My question involves criminal law for the state of: California
Starting from a year ago, I have shoplifted a few times from Kohl's, Macy's, and once from JCPenny, and I have never been caught, nor have I been stopped by any store employees or LP officer. I am fully aware of the ethics and criminal consequences of my actions thanks to threads from this site; I know I was dishonest and cheating the companies of their merchandise and money and am a thief. I finally "woke up" a few months ago vowing never to shoplift again. (And no, I cannot explain my actions. It was wrong, I was aware it was wrong at the time, and out of plain stupidity, I did it anyway.)
My two questions are:
1. Because all of these stores have video surveillance, what are the chances that upon review of lost inventory and surveillance tapes, they identify me and charge me with shoplifting and/or ban me from the stores (police showing up at my door? being stopped at the entrance next time I go to the store and told I am not allowed on the premises?)? I am aware that in order to be stopped by store employees, there needs to be proof beyond probable cause (this I learned as a former Macy's employee - before the instances of shoplifting), but are the rules different when it comes to being caught after the fact? I do recall a time when I put an article of clothing under my shirt, and then bought another item with my credit card - thus, they technically have my name.
2. Is it advisable for me to send the stores a sum of money, anonymously or not, with a brief letter explaining that I have shoplifted and the money is to somehow pay them back? I think $1000 each to Kohl's and Macy's and $50 to JCPenny would more than doubly cover the amount I stole, but as I did not keep track of the items I stole, I cannot say for certain what the exact amount should be.