Can You Go To Jail For Getting Caught Shoplifting On Camera?

Can You Go To Jail For Getting Caught Shoplifting On Camera?

September 22, 2020 Off By Glespynorson

Are you considering skirting the law and trying to pocket things at the store without paying for them?

Reconsider that thought. Shoplifting isn’t as “safe” as it once was before advanced camera technology was cheap and accessible. Even self-service checkouts often have cameras right in front of your face.

But what happens if you get caught shoplifting on camera? Will you go to jail? Will you be penalized at all?

Before you go to the store with sticky fingers, read this first. We’ll let you know what your consequences might be.

What If No One Stops Me?

Many stores have rules against employees interacting with people who they suspect of shoplifting. These are in place to protect both the store and the employees. Loss prevention professionals are exceptions to this rule, but not all stores have them.

You might think that you’re in the clear just because you made it out of the store. The store may still know that you took the item if they have cameras. You still committed a crime and “getting out” doesn’t guarantee that no one saw you.

It just means that your punishment will come later.

Businesses Use Social Media For Identification

Maybe you did your best to skirt the cameras. You moved quickly and turned your face away, knowing that it might make you harder to identify.

Businesses who have been unable to identify shoplifters and have struggled to get help from local authorities without clear identification on the low-quality videos have turned to social media to find the culprits.

Once your face is online, it’s only a matter of time before someone who recognizes you speaks up. The store can then report you for shoplifting if they choose, or simply ban you from their store.

The Police May Contact You

If the police contact you after you’ve shoplifted, they most likely know that it was you on the videos. You might be contacted days, weeks, or months later. That’s right, you can be caught shoplifting months after you did it.

As with any police encounter, it’s in your best interest to not answer any questions before you get a lawyer.

The statute of limitations for shoplifting varies by state, but it’s enough time to get a positive identification and place a shoplifting charge on you.

Getting caught shoplifting isn’t the end of the world. It’s a low-level crime (unless you took something valuable) but it’s not a great thing to have on your record.

So What Happens If You Get Caught Shoplifting On Camera? Nothing Good

Shoplifters are rarely as careful as they think they are. Cameras are clear enough now that catching shoplifters is easier than ever. You’re not in the clear just because you’ve made it out of the store, or even because you’ve made it a few weeks without hearing from the police.

If you don’t want the punishment for shoplifting, it’s in your best interest to pay for your products. Otherwise, you’ll have to accept what happens if you get caught shoplifting on camera.

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