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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I received a letter from Walmart Asset Protection Recovery

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I received a letter from Walmart Asset Protection Recovery regarding an incident I was involved in that was considered shoplifting. They are demanding 300.00 in damages. The criminal charges have been dismissed, Walmart has the merchandise do I have to pay this $300 or is this a scam?

Hello Jacustomer,

This is not a scam. When a theft occurs, the matter can proceed civilly as well as criminally. Stores are allowed to fine well in excess of the purchase price of the item to defray the costs of their surveillance system, their theft insurance, their security guards and their loss prevention departments.

There are those who would not pay this, figuring that it's very unlikely that the store will take you to court over this, especially since the criminal charges have already come and gone. But yes, it's perfectly legal.

Here is the Illinois civil shoplifting statue:
Sec. 16A-7. Civil Liability.

(a) A person who commits the offense of retail theft as defined in Section 16A-3 paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of this Code, shall be civilly liable to the merchant of the merchandise in an amount consisting of:

(i) actual damages equal to the full retail value of the merchandise as defined herein; plus

(ii) an amount not less than $100 nor more than $1,000; plus

(iii) attorney's fees and court costs.


Almost makes $300 sound like a bargain. . .

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What about getting the damages reduced?


Hi Charla,

You can try to negotiate with Walmart Asset Recovery. I have known it to work sometimeswith some companies. Others are inflexible. Wallmart loses a fortune to shoplifters, so they may want to make their point.

If you don't pay, while I doubt they'll sue you, this will likely affect your credit.

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