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Were you stereotyped with those shoplifting accusations?

You’ve been accused of shoplifting and stealing from a local store. You know that you did not do anything wrong. But it’s not just your innocence that you are concerned with. You’re also frustrated because you think you were stereotyped during the event.

4 common stereotypes

There are numerous different stereotypes that could play into it, but here are four of the most common that experts warn against:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Age

African Americans are often profiled in this regard, as are teens and other young people. Men are often the subject of suspicion more than women.

But these stereotypes do not actually expose who is or is not going to shoplift. Instead, studies have found that the way that people act in the store has much more bearing on the odds of stealing.

For instance, if a person exits a store and appears to be carrying nothing, without even going through the checkout line, it’s about six times as likely that they stole something as it is for a person who does go through the checkout and who buys other items. If a person is going to pay for at least one product, they’re much less likely to steal something at the same time. By watching this behavior, rather than looking for personal traits, store owners can actually identify who is most likely to shoplift.

What are your options?

Accusations of shoplifting or any other crime that you didn’t commit can be frustrating and detrimental to your life. Be sure you know what legal options you have.