Firm Logo

Shoplifting FAQ

March 08, 2019

While shoplifting is often thought of as a juvenile crime, this serious offense costs businesses around the country billions of dollars annually. Shoplifting occurs when a person takes merchandise from a business without paying for it. Businesses worldwide are forced to deal with shoplifters to prevent losing out monetarily, so they often use various different deterrents to prevent the crime from happening in their store.

How to Deter Shoplifters

Most modern-day businesses have at least one surveillance camera to monitor their store, protect their merchandise from theft and provide proof of any crime to authorities. When visible, surveillance cameras often work as a deterrent against theft. The shoplifter knows that even if they get away with the merchandise, their faces have been captured on camera and will likely be forwarded to the police. Even when a business doesn’t have surveillance cameras, it may be wise to post signs or warnings for shoplifters explaining that they will be prosecuted by the law if caught. Other deterrents businesses often utilize to prevent shoplifting includes:

• Hiring a loss prevention specialist

• Adding security tags to merchandise that will beep when the item is removed from the store

• Keeping merchandise clean and organized

• Strategically placing mirrors on the sales floor

Can Shoplifters be Detained?

Loss prevention specialists often watch customers closely to look for possible signs of shoplifting. In some stores, the agent will wear plain clothes and pretend to walk around the store shopping like a normal customer. In this way, they can catch more potential shoplifters. When a loss prevention specialist identifies a shoplifter, they have the option of either confronting the suspect or calling the police. In most cases, shoplifters will be long gone by the time law enforcement officials arrive to the scene unless the loss prevention specialist confronts them. According to the law, merchants do have a legal right to detain a suspected shoplifter in a reasonable manner for a reasonable amount of time as long as there are reasonable grounds to believe the person committed or attempted to commit shoplifting.

False Accusations and Civil Liability

Before the merchant can legally detain the person, they must have proof or sufficient grounds to believe the person was shoplifting. Suspicion alone is not enough evidence. The potential shoplifter must be held in a reasonable manner, which may be difficult if the person is uncooperative. If the merchant acts unreasonably or falsely accuses someone of shoplifting, then they open themselves up to a potential civil liability lawsuit.

Contact an Experienced Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with shoplifting in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. Criminal defense attorney Michele Finizio has successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Willingboro and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-888-9059 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Reviews Matter

“First class representation. Michele was my son’s attorney after he made a slight but bad decision that hurt no one, but one that potentially could have a caused a lifetime of employment problems in the future, despite having a four year college degree. First of all Michele was very proactive in protecting his rights. Rights we were not even aware of. She provided quick and reliable answers to our questions. Before we met with her our anxiety and worry was insatiable. The peace we felt after our first consultation alleviated all that and we knew we picked the right attorney. Her excellent negotiation skills resulted in a settling his case quickly and without conviction.

We owe a debt of gratitude for her service. I was shocked at how much she was able to do for my son. She is a solid lawyer who is honest and works to insure the best possible outcome for her client is achieved.”
- Former Client

“Michele was very prompt when getting back to me when I called regarding legal counsel. Michele kept me informed and in the loop while awaiting trial. Very professional qualities and I highly recommend Michele and will continue to seek her legal expertise in the future. Thanks.”
- Former Client

“I could not had ask for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my case and the case of those I’ve recommended as if we were part of her family. She gave it all she had, made her voice and case be heard in court and made it count, and we had the best possible outcome, thanks to her experience and expertise. Thank you very much for an outstanding job.”
- D.A.

"Michele is an outstanding, no “beating around the bush” lawyer. She has done a remarkable job as a lawyer for me. Before Michele, I did not get along with Criminal Lawyers – she comes HIGHLY recommended by me to anyone who needs a Criminal Lawyer."
- C.O.
View All Client Reviews