My question involves criminal law for the state of:
Hey, I recently (a few days ago) was almost caught for shoplifting. It was in the state of California and it was my first time ever. It was very stupid and I think the only reason I even tried it was because my girlfriend used to tell me how she does it and it's easy. It was at a Macy's and I put two items in a shopping bag in the fitting room. Right then someone knocked on my door to I guess see if it was occupied. I became extremely scared and decided to walk out and down the elevator. All of a sudden I had a guilty conscience and realized that I couldn't do (I am a very paranoid person) and I started trembling. I also had a gut feeling that someone knew and for a minute became extremely paranoid and scared. I dropped the bag on the side of the floor and began to leave the store. I power walked out and went straight to my car.
First of all, I would like it to be known I am a very paranoid person and obsess a lot (I seriously think I have OCD, but am too scared to go to a doctor). Now, my question is that I saw a mall security car in the area and immediately became paranoid and thought what if somebody was watching me and they got my license plate number? I didn't actually walk out with anything, I got too scared, paranoid and gained a guilty conscience. I know that mall security or store LP can't and don't have the resources to do a search, but they can give the number to the local police. I've heard of police cases for something like hit and run or armed robbery where the license plate number and car description was used for tracking the suspect down, but will the police department even waste their time trying to find someone all over the place because of petty theft of around $140 even though the person never actually left the store with merchandise? Nothing actually happened because I got scared and paranoid and just dropped the bag and left. Also, prior to police, will security even go that far to get someone who, in the end, didn't actually take anything (assuming they were watching; I don't know if they were, I'm just paranoid and assume the worst)?
I don't think that the police are going to go around town looking for someone who was never actually proven to shoplift (again I never walked out or near a exit, I dropped the bag after my conscience kicked in and just walked out), but I'm still paranoid. My friend, along with others on this forum, and a California attorney website have said that three cardinal rules have to be met, and if they are not, then prosecution cannot occur. One of those rules is walking out of the store and then security has the right to stop you. That or anything even near that never happened.
My friends are telling me nothing will happen, I did the right thing after all and didn't actually shoplift. They think I'm just being paranoid. Well, I am a very paranoid person and am wondering if my license plate can be used to do something even though I didn't shoplift (something like you were considering it and opposed to we have physical evidence you actually did). I don't even know if I was being watched, I'm just scared. Any advice would be appreciated, I just want to put my guilty conscience to rest.
Thanks and sorry for the long paragraphs!