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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Unhappy I Was Caught Switching Tags in a Department Store in New York

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: New York
    :New York:

    I am an international students. And my friend and I switched tags in a department store and I got caught because I went to the cashier. I was so stupid, it was my first time and I am very regretful and afraid now.

    The security guards of the store took me to a room, took my picture and asked me to write down my information (no police come). I dont have any ID with me, so they didnt copy my ID. But they found out "one envelop" with my name and address in my bag. So they have my name and my address.

    I just start working on campus so I have a SSN, but I didnt gave it to them because I cany remember the number and they didnt ask for that.

    Taken together, They only have my name, birthday and address.
    They dont have any number of my ID or passport and I will move out of the current apartment soon.

    I have read many articles in the forum. And I am wondering :

    1. if they will ask me to pay the civil demand since I am a foreigner without having my SSN and passport number. (the security said he was not sure, his company will decide)

    2. If yes, how much will be the "most" amount of civil demand in New York City. (I need to ask my parents for money if the amount is too large, but I dare not let my parents know until now )

    3. I may want to find an intership in New York. Some people in the forum mention that they were added into "theft database" when employers do background checks. Will I be found in the database in the future since they dont have my SSN, ID number and I will chage my address soon?

    4. Normally, although they said its only for store record, will they report the case to my school or bank, credit card company? because they saw I have a VISA card in my wallet. I am so nervous now.

    I am very helpless. And I made a really terrible mistake for fun with friend when I just start my life in New York. I am so regretful and will obey the law all the time in the future.

    I hope that there is anyone who can answer my question. Because I dare not tell this thing to my teachers, classmates and my parents. Only people on line can help me right now.

    Sincerely thank you so much

  2. #2

    Default Re: I Was Caught Switching Tags in a Department Store in New York

    The store can send you a civil demand for up to 5 times the amount of the merchandise. You did not write the dollar amount, but you can do the math. New York statutes call for a civil penalty of not less that $75.00 nor more than $500. They do not need your SSN to pursue the matter.

    They may, or may not, enter you in to in theft database, but again they do not need you SSN or Passport numbers to do so. If you move and leave no forwarding address - you run the risk of being sued in Civil Court. If that happens, and you lose, the amount you will be responsible for will certainly increase.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: I Was Caught Switching Tags in a Department Store in New York

    Thank you

    I will pay the civil demand and I think I should contact them before moving if I do not get their letter..

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