had been given to me by my cousin just an hour or two before, those items were also from kohls but i didnt take. they took my picture and i signed a paper saying i was never allowed in kohls again. my parents want to hire a lawyer. i will be 18 in januray.
    what can i expect to happen? and what should i do?

  135. Hi Everyone... I'M BACK!! I know it's been a while, but I've been working on a project involving a retailer I'm working with. I do apologize, but I'm going to start with "Canada's" post on August 9th, 2009.

  136. Canada...

    First of all... the cop...don't worry about him. He doesn't make any more money or any less money depending on the amount you get caught stealing. Why he would get pissed off over $30 as opposed to $300 is beyond me, but that's not something that should matter to him. Like I said, he gets paid the same no matter what you do.

    Second of all... he was better off calling your parents. The police have no idea who you are. They need to find a way to verify who you are. If you don't have ID, then they call your parents. If they couldn't get a hold of your parents, then you would have been booked at the local jail and it would have been worse. They might have made you wait to see a judge before releasing you. Make sure you start carrying ID around with you. It will do better for you... should this happen again.

    You need to find out if you actually have a criminal record. Simply go down to the local Police Station and ask them if you were charged with anything concnerning that incident. Were you given a ticket? Were you ordered to go to court to resolve this?

    The file is still under your name. It's based on other things too, like your home address, parent's names, phone number, etc. If the PD does have a record on you, dont' count on it being under another name.

    Lastly... If you weren't arrested at the store, I wouldn't worry about it. Once you've admitted to a crime, generally, the Police are required to arrest you at that time.

    Let me know if you have more questions.

    Best of luck!


  137. To: Wal-Mart Employee...

    Your situation is unique. I've never terminated someone for doing what you've done. Technically, you haven't stolen anything. Ultimately, if you put the money in the drawer, it's going to create an overage, which can be just as bad as a shortage. My recommendation is that you take all that extra money and put it in one of the donation jars at the customer service counter (March of Dimes, etc). Stop accepting gifts from customers. It's considered against compliance and you could be terminated for that. It can be seen as favortism from customers. It just doesn't look good on you.

    Good Luck!!


  138. To: California License Plate...

    It would appear that everything you took was recovered. You didn't steal anything. They were writing down your plate as a scare tactic. This way, you are under the impression that they know who you are and you shouldn't return. Be careful! They could have had you arrested on the spot and they wouldn't be out of their league. If you have to steal it... you don't likely need it.

    Good luck!


  139. To: thiscruelworld...

    Were you arrested? Given a court date? Don't go back to Khols...they can have you arrested for trespassing next time...even if you're just using the restroom. Answer those questions and get back to me.


  140. 30 years after still payingSeptember 10, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    I am trying to get a job at Ralph's and Costco and the computer applications say that they do a background check. I stole some merchandise 30 years ago from a Target type store in Florida and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Is that going to show up on the check and will it prevent me from getting the job? If so, what should I do about it or is there anything. Weird that this is still following me after 30 years.

  141. I just shoplifted a lipgloss under $10. It was the wrong thing to do, I know and I feel TERRIBLE about it now. The alarm went off when I exited the store but I kept walking. No one followed me or tried to stop me so I got into my car and drove away.

    I was on camera and I'm sure they saw my license plate in the parking lot. One of the employees saw me there and said hi, they know me by name and know my mom.

    What are the odds they'll go back and check the camera to see that I threw the gloss in my purse? Are they legally allowed to still prosecute me once I've left the store? Excuse me sounding like a 5 year old here but I'm over 18... are they legally allowed to tell my mom? Honestly I think I'd rather go to jail than have my mom know!

    Thanks so much.

  142. Hello, Thanks for offering your expertise. I suspect the grocery store has some video footage of me leaving with a couple of unpaid items. My suspicion is based on the way I have been treated during subsequent visits. On the day it happened, I was not stopped or asked to show my receipt (I merely left the items in the cart during self checkout because they would not scan). Yesterday however (2 months later), a staff member watched over me like a hawk, I was asked to provide ID when I tried to pay and when I left, I was asked to produce my receipt (In 10 years of shopping at that store, I have never seen anyone asked to produce their ID or a receipt upon exit). If they do have video footage from 2 months ago, what procedures might they follow when I next visit the store. Can they apprehend me this long after the actual event. I wish I could return the items but I am afraid to because I am afraid of being slapped with a loss prevention ticket that may cost much more than the $12 worth of stuff I left with. Bad mistake. Not even sure why I did it. It is my first offence. Do you think they might send the cops to my home assuming they have my personal info? Your advice will be greatly apprecaited. Thank you. Confused in Canada.


    Dear Mr. Blackshadow:

    I was apprehended for shoplifting at large store. I am getting off with just a civil penalty and being banned from the store, fortunately no criminal charges. I have a few questions I am hoping you could answer.

    THE STOP. I paid for several items at a checkstand. As I left the store the exit alarm went off. It makes a definite “beep” sound, but is not real loud. I looked around but the uniformed guard they keep posted was a ways off talking to someone else and didn’t seem to be paying any attention so I just kept going. I didn’t get far I was overtaken in the parking lot by the guard who asked me to stop. She asked to look into my bag to check my receipt. I agreed. She found an item which was not listed on my receipt, a CD. I explained that this must have been a mistake by the checker or that something was wrong with the register and I offered to pay for it. She told me that she would have to investigate further and asked me to please accompany her back to the security area where “we can talk about this further.” I thought that the security people have to see you conceal something to take you into custody. That couldn’t have happened here. Also, I always heard that if all they have on you is that the exit alarm trips they have to either let you pay for it or give it back.

    QUESTIONS: 1) Should I have refused to let the guard look in the bag? 2) If I had refused could she have detained me anyway? 3) Was it legal for the guard to detain me after finding the CD, rather than just letting me pay for it or give it back?

    USE OF FORCE AND HANDCUFFS. By the time the guard asked me to go with her back to the security area I was getting scared. I did not want to go with the guard. We argued about this for a minute or two. I even offered to pay her cash on the spot for the CD which was less than $20. At that point I think she got maybe a little angry. She stated that she was not going to argue with me any longer and she was going to escort me back to the security area. She took me by the arm in a firm grip, above the elbow, grasping my hand with her other hand and kind of turning my hand around and back on itself. When she got me back to the security area she had a male employee (I am male, also) do a pat down search for weapons and then she handcuffed my hands behind my back. She said something about not wanting to have to handcuff me but “you make us touch you, we cuff you.” I don’t remember the exact words but I think she said something about anybody they had to touch might fight or be a flight risk.

    QUESTIONS: 3) When the guard was “asking” me to “please accompany me” back to the security area, I wasn’t resisting. I just wasn’t agreeing to do that. Was it reasonable/legal for her to use force to take me back inside the store? 4) How common is it for stores to handcuff people. 5) Applied to me, once the guard had me back in the security area, was it reasonable/legal for her to handcuff me? 6) Overall, do you think I was treated fairly, too roughly, or too leniently? 7) I suspect that my not being entirely cooperative once I was stopped made this harder on me than it otherwise would have. Do you have any observations or advice about how to handle things if I am ever caught in that situation again?

    Thanks for your advice and/or criticism.


  144. Hi Blackshadow..I am extremely embarrased over my actions. Yesterday, while shopping at Kohls in Florida, I made a very wrong decision to shoplift..heres what happened. I went into Kohls with my 2 children, I had purchased 2 pillows at the customer service counter. After the purchase, I took some items, went into the dressing room, and put them into the bag with the pillows. I left the store, went to my car, emptied out the bag, and went 2 stores over to have some lunch. After lunch, I went back into the store with the empty bag, took the same 2 pillows that I had just purchased off the shelf and returned them to the store for a refund back to my credit card. Total of $31.00 ( the original pillows that I purchased were in the trunk of my car). Then I took 2 more items, put them in the bag and left the store. As i got to my car, the LPM came out and said that I had to return to the store...they took me in the backroom where they asked me a bunch of questions. Apparently, they knew that I was in the store twice and knew that I had some stuff in my trunk, they called the police and they went and searched my car and found all of the stuff that I took earlier that day. The officer told them that they could only charge me with what they caught me with, which totaled @ $160.00. The officer did not arrest me, but did give me a paper to appear in court. This is my 1st ( and last) offense, what can I expect in court? What do you think the fines will be?
    "Sooo Embarrased"

  145. To: 30 years after still paying...

    30 years ago, you were arrested for shoplifting. Unfortunately, this sticks with you through life. It's all public record and as long as the county record office is still open, it's going to be available to anybody who looks for your information. If you want to... go to the website for the county you were originally arrested in and do a pu8blic record search for your name. You can also check with the police department that made the arrest and ask them if your record still exists... a lot of things were done by paper back then and sometimes... things get lost.

    Let me know what happens...



    Dear Mr. Blackshadow:

    On September 15 I sent you a post because I had been caught at a store for shoplifting. At that time I understood that I was not going to be charged with anything, just a civil penalty, and I was asking questions about the detention, which seemed harsh to me. Now, though, everything has changed, horribly.

    To my previous narrative I need to add. When the guard told me that I would have to come back with her to the security area I tried to just walk away, leaving her with the CD. That is when she took me by the arm and put some kind of control hold on me and walked me back into the store. I didn’t mention the walking away part before because the guard told me I wasn’t being charged and I just didn’t think of it.

    Well, a few days ago the police came to the house and gave me a citation to appear in criminal court. I have been charged with petty theft, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace.

    My mother is an acquaintance of the guard who busted me and called her to ask why all these charges after she had let me go. The guard said that she hadn’t intended to charge me with anything, but when her report was read by the higher ups they wanted me prosecuted because I had resisted detention and tried to get away. The guard told my mother that she was sorry, but it was out of her hands.

    I know I need an attorney and I have an appointment to see one a few weeks from now, before the court date. However, that’s a long time to wait and I am hoping I can get some questions answered soon.

    How serious this is? It seems like a huge mess for a CD worth less than $20. I feel like the throwing the book at me.

    What is likely to happen to me?

    Do I have much chance of avoiding a conviction?

    If I'm convicted am I likely to go to jail?

    Also, if convicted, what are the long term consequences for school, jobs, etc?

    I’m wondering what chances there are for Diversion when they have charged me with three offenses?

  147. I suffer from PTSD due to a home invassion/rape I was at walmart in 2000 and my step son stuck batterties in my purse it beep I got a ticket(LA county) paid a fine and left. Yesterday in california I was in a safeway and I got really freaked out and took my medcince I ended up taking ambien instead of ixanax and i blacked out I walked right out the front door of safeway they police came took away pepersray that was in my purse, took a black and decker battery charger out of my car and said i had to produce a receipt for it and 8 vicodin was messing from my purse. I did not attempt to or other wise get away I have a court date in october and I it doesnt seem right that the sheriff did not log the ppper sray or the battery charger (which isnt even made any more and was bought 2 years ago at walmart) in his report they searched through my car booked and released me the cop said he was doing me a favor because of my pior shoplifting in2000 so he charged me with burgery, grand theft (pc487,pc459,pc666) the cop said I could get 7 years? I am legally blind, fighting cancer and a 2 brain tumors i am not on probation anyhelp would be great lost in the woods female 46

  148. From Dumb Blonde

    Hi, Black Shadow. I was recently caught shoplifting. I am a minor. Wal-Mart security caught me at the door and took me back to the office. While there, they took my name, age, height etc. They said they would not contact my school and I would not get arrested, but I will have to pay a fine.

    My questions are:
    1)Will this go on my record? If so, is there any way to expunge it?

    2)Are they going to press charges? Will I have to appear in court?

    3)Lastly, after the fine is paid, does anything else happen?

  149. Hi, Black Shadow. I was recently caught by the Officemax LP department for making fraudulent MaxPerks transactions. The LD lady over the phone asked me what I did wrong. Then she threatened to sue me as I denied taking of any merchandise until I said a Mentoes candy. She was not satisfied so I thought of a USB drive and then she relented. The problem was I didn't steal the USB drive but I was also scared of being prosecuted. Then she revealed about the Maxperks wrongdoings.
    So I had to write up a paper that stated my actions and the losses. She almost just told me what to write and I just wrote and scribbled out what she didn't like. I paid the fine $90.56 and was terminated. Then she said like she forgot "oh by the way, lawyers are going to send you a civil restitution letter."

    My questions are:

    1. What's going to happen to me? Will there still be charges filed?

    2. Does that go on my record? I'm only 17 years old.

    3. Do I need a lawyer?

  150. i'm fourteen and i was caught shoplifting from macy's for a total of $431 worth of jewelry. loss prevention workers confronted me in the store (i didn't even leave) and then they detained me and called the police. they asked me to give them my information (name, address etc) and said if i didnt i could be arrested. did i have the right to remain silent? (they did not read me my miranda rights) when the police came i signed some papers and they told me that i would receive a letter about the fines i (or my parents) would have to pay, as well as a letter that said i'd have to go to a probation officer. i've never shoplifted before, nor will i ever again. I'm honestly a good kid. i go to a private high schooland i have straight A's. will this incident result in expulsion?
    will i go to jail?
    how much time will it be?
    how much will the fine be? resitution? court fees? public defender fees?
    will i need a lawyer when i consult the probation officer?
    what is the petition the district attorney files?
    if i do work with a lawyer, can they get my case dropped to a misdemeanor or infraction (the value was over $400 making it a felony)
    as a substitute of jail, can i do community service or a diversion program?
    it would mean a lot if you answered my questions. i'm really afraid and sincerely sorry.
    also, the policeman said that though i was not placed into custody, if anyone asked, i would have to reply "yes i have been arrested"

  151. i just posted the comment above. technically, i did not leave the store either. i was still in the store when they stopped and detained me.

  152. I have just been recently caught for shoplifting at walmart in everett washingon. It was about $50 worth of merchendise. They made me sign a form saying I can never go back to a walmart again and they took my info and stuff. How long does it usually take for it to get on your record after the time of being caught? What can I do to stay out of jail? Since this is my second offense. My first one was when I was 16 and I took a diversion class. I am now 18. Tell me everything I need to know. Do I need a lawyer? I am trying to find anti theft classes and volunteer and stuff to pay back for what I did. I am an idiot for stealing and I don't even know why I did it...I just got an interview with JCPenney and I don't know whether they have done a background check yet or not. The interview is in 2 days and I was thinking about comming clean the the interviewer and tell her what I did and what I am trying to do to stop and whatnot. I just want it to not go on my record and not go to jail. What should I do?

  153. I have a friend who was caught shoplifting but she is a illegal immigrant. She didnt get arrested for shoplifing, it happened in a different state from where she lived but she gave her address, they didnt take her finger prints or anything all they have is her name and address. the cop gave her 2 citiations but she is scared now because she is goin for her greencard and want to know if this is going to mess her up (if she pay the citiation they are going to want to take her finger prints, if she plead not guilty they have enough info to prove she did it)you have to give ya finger prints to do a criminal background check to get a greencard if she dont reply to those citiations can they find out

  154. I am a premed student that was caught shoplifting and then granted A.C.O.D. in NYS. My question is, since I was granted A.C.O.D. and have completed my 6 month period will this be a concern when I attend on applying to med school or for a applying for NYS medical licensure.

  155. By the way, it was a misdemeanor charge (no conviction). Can this be asked for?

  156. Grocery Store Theft

    A few days ago I was caught shoplifting from a local grocery store. I purchased some items and was stopped in the parking lot and asked to come back in to discuss the items in my purse. I went into the store's back room where an incident report was filled out and I was informed that I would be receiving a notice to pay a fine,anywhere from $150 to $250. The woman who detained me was very kind and informed me of a program that I could ask the judge about(she thought it was called Theft Diversion and she scoured the office looking for the pamphlets they ususally keep for that reason). A police officer came in shortly there after and informed me of my rights,told me I had committed a class 3 theft(the merch. was $15)and was technically a misdemeanor. He was very polite and even humorous with me,which I was very grateful for. He wrote me a citation and informed me of my court date and then I was free to go. I thanked them and left. Also,the incident report stated that I could return to this store(and all others owned by the same person)in a year. The woman who initially detained me said that they had "caught my face on camera SO many times" and that I must shop there at least once or twice a month. I told her i was in no way arguing with her,but that I had only been to that store maybe 5 times total and not within the past two months at least. She said it's possible because "time flies" that she may have thought I was there more recently. Part of me wonders if she has me confused with another shoplifter. I did shoplift,so I am fully responsible for my actions,but if someone who looked similar was again caught on camera,could the store contact me or the police assumming this was me and I had violated the terms of the incident report?
    Now for the rest of my questions(and I am so grateful for finding this site and appreciate all the help you provide)

    I have a court date but I had not given much thought to having an attorney present. I don't have the money to hire one and I thought that being my first offense,I may not even need one. However I'm getting concerned now that it may be necessary. While this is my first offense,I have sholpifted multiple times over the past two years and once I was suspected of it,but no fine was given. In a way I am grateful for being caught this last time. I had never allowed myself to give the reason behind my theft much thought. I had never stolen anything in my life until after my grandma passed away and I knew it may be connected,but after I was caught I thought long and hard about why I do these things and I firmly believe I have a real grasp on it now. My concern is that if I do not have an attorney and I go to court and the judge asks me if I have ever done this before(and I would of course be honest),would my addmission of prior theft have an impact on his judgment? Also,will this go on my record no matter what,or can the judge do something to keep it off? If the store that I shoplifted from were to drop the charges,would it not go on my record at all? I have so many questions and I know I rambled A LOT. I appreciate your time so much. Thank you. Oh,and my court date is the 3rd of Dec.






  159. Hi I was shoplifting at an Alberstons. I noticed a guy and thought his behavior funny because he walked infront of me and put up an item (what kind of customer goes out of their way to place an item?) And then as I went to walk out I saw him outside and turned around. He came in and said "Ma'am" and told me that because I had "passed the point of sales" I had stolen. But I hadn't left the store. What's to say I didn't have a change in heart and back out of it?

    He told me he was going to "help me" and had me sign some papers that he said meant I was willing to pay for the items. The police were called in and I had to sign some forms saying I'd never go back. Will this be on my record? The police didn't take my drivers information but did take my full name, heights, etc etc. The police guy also took a photo of me. From the front and from the right. Why did he do that?

    I was also not allowed to leave the room I was in and I felt harassed when the police officer poked fun of a "jesus shirt" I was wearing. (Amongst the other insulting things said.)

    Thank you for any help,

  160. Shoplifter from TexasDecember 7, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Hi, I was caught shoplifting at Macy's in Texas. It was my first offense. The Macy's made me pay a fine of over $300 for the 5 items I stole that were $32.00 each. The items were actually on sale for $18 each. I statyed in jail for a day up until I had my parents to bail me out, plus we had to pay a towing fee because my car was left in the parking lot. I'm 20.

    Do I still have to pay the $300 fine? Is it right? I already did my time in jail AND had parents pay for my bond and towing fee.




  162. Hey,
    I was at Safeway today and while shopping stuffed some condoms in my pocket. I was too embarassed to buy them at a store where many of my parents friends shop. I grabbed the box, walked to the end of the aisle and stuffed them in my pocket. At that point I already had a few other items, and I proceeded to pick up a few more before I went and paid for all of them(except the condoms). I hear this Safeway just got a bunch of new cameras, do you think they could identify me by bringing pictures to my school(close to the Safeway), or getting my liscense plate number(I was parked pretty close to the door). If they can catch me, do you think they would be sympathetic to my embarrassment in buying condoms? Should I say that I was planning to pay and forgot, but just stuffed them in my pocket so people wouldnt see them?
    Thanks so much,
    Awkard Teenage Guy

  163. hi black shadow,

    i am a 19-year-old student in seattle, washington. i have been shoplifting a lot recently and today i was caught for the second time. the first time was a couple months ago. i had placed a few pairs of tights and a top in my purse that i thought had no security sensors. i walked past the entrance to the store (not through the detector, but near it) and the alarm sounded. i was asked by an employee to come to the office downstairs with him, where he searched my bag and took down my information for some forms. i BELIEVE he said that urban outfitters would handle the case in a civil settlement, gave me the number to call for their lawyer, and told me that they would send me a fine in the mail.

    today, i was caught shoplifting at whole foods where i had taken about $30 worth of food items out with me in my purse. i was stopped by a loss prevention officer on my way to my car and asked to come to the back with him, where he took down my information, called the police to ensure i didn't have any outstanding warrants, took my photo and informed me i would be disallowed from the store for a year. he also asked me if i had been caught shoplifting before, and because the police were not involved in my first shoplifting incident i lied and said no. i got very upset and he was nice to me and reassured me, even telling me about his own experiences with being caught shoplifting as a juvenile. he assured me that the incident wouldn't go on my criminal record or affect my future. here are my questions:

    1) is what he said true? will the law be completely uninvolved with my being caught shoplifting today? i am wondering because he kept mentioning that if you are caught a second or third time it's when the police really get involved. i'm not sure whether urban outfitters contacted the police or not when i was caught there. would i know if they had? or would the police have told him about it over the phone when he called to check on my record?

    2) when i walked into the back room with the loss prevention officer at whole foods, a woman was sitting in it, and he asked her if she could stay because their policy requires that a female employee is present while holding a female suspect. however, she ended up leaving for about ten minutes and i was alone in the room with the loss prevention officer and his manager (also male). is there any way that i can use this to get out of paying the fine?

    3) there was no mention in either of these encounters of going to court or anything like that, but i've read some of the other posts and it seems like having to show up in court is pretty standard practice after being caught shoplifting... did i just misunderstand what i was told and will have to actually appear in court, or is it possible that i won't?

    i appreciate your help in answering these questions! i have decided to stop shoplifting all together because its potential consequences aren't really worth the items i'm getting out of it, and i can afford to live without it. but i do want to figure out how to make these incidents as invisible as possible.



  164. i got caught shop lifting in macy's yesterday..the ring was $25 but because i was sooo nervous and didnt realease it on tym, the cops came and i finally gave a minor, 17 in college, they said they charging me 4 d ring and that i am going to court i am sooo scared. will it be on my permanent record??will i ever be able to get a job??? will they searc my house???

  165. Hi Mr. Black Shadow, I really need some advice, are you still active on this site?

  166. Ok, I don’t know if Black Shadow is still active on this site, but maybe someone else who’s reading this can help? I’m seriously so traumatized and paralyzed with fear.

    I went to an urban outfitters yesterday to look for a pair of shoes I had seen online, I purchased the shoes and for some reason, thought I could get away with taking another pair if I put them in my purse (I’m an idiot, I know). I don’t do stuff like this and am obviously inexperienced. I went to the fitting rooms, put a second pair of shoes in my purse, along with a dress (I ripped the sensor off, leaving a hole in the dress and I placed the sensor in a pocket of a flannel shirt I had also tried on). I paid for the first pair of shoes, and walked out of the store. I didn’t realize that the shoes I had placed in my purse also had a sensor on them. I beeped and as soon I was on the sidewalk outside, a worker ran after me and asked me to come back inside. I was confused and scared and I went back in, I offered to walk though again, suggesting that maybe it was my ipod or my cell phone. I’m so dumb. She asked me to put my bag down and that she would go through it herself and figure out what was beeping since I hadn’t beeped on my way in. I told her I was insulted and that I was going to return the shoes (at this point I was desperate and on the verge of tears and really just wanted to put the crap back and go home). I got in line, and realized that returning the shoes wasn’t going to help me, I grabbed any random shirt from the rack near the fitting room and bought it, to make it look like I was still shopping, a security guard was called and was waiting at the door by this time. I knew I had to put the stuff back somehow, so I took a blazer and a pair of jeans into the fitting room. I stuffed the dress into the jeans and the shoes into the sleeve holes of the blazer so I could sneak them out. By this time, there was a girl (a manger, I’m guessing) following me around. I must have looked so pathetic and desperate. I left the fitting room. I dropped the dress where I didn’t think anyone could see me, and stupidly asked the girl if the shoes were on sale. I’m sure she knew I pulled them out of the blazer, but she didn’t say anything. I walked out of the store and of course, the alarm went off again. Just my idiotic luck, I had paid for the shirt that had the sensor in the pocket. Attached to the sensor was the label for the dress I ripped it off of. The girl asked me if I knew where it came from, and I said “No, I just paid for this shirt and the girl removed the sensor.” She said, “Ok, well, thank you for putting our merchandise back, and you’re not allowed in this store anymore.”

  167. california (part 2)December 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM

    …My hands are literally shaking from thinking about it. I felt like being in that store was like some weird dream haze, like it never happened. My whole drive home felt like throwing up. I haven’t eaten today, and I keep trying to sleep because that’s the only way not to worry.

    I’m an idiot, I know, and I messed up bad. I’m 24 years old, I live in California, and I’m willing to pay whatever damages they want me to, but I cannot have my parents find out. They’re the most honest people in the world, my mom would drive back to a store if a person gave her even $1.00 extra in change. I’m trying to get into medical school right now, I have the MCAT next month, and we just had a death in the family last month. I live at home, and I’m so afraid that the cops are going to show up and arrest me.

    The thing is, I was in the store for a long time, if there were security cameras (I’m not sure if there were), they definitely know what I look like. The security guard didn’t do anything to me, or even talk to me (although he had a small notepad out and wrote something on it). As soon as he saw that my purse didn’t beep when I ran it through, he just nodded. They didn’t take any of my information, or ask me anything. I did, however, use my debit card two times, and they could get my information from there, right? Since the dress is damaged, they could easily send me the bill for that, but will they press charges? I’m so, so, so afraid. Another thing, I was visiting a friend before I went to the store, and its about two hours away from my house. Does that make a difference? Does it count as theft since I technically left before they called me back? I really hope Black Shadow is reading this or someone who can tell me what to do. I emailed him, I’ve been googling this subject since last night, and I even got some phone numbers for lawyers so I can get some kind of consultation about what to do. I chickened out though, so I dint call.

    ….sorry this is so long. Please help :(





  169. Hey last month i got caught shoplifting something the value of something £4.50. It was a big named cosmetic store. The security men took me into thier office and called the police. They took my details and since it was my first offence, gave me an £80 fine.

    I really don't want my parents to know so i paid the fine with cash and sent it to the address they said on the fine. However i did not use special delivery and i was wondering if they would send me a letter back confirming when they have recieved the fine? Or do i have to go to a police station and ask?

    Then i just got a letter from the cosmetic store charging me another £70 fine for thier time and stuff. Is this fair? I will pay it with cash again and hopefully my parents need not know, but this letter says i HAVE to use special delivary or they wont accept it, so im worried abouyt not using special deleivery to the police fine.

    Also will i get a criminal record even though i wasn't arressted, and do i ahve to tell futire universities and jobs about it?




  171. I guess black shadow is doing some hard time lol.

  172. Yesterday i was at k-mart in Michigan with my step-dad, sister and 2 brothers. i wandered of and when where the bras and panties are and i saw these panties i like and i knew i didn't have enough for them and i knew for a fact that my step-dad wouldn't of bought them for me so i stole them. i was debating and having second thoughts about it but i was stupid and kept them in my bag. then i met back up with my step-dad at the checkout and as we were walking out the LP guy stopped us. he asked me where the panties were that i put in my bag and i tried to deny it but he then said he had me on camera so i just fessed up to everything. my step-dad was like so disguised and i felt really bad. i knew i shouldn't of took them, and then the LP guy took us in their office and had me give them my purse to go through so i did and then they filled out out a paper. and asked for my id and information such as DOB, name, age, phone, and address. then they called the police and about 20 minutes later the officer came in and was being all rude about everything and i don't blame her and she asked my step-dad for his information, but what confused me the most is that they didn't have me sign anything, and they didn't give me a ticket, however before the police officer came one of the guys in the office said i will get a fine in the mail. anyways the police officer and LP people let me go. (did i mention i am a minor and this is my first offense?)

    the questions i have is....
    - will i have to go to court.
    - when will i get a fine
    - will this go on my record and if it does how long will it be on there
    - and when they looked at my id and it was from my middle school so will they contact them?

    i'm so scared and sorry for what i did and i will never ever do it again. i just wanted to see if you could inform me on anything.

  173. I was apprehended at Sports Authority in NJ for stealing. I was told that they had me on camera going in to a dressing room with 5 items and coming out with 4. Well that IS what happened and I took one shirt but when I watched the tape, that is literally all they had. I denied it the whole time and then they called the police. The police came and I continued to deny it and all I was told is that I will have to pay a fine. The police didn't say much except tell me what happens to shoplifters. They asked me to leave them my address and I initially was not going to but I did anyway.

    I am really just looking for peace of mind because I never want to be in this situation again but I think I handled it correctly. How could they do anything if I denied the whole thing and they have no real proof of me taking anything except footage of me going in to a fitting room and then coming out?

  174. sorry about that. The first post was the WHOLE story and I didn't think it posted so I summed it up in the second one

  175. Hi,

    I was caught shoplifting recently and was stopped outside. They took me into the office, I gave them my information, signed a restitution form, and left. I have to mail off the money soon, and was wondering once I pay this restitution money, will anything else happen to me? It's my first offense, and I live in California.


  177. i shoplifted hundreds of dollars worth of clothes from von maur with my 2 other friends and we got away so we then went to macys. we all took like 1 or 2 shirts each and we got away. we were then later approached in the mall by a guy from macys lost preventions and an employee. he demanded we hand over the stolen items so we did and he made us follow him back to a room in macys and took our information then called a cop. the lost preventions guy questioned where the von maur clothes came from and we said they were ours. he then said if we tell the truth where they came from that he would hide them from the cop and take them back to the store. the cop came and called our parents, he read us our rights and we were arrested. then the lost preventions guy pulled out the other clothes and told him about von maur. we are minors so we have to go to a shoplifting workshop and to teen court to get it off our record. was this right? what could we have done? will we get drug tested at the workshop or court? and we are on diversion probation until july

  178. Hello..I got caught shoplifting in October 2009 in Macys in nassau county...and I was arrested and let out with no bail..When I went to court they gave me an has been 6 months and I have been clear..When do I go back to court? It only says Jun 2010 on my papers...Also how will this affect me getting jobs?

  179. "no police, no citation on the spot"

    I was recently caught shoplifting approximately $110 at an urban outfitters in san francisco, ca. i was detained by the LP, they got my drivers license information and I signed a paper saying I would not return for 3 years. I was also given a civil demand notice. no police were called and no citation was given. however I dont know if they sent my info to the DA

    Now, i know what a civil demand notice is but my question is this - can they still press criminal charges against? If they did not call the cops or give a citation at the store, will they likely follow up with pressing criminal charges? unfortunately this isnt my first time shoplifting and I'm sure I'm in the national shoplifters database - will this affect the decision as to whether or not they turn my info over to the cops?

    I contacted a criminal defense lawyer here and he's checking to see if any charges have yet been made against me. he said that we could do something like a civil restitution lien that would say i would pay a fine but would ensure that they could not ever charge me for this crime - any thoughts on this?

    Thanks so much

  180. Hello, this is a good blog.

    I want to start out by saying that I regretful and scared, and will never do this again.

    I went to a big department store, and inside the fitting put a shirt in my bag. I came out of the fitting room and browsed a little bit and left the store. As I left the store, the alarm went off but no one came after me and I continued walking out of the store, into the mall, then into the parking lot. No security guards or anyone were following me, however the fitting room attendant looked suspiscious when I left and the alarm went off.

    I am now home, and have not heard anything. What is the worst than can happen? I almost want to go back and drop the shirt off.

    I was in the actual fitting room and brought in many clothes with me and took one shirt when I left. When I left the fitting room, I left the majority of the shirts in the room.

    Thank you,


  181. Hi my name is Manuel Rodriguez and I'm 17 years old living in El Paso, TX. 4 months ago more or less I was caught shoplifting in Dillards the total cost of merchandise was about 90 dollars, before I could step out of the store 2 security guards and loss prevention followed with management grab me from my shoulder and escort my 2 friends and I to the loss prevention room they asked me if everything that I had in my bag was fully purchased with honest truth I told them that I had placed two items(t-shirts) into my bag with the intention of taking them without buying them. After that they took several pictures of the merchandise and then gave me a paper to sign that said that I couldn't step inside any Dillards department store. They had me sitting down in a chair around 5 hours until a female police officer came. The female officer made me stand up and ask me if I had any drugs or needles in my pockets I answered no she searched me and took my wallet and watch off she placed my hands on my back and cuffed me after that she escort me into the police car and took me to a police station she then placed me in a little cell I waited until she came to take my information and fingertips also a several pictures after that she gave me my stuff back and I left without paying anything. This is my first time ever involved in a crime for a stupid action and very nervous and scared till today I haven't received any letter from municipal court or dillards department. But just this week I have been receiving Law Firm advertisement mail and in many of them it says "El Paso County Jail records indicate that you were recently arrested." I'm really scared and don't have the experience or knowledge in this type of things I'm a U.S. resident not citizen and afraid of loosing my citizenship also planning to get a career in Criminal Justice please can anyone help me out with my problem...Thank You

  182. Hi there, I was caught shoplifting today. This is my 1st criminal charge, they called it a violation. I was arrested for stealing 3 items of an amount of $44.00. I have a clean record and have never attended court before. At the police station they had me fill out the paperwork and gave me the court date and time at which to attend. I'm not sure what to do in this situation, I've never actually been in trouble like this so I'm really stuck. I'd like for them to just let it go as I've learned my lesson and I've never had a criminal record before. What's your advice to what I should do at this point?

  183. Dear black shadow,

    I was caught for shoplifting a while ago I was 15 then and I was given diversion. it was my first offence. In a couple of days I will be going to shoplifting prevention program one on one instead of in a group because i asked for that. But im just wondering what will happen in those sessions? Will they question me about why I did what i did?
    Thank you

  184. Hi I was in spencers a few days ago and I took a 15 dollar hemp necklace took off the tag and put it in my shirt.This was my first time stealing. I walked out almost all the way out of the store until an employee that worked there frantically asked me for their necklace back. She claimed that I put it in my hot topic bag over and over again.I said I didn't know what she was talking about.Then she asked me where I put the necklace because she "saw me walking around with it' so I knew I had been caught and I felt bad about it and showed her where I put the tag. She and the manager kept telling me they were calling the police so I gave back the necklace to the employee and said "I was sorry" . I told them the truth and then they brought me back in the back room and prosecuted me,I was handcuffed,detained,told them the truth completely, didn't give them any problems.I was let out on a " parent ticket" since I'm 17 years old and a minor. I have criminal court now what should I expect this is in New York and my first offense[and my last]. I honestly did this for a rush and to see if I could of done it which much obviously I didn't succeed.

  185. Hi black shadow I was curious about something. Back in 2006 I was with my cousin (who, at the time was a minor) We went into a store together and I was walking around doing my own thing. Just looking and after like an hour or so shes like ok Im ready and I was like your not getting anything? So, we head for the door and just as were ready to walk out we get stopped. I was a little bit confused but I did what they asked. Was told to follow them into their back room so I did to where I later learned she filled her purse. They told me I was responsible because she was a minor. I went to court for a while and finally got 40 hrs community service and 6 month conditional. That got over beginning of last year? Well recently I was just caught again. It was so stupid because I had a bunch of money on me and did a bunch of shopping. I had no intention of going in the store to shoplift at all. It was a total of $41 for everything including tax. I was finally getting ready to leave and was stopped right outside. They told me to follow them up to the room where they took down my information and called the cops.I cooperated fully. I was taken to get my fingerprints done and released like an hour later to go home. I was given papers to show for a court date. When I go what can I expect? My first arrest wont affect me will it? It was wiped clean off my record so I was just wondering what can happen at this point.

  186. oh btw my 6 month conditional didnt finish beginning of last year. It was the beginning of 2008.

  187. Dear Black Shadow,
    Yesterday I was caught shoplifting from Macy's. I took merchandise totaling 49.00. I am in a powerchair due to disability and I had it right in the top of a bag (not concealed) and left the store without paying. When I left (2) LP officers caught up with me about 50 feet or so outside of the store. They asked me to come with them and being that you work in LP I am sure you know the rest. They charged me a civil demand fee of $75.00. They would not let me pay at the time, but I paid it promptly this morning.

    The police were called and came to arrest me but could not take me to the station because they were unable to transport my wheelchair. They said they would fingerprint me and photograph me there in the police car and then I could go home, but would receive a court date. They never ended up fingerprinting or photographing me, but did read me my Miranda Rights and I signed a paper stating I understood my rights then went home. I should state also that Macy's had another incident report on me stating that I had left the store with a pillow. I remember this. My son actually had it and left the store with it and he brought it back inside. I was never stopped or detained for this incident, but they seemed to have it in their files. I was never allowed to read it or the report they filed yesterday to see what the reports actually said.

    This is my first offense. No prior criminal record. Not even a speeding ticket. I was diagnosed last year with BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder and I have a history of self-injury. I have been in a treatment program since last February and the self-injuring has gone down, but in it's place I have had urges to steal. I have been actively working on this with my Psychologist and I go to a group session and individual session weekly. I know that LP wouldn't see my theft as improvement, but when I have 20 urges in a week and manage to avoid it 19 times I am trying. I am now going to stay out of stores until I get better in control of what is going on. I am 32 and I hate myself right now. I will never again go into a store at all until I am sure that this will never happen again. I am a student in college and I am so afraid that my punishment will keep me from going to classes and/or my shoplifiting charge will keep me from being a teacher which I have worked so hard for. I have a 3.9 g.p.a. and I don't want to lose all that! I know I should have thought about this before...I just didn't think...the compulsion was so strong. Again, I am so angry with myself and ashamed. I have never been to court before and I don't know what will happen or if I can even afford an attorney. Will a letter from my psychologist or her presence at the hearing help me? Please, I appreciate any insight you can offer.

  188. Okay, I live in Kansas, and I work at Walmart. The other day I was caught stealing trash bags when I got off work. I was taken to the back, and they questioned me, I admitted it, I signed paperwork and they let me go. They told me I was suspended from work for 5 days and after 5 days I was to come back at 1 o clock for them to decide if I kept my job or not, and that if I didn't show up it would go straight to the police.
    But here's the thing, trash bags are what they caught me with but in the week before I had taken a few things. Can they go back and look at the cameras and then do something worse to me when I have to go back in? I heard that I can't be arrested unless they call the police within 3 days of the offense. Is the worse thing they can do to me is fine me and fire me?
    Also, do I HAVE to show up on thursday? My job is quite the gossiping place, they like to show people around the store as being in trouble and they tell EVERYONE what someone did wrong. I really do not feel like going in and having rumors and fingers pointed and whispers. Do I have a right to not go in? Can I call? Or just skip it altogether? What would happen if I didn't go? And what happens when I do go?
    I guess I'm just kind of nervous, and I'd like to know answers. Thank you.

  189. Okay, I live in Kansas, and I work at Walmart. The other day I was caught stealing trash bags when I got off work. I was taken to the back, and they questioned me, I admitted it, I signed paperwork and they let me go. They told me I was suspended from work for 5 days and after 5 days I was to come back at 1 o clock for them to decide if I kept my job or not, and that if I didn't show up it would go straight to the police.
    But here's the thing, trash bags are what they caught me with but in the week before I had taken a few things. Can they go back and look at the cameras and then do something worse to me when I have to go back in? I heard that I can't be arrested unless they call the police within 3 days of the offense. Is the worse thing they can do to me is fine me and fire me?
    Also, do I HAVE to show up on thursday? My job is quite the gossiping place, they like to show people around the store as being in trouble and they tell EVERYONE what someone did wrong. I really do not feel like going in and having rumors and fingers pointed and whispers. Do I have a right to not go in? Can I call? Or just skip it altogether? What would happen if I didn't go? And what happens when I do go?
    I guess I'm just kind of nervous, and I'd like to know answers. Thank you.

  190. dear black shadow.. i have 9m3's for shoplifting.. i am from the state of pa. me and a friend took items totaling about 120.00 from a store at three different locations. but i am also concerned because we have shoplifted from about ten other stores and i am not sure that we were caught, i am so sick over this matter i dont know what to do. i have never been in trouble before. this is my first time. so i guess the questions i have is how long do i have before i find out if any other store had caught us on video and what punishment will i get for the 9m3's that i have currently. i am so sorry that i have done what i did. i was living on the streets and just wanted somewhere warm to stay and something to eat... please help me. i cant eat i cant sleep and all i do is cry. i know what i did was wrong and i will never do it again and i am so ashamed with myself... all together we stold about 5,000 dollars worth of merchandise... please help me i would greatly appreciate it.. ty!

  191. Im 19 years old got caught shoplifting in walmart michigan, this was my first offence it was 54 dollars in stuff.. i cooperated with the police.. what can i do to make sure this does not appear on my record for the future and will this affect my financial aid for school

  192. Dear Black Shadow,

    I was caught shoplifting, in CA, a total amount of 43$ in merchandise. A police Officer was called and put me in hand cuffs in the Loss Prevention Office and had me sign a "ticket looking thing" which gave me a court date and states it is 490.5 pc. I signed it and cooperated so he let me go from that office and never took me to the jail or "booked me" or anything. My court date is in 6 weeks, but I live out of state in MD and was only there on vacation. I am so confused and I don't know what to do. Also, the police officer stated that could have it dropped down to an infraction since this was my first offense. How do I go about fighting to have the charge lowered?

    Thank you so much,

  193. Hi, my name is JT

    I want to ask you about being caught shoplifting. My Question is if a person is Caught and Was handcuffed in the private Office until Officers arrived, Would that be legal if the person is already following orders from LP.And Lp Officer went through Wallet without permission. And the Second question is Why is the store still collecting money when all items has been recovered, No lost has been done to the company because the workers were doing their job.

  194. Hi,

    I was wondering if you'd mind helping me?

    I shoplifted a while ago... I know it was stupid, but I got out without inccident.

    I went back there a couple of days ago, to try something on which I was going to buy, came out of the changing rooms, and then they asked me to step outside, I did, they said they had cctv footage and that I know what they're talking about -- so I figured when I took the shirt -- and said I had a ban, and followed up saying life ban, he mentioned police in passing, I don't know if he said they won't bother calling or not because at the time I was worrying.

    But they didn't take any names or address, but they have cctv.

    Do I have to worry?

    Thank you.

  195. Hey Blackshadow
    I am walmart employee I feel really guilty now because I stolen quite a few times
    its in an area where I know there are no cameras
    Can i be arrested with evidence if they just happen to view the video or do they actually have to catch me in the act
    I work overnight and i know ap doesnt monitor the tapes that well for overnight what should I do should I be looking for another job in case there coming after me play it cool or what

    ~Lil 5 Star

  196. Hi i recently got caught for shoplifting at kmart for a make up kit under 20 dollars. i was taken to the back room and they called the cops. I was with my mom and she told them i was a juvenile so they gave me a civil citation. Im really 18 and i super scared cause this is my first offense and i don't want this to mess up my life. But when they file the paper work and find out im really 18 its a misdeameanor so im screwed. What should i do? I have a good job and scholarship i don't want to lose.

  197. Hello,

    I hope you can answer my questions. And thnx in advance for taking your time to read this.

    I got shoplifting in sears nj last week (it was an accident).

    I was taken to the back and had to sign some papers. No police involved, no pictures, no fingerprints.

    I just got a letter from a lawyer (civil claim) for $150. What happens now?

    Do I still have to go to court? I'm so scared =(. Also, is this going to be in my record?

    Thank u so much for your help!

  198. I got caught stealing $25 of merchandise from Sears in PA. I don't know why I stole it, I even bought other stuff at the store and just took the one thing. I have never committed a crime before and I'm a honor student trying to go to law school. Sears told me I would have to go to court. Will this be on my record and hurt my chances for school?

  199. restless: I stole a piece of luggage from burlington coat factory. they have me on tape im sure, do to the fact that they came to pursue me after leaving the store. I was already driving off. the piece I stole was 40 dollars. I had placed it in the larger bag i purchased with my Credit card. it is my first offense. I want to just go back to the store and return the item. just looking to see what needs to be done.