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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Exclamation Store Owner is Holding a Shoplifter's Property

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Alabama
    If im 17 and I was taking a two dollar drink and if the owner of the shop stopped me and took my school bag with my wallet when I tried to admit and pay double for the drink and then my hat and glasses my bag has my school issued iPad and the bag had the 2 drink that I took and then kicked me out of the store saying he's gonna call my principle and the cops this was this morning and nothing has happened I need to get my stuff back and I have money to pay I don't want my parents knowing what do I do is this legal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Legal

    what he did wasn't legal but what you did wasn't either.

    so, call the cops and tell them the merchant is holding your property. He may just file a complaint of the theft at that point. Then you may both find out what it's like to be in the defendants chair.

    I suggest he may be holding the stuff so you will get your parents involved.

    btw: whether you have the money now or had it with you at the time means nothing. You did attempt to steal. You cannot undo the crime.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: Legal

    Here's what I got from your post, your lack of punctuation makes it a bit confusing.

    1.)You went into a store and tried to steal a drink worth $2
    2.) The owner of the store took your backpack, hat, glasses, wallet, and the contents of your backpack.
    3.) The owner kicked you out of the store without returning the backpack.
    4.) The owner threatened to call the police, and/or your school.

    Is that the correct order of events?

    To your concerns, no, it is not legal for him to keep your backpack, and your other stuff. However it also wasn't legal for you to steal that drink. His wrong does not negate yours (nor does yours negate his).

    The best way to handle this without your parents finding out is to call the store, speak to the owner politely, apologize, and ask for your stuff back. If he gives it back then you are all set. if not then you are out of luck.

    If you just want your stuff back and the owner refuses then you can call the police and file a complaint, however you can expect the owner to file a complaint and you can expect to be arrested for shop lifting. You can also gather proof that the belongings are yours, and then sue the owner for them, however this will likely also lead to the owner filing a criminal complaint and you being arrested.

    If any kind of legal action takes place then your parents will find out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Legal

    If you are under 18, then you will be charged for shoplifting a $2 item as a juvenile. So, any punishment may be lenient.

    The owner, on the other hand, may not be so lucky. If the owner is an adult, and if he stole an amount worth a certain amount of dollars, then the owner may be charged as an adult with a FELONY. That Ipad could be worth a lot of money.

    So, tell the owner that this situation will hurt him worse than it will hurt you. If that doesn't convince him to give you back your stuff, then call the police.

    If the Ipad was given by the school and the school expects the Ipad to be returned, then the school authorities will eventually find out about this anyway, right?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Store Owner is Holding a Shoplifter's Property

    I'd say he got the better of the deal. Ripping off criminals can often be profitable and helps defray the expenses related to theft. That said, I think he is waiting for your parents to get involved. BTW I don't think your teachers will blieve this is why you do not have your homework done Monday.

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