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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25980
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Can a person be charged , if the item never

Customer Question

Can a person be charged for shoplifting, if the item never left the store, and the owner told them never to come back,
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, Yes that person can. The item doesn't have to leave the store for a person to be charged with shoplifting. The facts and circumstances just have to make out the person's intent to leave the store. For example, if the store's surveillance video cam shows someone tucking an item under his clothes to hide it, he can be stopped as a shoplifter before he walks out of the store. In most cases, when a shoplifter is going to be charged with a crime, the police are called to the scene, but it's not always possible for the police to come. Usually, if a merchant just bans someone from the store and the police aren't involved, the merchant won't bother prosecuting. But they still can, if they want to. The state has til the statute of limitations runs out on that offense to press charges. In most states that's at least 6 months. If some, the statute of limitations takes years. If you reply here on this question thread and tell me what US state is involved here and how much value the item(s) stolen were, I can let you know how long the store has before the merchant can no longer get charges pressed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
South Carolina, and it was 5.99 and the merchant has been calling. The person wanting. Them to do sex favors ,
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the reply. South Carolina has no statute of limitations on any of its crimes. Theoretically that means this merchant can hold this theft over your head for the rest of your life, as the case would never be too old to be prosecuted. That said, what he's asking you is blackmail. You can report him to the police for this. Although it would mean telling them you tried to steal a $5.99 item, they should be much more interested in what he's doing -- which is a felony matter -- than in what you were doing. Still, because you'd be incriminating yourself, you might want to let a local lawyer report the blackmail with you, directly to a prosecutor in exchange for a promise you won't be prosecuted if you help in getting him convicted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The store had no cameras,
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
I just gave you the camera as an example. It's not the only example I could have given. If it's clear from the facts and circumstances that you intended to leave the store without paying for the item, you can be charged with and even convicted of shoplifting.