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  • Shoplifting Question

    Hi I have a question - if someone is stopped by an in store detective for retail fraud (10 dollar item), license copied, written up and released after being told that he will receive a court summons in 30 days is it a guarantee that that person is going to court? I'm asking because it is his first time offense and he has never been convicted or arrested or anything - completely clean record. It's my younger brother (28 years old) and he can't even sleep at night so I'm trying to get some answers for him. This happened on May 12th and he hasn't received anything in the mail yet. Thanks so much for your time!

  • #2
    Ummmm, call the store and find out...or call the courthouse. We don't do things that way here...we would have just gone ahead and arrested him and let a magistrate set a bond. Anywho, first time he's done this or first time he's gotten caught? 28s a little old to all the sudden decide to steal.
    sigpic

    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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    • #3
      Hi - thanks for your response. If he calls the courthouse what should he say?

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      • #4
        "Do I have any charges pending?"
        sigpic

        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would call the store before I call the courthouse. I worked loss prevention for close to 4 years before getting into law enforcement. If we decided to prosecute a shoplifter, we detained them until law enforcement arrived and they were normally issued a state citation to book themselves (later) and then appear in court. If it was a felony or other circumstances existed, they were transported to jail.

          It strikes me as odd that they would cut someone loose after catching them shoplifting and then say they will have to come to court later. That seems like a lot more leg-work than having it taken care of at the time of the offense.
          I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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          • #6
            Sergeant,
            He told me that the man who stopped him outside of the store showed him a badge but he's not sure if he said 'police' or not. They asked him questions, took a copy of his license and said that he would come to court in 30 days. Maybe it was a police officer? Would that explain why he didn't have to sign anything, etc.?

            Also, if he calls the store who should he ask for and what should he say? Will he 'red flag' himself so to speak if he calls them up?

            Thank you.

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            • #7
              Shoplifting Question

              Originally posted by Colleen77 View Post
              Sergeant,
              He told me that the man who stopped him outside of the store showed him a badge but he's not sure if he said 'police' or not. They asked him questions, took a copy of his license and said that he would come to court in 30 days. Maybe it was a police officer? Would that explain why he didn't have to sign anything, etc.?

              Also, if he calls the store who should he ask for and what should he say? Will he 'red flag' himself so to speak if he calls them up?

              Thank you.
              I suggest your Brother make two calls. One to the store, one to the court.The procedure you described sounds a little strange to me. He needs to determine if charges have in fact been filed. If charges have been filed, he needs to make appearence in court at the date/time required.

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              • #8
                There are different courts, different dates, and different times. A guy telling your brother to "show up to court in 30 days" is weird in my book. There has to be paperwork that your brother would need in order to know where to go, charges against him, and other related material.
                I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know Massachusetts issues "special officer" commissions to loss prevention people and other security personnel. They empower those people to make arrests and such when on company property, but when they go off property, they revert to private citizens. It could be that one of these special officers is able to file a complaint without having to take someone into custody. I'm saying what I think, not what I know, and this still sounds fishy to me. In every cite-and-release scenario I've ever known, the defendant is given a notice to appear or some other document at the time of the contact. I agree with PhillipCal. The store has no legitimate reason to deny the incident if it happened and the person involved was one of their employees. If you get no satisfaction from the store, I'd go directly to the cops. It could be that some fake cop is shaking down people.
                  Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Colleen77 View Post
                    Sergeant,
                    Would that explain why he didn't have to sign anything, etc.?

                    Also, if he calls the store who should he ask for and what should he say? Will he 'red flag' himself so to speak if he calls them up?

                    Thank you.
                    I've never worked loss prevention. So I can only speculate. But in Florida, if it would've been a police officer then he would've had to sign his name on an arrest affidavit prior to being released. Then a court date would've been issued by mail. If he didn't sign anything, then I don't believe that this was a Law enforcement officer. Just take him to the store, or call the court house. You need to have this resolved before he's issued a warrant for "failure to appear".

                    A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                    It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

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                    • #11
                      I agree with Tim in theory, but I can't help but remind you that (by your own admission) he was caught stealing. If he's been let off the hook (lost paperwork, forgetful security guard, whatever) I don't think I'd suggest he get to the bottom of the issue....because that bottom line is that he committed a criminal act...
                      sigpic

                      I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is so great - thank you for this help. The officer (?) told him that he was being charged with retail fraud, and that he would receive a summons within 30 days to appear in court. The officer asked my brother a few times if it was his right address on the license he took a copy of and he kept saying yes and then he said, well okay, if you don't show up in court I'm going to come find you. But again, my brother did not sign anything. The only paperwork done before he was released was a photocopy of his license was taken. Whether or not the officer could write up a report after he left without anything signed etc I don't know? My brother admitted what he had done so is that enough for evidence in this situation?

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                        • #13
                          Oh, one more thing - he said that he 'could' arrest my brother but he was giving him a break and said if the item was more than 10 dollars then he could have. This is all very confusing - does this all sound standard?

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                          • #14
                            Shoplifting.

                            Originally posted by Colleen77 View Post
                            Oh, one more thing - he said that he 'could' arrest my brother but he was giving him a break and said if the item was more than 10 dollars then he could have. This is all very confusing - does this all sound standard?
                            It sounds like a whole lot of Bull. Have your brother make the calls we suggested. The sooner the better. You seem to be getting your information second hand, and that could be part of the problem. You're also asking for legal advice which we really can't give. Have him make the calls. I can't emphasize that enough.

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                            • #15
                              Ok i work retail Loss prevention with over 200 stops myself in the last 2 years. 10$ could get him arrested if there company allows them to call cops at that limit. usally though what they charge you with say in his case.. he goes i could get you arrested for this 10$ but im cutting you a break. he is lying cause on paper if the boss see's 10$ and thats there limit to call the cops you dont get to decide you have to. now for 10$ with no offense he is going to get a fine in the mail and that's it rarely i have people go to court unless there breaking parole. have a warrent or i have to call the cops on them ( my limit is 20$ ) i have never seen a person go to court if its under my limit. say 1-19.99$ they just get a fine in the mail and pay it.

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