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Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.
So this is a civil matter of course and has nothing to do with the criminal law aspects to this event.
And the fact is that while the letter says they may sue you it is very, very unlikely that they will. And, on top of that they have to prove damages and the damages are not $500.
I have not yet heard of any store suing although I know once a few years ago they did and they won. But that was to make an example of someone and it's not happened again as far as I know.
In most cases if someone is in your position and sees a lawyer they are advised not to pay as the store just has not right to say this is a fine and require payment. This is made up on their part.
Does that make sense?
Ignore them! I would if it were me. Honestly.
I don't need to see the letter. I've seen dozens of them.
Yes if you pay them you won't hear from them again. If you don't you will get one more letter in all likelihood then they will be gone.
People only pay out of fear. They are not entitled to the money.
But it's up to you of course. I just told you what I would do.