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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    3

    Default Can I Still be Stopped for Retail Theft After I Leave the Store

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: PA
    I was picked up by lost and prevention After i left a sears. I walked out the front entrance and was about 20 ft away when a Guy told me to come with him. I was arrested and charged with Retail theft. Can they even detain me (the store) after i left the store??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,124

    Default Re: Retail Theft

    Quote Quoting pawonder
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: PA
    I was picked up by lost and prevention After i left a sears. I walked out the front entrance and was about 20 ft away when a Guy told me to come with him. I was arrested and charged with Retail theft. Can they even detain me (the store) after i left the store??
    yes they can. Are you under the impression that if you get out the door you have succeeded in getting away with stealing? I'm really missing what your thoughts are concerning asking that question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3,793

    Default Re: Retail Theft

    Yup. Most LP policies require that you be at the exit/out the door prior to initiating a stop in order to give you every chance to pay for the merchandise. In some states, if store policy allowed it, you could be stopped as soon as you concealed the merchandise as that is all the law requires to substantiate a shoplifting/retail theft charge.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Retail Theft

    No i just remember from somewhere that if you left the store than they cannot chage you. I have court thursday and i understnad and accept the consequences. I was just looking to see if there was anything to lessen the charge.
    I have no other record play sports i vollunteer at a firhouse as a firefighter and am looking to play sports in college than head off to the millitary. I dont want this mistake to jeoperdize all of that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: Retail Theft

    Quote Quoting pawonder
    View Post
    I have no other record play sports i vollunteer at a firhouse as a firefighter and am looking to play sports in college than head off to the millitary. I dont want this mistake to jeoperdize all of that.
    You should have thought about that before you concealed the item in the store and walked out, not now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Retail Theft

    I agree that detention outside the store is perfectly legal. Some view it as the best practice. Personally, I think detention inside the store but past the last point of sale is better, if allowed under the law of the applicable state, because it gives the loss prevention employees more opportunity to control the situation. Either way, though, what happened to you was a proper way of detaining a shoplifter.

    More importantly, you need some advice about how to minimize the consequeces of this incident. I am an attorney but I am not licensed in Pennsylvania. Do not take this as creating an attorney-client relationship. Here is my opinion.

    You need to consult an attorney as soon as possible. If you cannot afford an attorney, tell the court that and asked that one be appointed for you. If you have to enter a plea before you have talked to an attorney, then plead "not guilty". This is perfectly approrpriate even though, from your post, you are guilty. When you plead "not guilty" all you are really doing is saying that the prosecution has to prove its case.

    The reason an attorney is so important is that there may be a diversion or deferred sentencing progrm available to you. If so, you may be able to avoid a criminal conviction on your record. Even if that is not an option, sometimes an attorney can negotiate reduced charges or a lighter sentence. To get a candid opinion about your options, you need to consult a lawyer. Do not expect judges, prosecutors, court staff, or anyone else to look out for your best interests.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Retail Theft

    Thanks semblance. I do have a lawyer and i hope things do go smoothly. I not looking to get off scotch free and i know what i did was wrong i jsut wish to have the best sentence for my situation

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