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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default Case Law for Shoplifting

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California


    Anyone know case law that would cover a shoplifter concealing items, attempting to exit a store by walking past the last register before the exit and being stopped before actually exiting? Our local Sheriff Deputies refuse to take a case UNLESS the suspected person has crossed the "exit" door and gone outside. I am unable to find anything on the internet and hope someone here could help me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Case Law for Shoplifting

    There is nothing in the California shoplifting/theft statutes that allows a merchant to make an apprehension at the time of concealment. There is plenty of case law in states where apprehension is allowed at the time of concealment where the defendants were found not guilty by juries. I suggest you follow what your local law enforcement/prosecutor wants.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    3,837

    Default Re: Case Law for Shoplifting

    Quote Quoting tasercop
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California


    Anyone know case law that would cover a shoplifter concealing items, attempting to exit a store by walking past the last register before the exit and being stopped before actually exiting? Our local Sheriff Deputies refuse to take a case UNLESS the suspected person has crossed the "exit" door and gone outside. I am unable to find anything on the internet and hope someone here could help me.
    You need to find the EXACT statute you wish to possibly charge under. Any good size library will have the CA Code. Find the section in question in the Code. After it will be case law annotations. Bear in mind, just because there is a citation, it does not necessarily mean it is still GOOD law. I am sure there will be many cites.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    14,757

    Default Re: Case Law for Shoplifting

    Quote Quoting tasercop
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California


    Anyone know case law that would cover a shoplifter concealing items, attempting to exit a store by walking past the last register before the exit and being stopped before actually exiting? Our local Sheriff Deputies refuse to take a case UNLESS the suspected person has crossed the "exit" door and gone outside. I am unable to find anything on the internet and hope someone here could help me.
    There are cases that support apprehensions before exit, after exit, eve, to support an arrest at the time of concealment.

    I suspect that your local Sheriff's Department is operating under the District Attorney's guidelines, and they know that unless the defendant has left the store or is caught upon exiting, they won't file. My DA is one of those. Other counties will file so long as the defendant passed the last register. Perhaps you can contact a supervisor or administrator at the Sheriff's Department and ask them what the policy is for them taking a report for shoplifting. It could be that the local deputies are operating under a misconception, or, just lazy.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Case Law for Shoplifting

    Thanks guys &/or gals. CDWJAVA - we're probably in the same county. Our deputies (not all of course) refuse to look at the evidence as a whole and exercise the squishy stuff between their ears. Our exits have no retail merchandise near them and our last area for possible payment is between the exit and the last space of usable retail space. Our DA will not provide a "guideline" because each case is weighed upon it's own merit (and the report writing ability and interview techniques of the deputy that took the case). And most, but not all, of our deputies consider "So, why did you try to steal that......" an interview technique. So i am in a quandary of
    1) educate the deputy or
    2) wait till my bad guys (suspected of course) get outside and risk other issues i am sure you are familiar with...
    neither of those options are of any particular value to me

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,757

    Default Re: Case Law for Shoplifting

    You will not be able to "educate" the deputy. If his supervisors find that he is making decisions based on bad info or training, they should be able to effect the correction themselves. If YOU try, I guarantee you that will go over like a lead balloon.

    You just might have to wait until they exit the store to make your snatch.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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