First off I would like to take the time to thank any and every one that takes the time to read my situation and can offer any advice.
I was shopping at Walmart a few weeks ago, my first stop in Walmart was the Electronics Department where I picked up 2 DVDs and threw them into my cart. Checked my list to see what I needed next and continued on with my shopping. I ended up picking up several larger items, which made me place the DVDs in the upper area of the cart where my purse was. I stopped at the Jewelry department, made a purchase, and put the item (in a walmart bag with reciept) into my purse. Shortly thereafter I made my way to the checkout and made my purchases. I should mention at this point that during my shopping in Walmart I kept coming upon this very disheveled looking man that was flirting with me, he even bumped into me during one of the encounters and then apogized and winked at me. (weird)
So I've made my purchases and as I was walking out the door the alarm went off, I thought nothing of it because the alarms go off there all the time. Still, I stopped, pulled my cart back inside the store and handed my reciept to one of the Walmart employee's at the door while another employee looked through the cart. They finished looking smiled and waved me through saying "You're fine sweety, these things go off all the time" at the next exit (there are two exits in the garden center one at the actual building and then another at garden center gate) so at the next exit, the walmart employee looked at my recipt, glanced through the cart and thanked me for shopping at Walmart.
I got about 10 steps out into the parking lot when I heard a voice behind me "Hey, can I talk to you for a minnute babe?" When I turned around and said "I don't think so" I saw it was the same scruffy looking man that had been following me throughout the store. At that point I got a little nervous, and turned to keep walking... he then said "Are you sure I can't talk to you for a minnute honey?" by this time I am nervous, a little frightened, and very anoyed. I snarled back at him "Yes!, I'm SURE!" It was then that he identified himself as Walmart security and asked me if I could come back in the store with him. Still a little wary but feeling that the store would be a safe place I agreed.
As "Scruffy" and I are walking back into the store, his whole attitude changes he's no longer hitting on me he's in "payback mode" - "Are you REALLY going to tell me that you don't know why I stopped you?" to which I replied Yes. At almost the same time I am saying yes, I look down and see the 2 DVD's that were the first items I picked up in the store in the top basket of the cart. (the layout was such: front of cart basket, purse, dvd's, back of cart basket)
Now I feel stupid, and I'm not to good to admit... a little full of myself. This guys not hitting on me, he's security! I laughed and explained to him that I didn't realize they were there and I would glady pay for them. To which his response was "You WISH you could pay for them, you're busted!" I further try to explain that I am an honest person and this is an honest mistake, I will gladly pay for the dvd's I missed them in checkout just like the 3 Walmart employee's that searched my cart did when I came back inside the store when the alarm went off. They didn't see them, I forgot about them... it was a MISTAKE. That's when he tells me that "Maybe this will teach me a lesson and I will be nicer to people in the future" (nicer to people!!!?????) He then tell's me he's been doing this for 10 years and he knows it wasn't a mistake and that I probably "don't even have the means to pay for the items that's why I stole them" I again reiterate that I did NOT steal them, that it was an honest mistake, I showed him that I had plenty of cash to pay for the dvd's. His response was "What? Were ya gonna pay for 'em in the F***ing parking lot?!" I then realized I was not going to get anywhere with this guy he was hellbent on making my day one I wished I never got up for.
He then take's me in a back room, photographs me and asks me to sign some paper... after glancing at the paper I see that it says shoplifting and refuse to sign it because I WAS NOT SHOPLIFTING. He then tells me that I will be recieving a letter within a few weeks, with a demand from Walmart for $200 that I can pay in payments if need be. He calls the police, they come, fingerprint me and have me sign a arrest/complaint form and let me walk out of Walmart on my own acord with a warning that if I come back to Walmart I will be arrested for tresspassing.
I don't know what to do at this point, do I need a lawyer? Will one be provided for me? Do I have any recourse, I feel violated by "scruffy" and Walmart.
The total for the DVD's was $37 I am in Miami FL.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.