First of all, theft crimes can be divided into a variety of offenses; including, shoplifting, petty theft, and grand theft. Then there are several sub-categories such as grand theft-auto, and different kinds of financial fraud. These are basically the general categories.
What Does The Severity Of A Shoplifting Charge Depend On?
The main difference between a petty theft charge and a grand theft charge is the dollar amount, but the difference between a shoplifting or petty theft charge and grand theft or a robbery charge is the intent behind it. With shoplifting, you’re going grocery shopping and while you’re inside you suddenly decides there are some really nice pens here that you like and you decide steal those after you have already entered the building. Because you entered into the store without the prior intent to actually take something, that would be classified as petty theft or shoplifting because it’s under $950 and you formed the intent to commit the act after entering the premises.
Usually, for shoplifting, there’s some sort of diversion program that’s available to a person if it’s a first offense, but there are monetary limits. Let’s say, for example, you went to Wal-Mart, you’re in the middle of grocery shopping, and you decide to steal a few items – whether they are already in your shopping cart or not. Depending on the County where the events took place, if the total value of the stolen items is approximately $200 or more, you will likely NOT qualify for a diversion program.
Where Do People Typically Shoplift From? What Are Some of the Items That They Take?
It varies! I’ve come across shoplifting cases that involved higher-end department stores, others that involved retail chains like Wal-Mart or Target. It’s usually not the big box stores, but it can happen. I’ve had high-end department stores, low-end department stores, so it varies greatly. The items involved will depend on what the store is. Sometimes it’s an article of clothing. Sometimes, it could be CDs or it could be make-up. It just depends.
What Are The Typical Reasons People Give For Having Shoplifted?
It depends on the person. Sometimes, it can be due to disorientation if someone is being taken off regular medications, it could be a simply misunderstanding, or a momentary lapse in judgment. Quite often, the person just forgot that they had some items in their cart. Of those who had that lapse in judgment, it may have been simply a momentary thrill-seeking event.
Some people may engage in theft activity to look for that thrill because it’s not something that’s going to hurt them physically. It’ll hurt their future careers, but there is generally no physical danger. Sometimes it really is just a misunderstanding; being weaned off of certain medications can make a person’s judgment cloudy. There are a variety of reasons why something like this could happen or why somebody could find themselves in a situation like this.
Have You Ever Dealt With Clients That Shoplift Due To Compulsion Or For Thrills?
Off the top of my head, I don’t know if I’ve had the thrill seekers. I’ve had some situations where people knew what they were doing. But I wouldn’t necessarily classify that as a thrill-seeker. The reason could have been for the thrill, but I don’t know for certain if that actually applies or it was something else. That definitely is one reason why people may do it, and my research would indicate that it’s one of the most common reasons people seem to consider shoplifting.
Is It Easy Nowadays For Retail Stores To Catch Someone Taking Something Even by Accident?
Yes. It’s fairly easy for retail stores to watch someone to see if the intent to steal is there. I don’t know if that has created much of a deterrent, because usually retail stores will stop somebody and say, “If you agree to pay us this civil demand, then we won’t call the police.” Quite often, that’s where the matter stays. The alleged victim of the theft (i.e., the store) just leaves it at that. In a way, they’ve taken the bite out of their dog.
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