Shoplifting is also “petty theft” if the amount or value stolen does not exceed $950. Thefts over that amount then become “Grand Theft”. These thefts can take the form of simply taking merchandise, exchanging merchandise that was stolen, credit card fraud, embezzlement (theft by employee), or other type theft. The most common “shoplift” is the taking an item and walking out of the store with it, usually concealing it in a bag or clothing. Often times people use changing rooms to steal items by wearing them out of the stoire without paying for them, or bagging them after removing elctronic tags.
To guard against shoplifting, the stores usually have video monitoring and undercover “loss prevention” officers who are often times “wannabe” police officers. They take their jobs seriously and some are more professionjal than others. Since they are not law enforcement, there are not really illegal search and seizure issues which would result in the suppression of evidence if they were peace officers. There may be civil liability of the store and/or their employees based on vilolations of a pe4rsons rights, but the suppression of evidence remedy was to protect citizens from abusive police conduct, not abusive store employees.
Many of these theft cases may have issues or circumstances that could lead to dismissal or reduced charges or penalties. Theft charges are moral turpitude crimes and can have long lastin effects on a persons life from employemt, vocational licenses, education, immigration to security clearances. It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to at least discuss your case, and find out how a criominal defense attorney can help you. Call Christoph Law Offices for a free consultation at 760-941-5720. Located across from Vista Courts, Criminal Defense Attorneys Nicholas and William Christoph have been providing the highest level of personal and professional defense representation.