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    veryneatdesk's Avatar
    veryneatdesk Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 14, 2007, 10:23 AM
    Can I prove my innocence?
    I didn't even leave the store. I went to look out the doors to see if my friend was coming and they stopped me and told me I was being charged for shoplifting. The security guard said it was my intention to steal. I explained to him that I never would have left the store without paying. Should I plead guiltyor do I have a defense?
    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #2

    Feb 14, 2007, 10:33 AM
    What happened next?
    Did the police come? If so, what did they say?
    Have you actually been charged by local law enforcement?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #3

    Feb 14, 2007, 02:11 PM
    Following up on Ricks, Security guards can not charge you with a criminal charge, they hold you for the police, who take a complant from the store and then charges are filed.

    Were you arrested, did you post bail?

    Next where were the windows, were they past the checkout lines, were you walking toward the door ( windows in that direction) past the check out.

    Next where was the items, in plain veiw or hidden?
    charlie72's Avatar
    charlie72 Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Jun 26, 2008, 01:39 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by veryneatdesk
    I didn't even leave the store. I went to look out the doors to see if my friend was coming and they stopped me and told me I was being charged for shoplifting. The security guard said it was my intention to steal. I explained to him that I never would have left the store without paying. Should I plead guiltyor do I have a defense?
    If you didn't! Then you didn't and don't plead anything, If you were charged then get an attorney, and if innocent or they drop the charges, file suit.
    JimGunther's Avatar
    JimGunther Posts: 436, Reputation: 38
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    #5

    Jun 26, 2008, 09:00 PM
    This matter has probably been resolved by now but I will respond anyway. I was in retail security for 13 years and find it hard to believe that the scenario occurred as you say it did. First of all, let's get one thing straight about the arrest powers of store security personnel. Of course it varies from state to state, but for the 13 years I arrested shoplifters and dishonest employees as part of a store security team, I was commissioned by the Maryland State Police to make arrests on all property owned by the store I worked for. If someone assaulted me during a lawful arrest, they could be charged with assaulting a police officer and/or resisting arrest.

    Of course not all store security people are granted police powers, but as a general rule they can hold you for the police as mentioned above.

    If this case has gone to court, I would find it hard to believe that you would be convicted unless you removed the tags from the item, or concealed it on your person. In my state "concealment with intent to deprive" is sufficient for a conviction and tearing tags off is a separate part of the theft statute. Other than something like that, walking up to a door with a store item does not constitute probable cause for arrest. I have seen many people hold garments up to a door or window to see how it looks in sunlight.

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