Shoplifting has always been part of the retail industry. Small shopkeepers and big businesses alike understand that a small percentage of the public will try to take products without paying for them if possible.
Shoplifting actually factors in to how businesses price the products that they sell to the public, how they lay out their stores and even the jobs that staff perform. Of course, even if companies work “shrink losses” in to their total operating costs, they still try to prevent shoplifting.
Management team members and loss prevention or security staff will keep a close eye on shopper behavior, stock levels and entrances to minimize business losses. Unfortunately, an increase in shoplifting over the past year may prompt retailers to become aggressive and possibly accuse those who did nothing wrong.
What looks like shoplifting can be innocent behavior
Shoplifting can take many forms. Sometimes it involves people trying to run out of a store with an armful or cartload of products before anyone stops them. Other people unwrap and deactivate security devices on products and hide them in their clothing, baby strollers or carts, possibly under products they intend to pay for. Some people put items inside other items, and others swap out price tags.
Anything that you do in a store that seems out of the ordinary, from trying on two pairs of sunglasses at once to placing items in certain spots under your cart might lead to accusations of shoplifting. Sometimes, people are detained and then arrested before they ever even leave a store.
If you face shoplifting allegations because of over-aggressive enforcement efforts at a local store, you will want to aggressively defend against the pending theft charges that could limit your options in the future. An experienced attorney can help.