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  • Petty theft

    I have previously applied with numerous police departments for police officer and one department for operator and I have passed every written and physical (11 minute mile and a half, 60 push-ups in minute, 48 sit-ups in minute). I have also done two oral boards and passed those as well. I just recently turned in my background packet and they said they are going to pick from there who will be going into the background investigations and who will be kicked out before then. On my record I have a criminal speeding ticket (16 or 17 years old) that I took driving school for and petty theft charge I got when I was 17, but they waited to prosecute me as an adult (7 months later!), and that has been dismissed. Below are the details of the theft:

    "In July of 2011 while employed at Best Buy (17 years of age), a customer was issued a $25 gift card for a purchase on a GPS unit. I gave the customer the gift card, and as he exited the store he left the gift card on the counter (in which I was unaware of for a few minutes). I noticed the card and stowed it by my register until we were closed. After we closed I was throwing the trash away and then again came in contact with the gift card. Instead of throwing the card away or giving it to my supervisor, I used terrible judgment and kept it. I was asked if I had taken anything while working at the cash register. I admitted to wrongfully taking the gift card and after discussion, Best Buy thought it was in their best interest to charge me with theft on the customers’ behalf. I was later not convicted of this charge."

    I am now 20 years old, 21 in 2 and a half months, how will this effect me? I have never tried any drugs, and I have not also bought or sold them. I know it will effect me in a negative manner obviously, but so much so that no department will hire me? I am not a klepto, nor is it a pattern of behavior. I just stress about it all the time and hate knowing I have that on my record and will have to deal with it forever... I am also going to school for Finance, I have 66 credits and a 3.8 GPA.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Last edited by Molon_Labe; 08-01-2014, 03:58 AM.
    "Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing." - Frogman Ballad

  • #2
    You are probably okay. I don't think it will prevent you from ever being hired. But if the other applicants have stellar records, you might be bypassed. Doesnt mean you aren't qualified.

    I know guys and gals that became officers who had previous charges such as leaving scene of accident with property damage, selling alcohol to a minor, and passing worthless checks.

    All misdemeanors, all mistakes, but it didn't hold them back and you shouldn't let yours hold you back either. Two of those individuals with former charges that I mentioned above have awesome careers and became Criminal Investigators.

    Comment


    • #3
      Theft from an employer is considered a serious thing. As an employee you have an established "trust" with your employer and breaking that trust is a bit more than this just being a "theft" charge.

      Is this a "fatal" problem?....................probably not a PERMANENT FATAL problem, but don't for a minute think it is not going to be a consideration when the Chief/Sheriff/CEO is faced with a hire or not question.

      As stated above , the competition you are going to be facing is tough. Getting hired is tough even for the "totally stellar" candidates.

      I also want you to be careful when you think about what "other officers" did before getting hired. Times have changed----what happened then and at that specific location has absolutely NOTHING to do with what is going on today at the location YOU are applying to.

      Good Luck
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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      • #4
        I don't see your lapse in good judgement as a permanent DQ. I do see it as a rather substantial roadblock for you though. Why? Because this profession is overloaded with stellar applicants who don't bring your issues to the table. I also see a rather profound degree of rationalization and minimization concerning to the theft.

        The fact that you were subsequently found not guilty of the charge doesn't mitigate your guilt, as you've admitted to it here. You err when you compare yourself to other Officers who have had problems. Agencies are NOT looking at these people, they are looking at you.

        Time could be your ally provided that you build a solid and substantial work history. One that shows the ability to be trusted, and which shows increasing amounts of responsibility.

        Obviously, you'll want to be completely honest concerning the theft charge. Own up to it, take responsibility for it, and you might have a shot down the road.

        Comment


        • #5
          Employee theft is a huge issue but, in your case, should not be insurmountable. You were young and stupid; most of us have been there in one manner or another. Like Philip said, I don't think it is anything that a good work history and time can't heal.

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          • #6
            To piggy back on what everyone else said, I also encourage you to enlist in the military and serve an honorable tour. Most places tend to look favorably upon military service as it will arm you with discipline and skills. Additionally, the life experience can further contribute that you made a stupid mistake when you were young and you have truly grown and now solidly reflect the core values of integrity, honor, etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Caballero1508 View Post
              You are probably okay. I don't think it will prevent you from ever being hired. But if the other applicants have stellar records, you might be bypassed. Doesnt mean you aren't qualified.

              I know guys and gals that became officers who had previous charges such as leaving scene of accident with property damage, selling alcohol to a minor, and passing worthless checks.

              All misdemeanors, all mistakes, but it didn't hold them back and you shouldn't let yours hold you back either. Two of those individuals with former charges that I mentioned above have awesome careers and became Criminal Investigators.
              I don't know about the state you're in but here in Arizona that would be considered a felony

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HotSoup View Post
                I don't know about the state you're in but here in Arizona that would be considered a felony
                Florida. Misdemeanor unless amount is over 150$

                Comment


                • #9
                  Iowa #1603, I know theft from an employer is a serious thing, and by no way am I trying to down play this, so please don't get the wrong impression. But Best Buy decided to prosecute me on the customers behalf (I am guilty and I completely owned up to it and payed the guy back who's gift card it was), but I didn't steal from my employer, rather a customer left a gift card on the table he was rewarded for a purchase and I made a horrible choice and took it. I know a theft is still a theft, and I am the one who is paying the price, and I own up to it. Thank you for replying to my post. I have read many of your posts' and they are invaluable.
                  Last edited by Molon_Labe; 08-02-2014, 05:29 AM.
                  "Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing." - Frogman Ballad

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                    The fact that you were subsequently found not guilty of the charge doesn't mitigate your guilt, as you've admitted to it here. You err when you compare yourself to other Officers who have had problems. Agencies are NOT looking at these people, they are looking at you.
                    Thank you for your advice and reply PhilipCal. I paid $2,000 for an attorney to try and make it go away, and I knew I was guilty so I owned up to it. I told the judge I was guilty and he said I can take a diversion to dismiss the charge, so I did just that. I know it doesn't make it go away but I tried to better myself from my mistake and learn from it.
                    I think everybody in this world learns from their mistakes, it is how they act upon what they've learned that separates them. Some people will better themselves and never do it again, others will take the learning experience from their mistake and try to not get caught a second time and better their craft. I became a volunteer at a homeless shelter and helped people create resumés, apply for jobs, and learn how to use a computer.
                    Lastly, I don't think I compared myself to anyone else, as I know they will be looking solely at me as a whole. If I typed something that gave you that impression that is my fault.

                    Thank you again for replying, I was going to get a job at a bank, but my job pays better currently. After reading what you've said I may try for the bank because it takes on a bigger responsibility and I deal with money, so it will show I have matured, and have excellent integrity.
                    Last edited by Molon_Labe; 08-02-2014, 06:04 AM.
                    "Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing." - Frogman Ballad

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Caballero1508 View Post
                      To piggy back on what everyone else said, I also encourage you to enlist in the military and serve an honorable tour. Most places tend to look favorably upon military service as it will arm you with discipline and skills. Additionally, the life experience can further contribute that you made a stupid mistake when you were young and you have truly grown and now solidly reflect the core values of integrity, honor, etc.
                      Caballero, I actually was going to join the Army as an 11x option 40 (Ranger contract), but because I have a slight case of eczema, I can't... I've also looked at putting myself through the academy, but I'm scared I will not get hired within the next year and my certification will run out.
                      Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it, I just have to not get discouraged which will be tough.
                      "Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing." - Frogman Ballad

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Molon_Labe View Post
                        Iowa #1603, I know theft from an employer is a serious thing, and by no way am I trying to down play this, so please don't get the wrong impression. But Best Buy decided to prosecute me on the customers behalf (I am guilty and I completely owned up to it and payed the guy back who's gift card it was), but I didn't steal from my employer, rather a customer left a gift card on the table he was rewarded for a purchase and I made a horrible choice and took it. I know a theft is still a theft, and I am the one who is paying the price, and I own up to it. Thank you for replying to my post. I have read many of your posts' and they are invaluable.
                        I understand what you are saying--------------However

                        You took the card from a position of trust using your status as a Best Buy employee. Therefore it still qualifies Looking at it from an employer point of view--and more importantly as a LAW ENFORCEMENT employer point of view

                        I think it will be a significant bump in the roadway of getting hired as a LEO. It happened when you were young enough to be considered a "stupid move" rather than as an adult who should have known better. Therefore like I said before-----I don't think it is a permanent fatal problem.


                        Originally posted by Molon_Labe View Post
                        Lastly, I don't think I compared myself to anyone else, as I know they will be looking solely at me as a whole. If I typed something that gave you that impression that is my fault.
                        Actually it was some other people on this thread that were saying that some other officers had been hired with shaddy backgrounds. PhilipCal and I BOTH were cautioning you not to compare others getting hired to your situation
                        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You're age counts against you too. Though some agencies hire younger people. Have you finished your education? Learned a second language? Look at ways to make yourself competitive.
                          Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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                          • #14
                            You seem now to want to argue. That being the case, let's do a little review. It was YOU who came to us with a question, not the other way around. Your question was answered with 100% accuracy by each colleague who took the time to reply.

                            At the end of the day, and by your own admission, you DID commit a crime. It really is that simple. The sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you'll be able to deal with it. As I noted to you in my initial reply, I don't see your situation as a permanent DQ, although it is, and it should be, a rather substantial road block. It ain't going to simply "go away" either. It will remain a point any agency will consider in making a decision to hire you.

                            Again, and at the risk of sounding repetitive, about the only realistic shot you have at entering this profession is to build a solid and substantial work history. One that not only demonstrates dependability, but increasing degrees of trust in your personal integrity.

                            Now, if you want some namby pamby answer(s), something you simply desire to hear, visit Dr. Phil, Hillary's Village, or some similar 'Feel good" site. They'll tell you just want you want to hear. It'll be free, in the same manner our advice is. Only problem for you is their replies will be bull****. Ours have been the truth, and at the end of the day, you really can't put a price on that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                              You seem now to want to argue. That being the case, let's do a little review. It was YOU who came to us with a question, not the other way around. Your question was answered with 100% accuracy by each colleague who took the time to reply.
                              I'm not trying to argue at all. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I was just trying to go into more detail and a little more in depth and it wasn't needed. I really appreciate all of everyones advice and being honest, you do this on your own time and I appreciate it a lot.
                              Thank you
                              "Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing." - Frogman Ballad

                              Comment

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