Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
    mavsss's Avatar
    mavsss Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 8, 2006, 06:26 PM
    Ok, So I'm trying to remail calm and composed as I type this... I'm currently at work and cannot leave to deal with this situation until later tonight.

    So I just heard from my mom that a family member (of legal age) of mine has been arrested (as is in jail) as I type this for shoplifting. For those that may know, this was apparently at Zellers (a department store here in Canada/Ontario).

    Now from my general knowledge, this is a first offence for the family member.

    The value of the item is probably in the $10-$25 range (a CD).

    But what I don't understand is why they would arrest and subsequently lock him up.

    They told my mother that he would have to remain there until tomorrow morning when they take him to court. She was even told something in regards to having to post bail?.

    I'm so shocked I don't know what to think. It doesn't make sense. If it was a puny CD they would have made him pay for it etc. OR he had a record that I don't know of? OR he argued? OR... the value was WAY more than $20?

    *sigh*... any advise would be helpful! And anything I can provide, I will!
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,268, Reputation: 7690

    Nov 8, 2006, 06:41 PM
    It is a crime and he broke the law, everything that was done can be done.
    Normally the suspects talks hiself into more trouble
    mavsss's Avatar
    mavsss Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 8, 2006, 06:44 PM
    Yes, father, I realise it's a crime... my intent for posting this is not to prove his innocense.

    (and for that matter, I wouldn't fear anyone but my mom at this point! :S )

    But more so for advise on how to proceed with this.

    What are the conditions under which someone is held in jail when it comes to theft?

    I've tried searching Google but, haven't found anything as yet!
    natalija's Avatar
    natalija Posts: 48, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Nov 8, 2006, 08:44 PM

    Ask bhayne, he would help you more than others. Send a message to him, and also scott, he is also helpful

    Good luck
    bhayne's Avatar
    bhayne Posts: 339, Reputation: 4
    Full Member

    Nov 9, 2006, 06:58 AM
    The police can get very nasty with this one. Bail and jail sound like they are adding more charges than shoplifting.

    Just to name a few, tresspassing, using obscene language in a public area, resisting arrest, assault on an officer... and the list goes on.

    The worst part of it is that each additional charge increases the emotion of the defendant and results in additional charges. Everyone knows this and the additional charges do not reflect too badly on the defendant; they look badly on the officers for not being able to handle the situation properly. Thus, the officers now have a reason to treat him badly and they usually make mistakes.

    So, how do you get out of this mess? First to get him out without posting bail or paying minimal bail (first time you should not be required to pay bail. He is still innocent.). You need to calm him down and show respect towards the officers. Get a lawyer. Tell him not to talk to anyone but a lawyer. The way I thought of it when I was in custody is that I would give the dog its day and burn him later in my arena (it put a smile on my face in bad times and put the police at ease). He is totally at the mercy of the police while he is in custody and his only savior is a lawyer (even a public defender will help him). THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. GET HIM OUT OF CUSTODY BEFORE HE APPEARS IN COURT! Before or immediately after he is out, he is to write down all the details of the arrest (at least 1000 word document). This is for his information only to share with a lawyer (the police never see it).

    Second, after he is released with a 'Promise to Appear', he should get the written details of the arrest and compare it with his written details. The Promise to Appear will have the charges and an initial court date. I initially went over the arrest details with a lawyer and determined which details were accurate and which ones the police fabricated (or embellished). Bring a camera and be prepared to bring him to the hospital if he has any aches or pains (this is very important documentation for an easy out). I used the interigation room camera to show my bruises and had the video confiscated and used as evidence to convict the police officer of false arrest. Although the video didn't prove the false arrest, it did help to show the officer's demeanor and my demeanor during the arrest. A trick police have to draw out emotion from defendants is to overtighten handcuffs. Wrist bruises are powerful tools for the defendant.

    Third, he should be able to qualify for The Alternate Measures Program where he will not have a criminal record. Talk to a lawyer about the program before his 'Promise to Appear'court date. This court date is simply to determine if he is going to plead guilty or not guilty. It is not the trial date.

    Hope this helps.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Nov 9, 2006, 07:06 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by mavsss
    But what I dont understand is why they would arrest and subsequently lock him up.

    I'm so shocked I dont know what to think. It doesnt make sense. If it was a puny CD they would have made him pay for it etc. OR he had a record that i dont know of?! OR he argued?! OR ....the value was WAY more than $20?!!
    There could be a variety of reasons the harsh treatment. No point in speculating until you talk to the family member. But a crime was, allegedly, committed. A more usual process would be to hold the shoplifter until the police can come, who would them issue the equivalent of a desk appearance ticket. Which would require them to show up in a court for arraignment.

    What doesn't make sense is for the store to just slap the thief on the wrist and let them go.

    Where you proceed from here is to get an attorney to arrange for release (either on bail or in the custody of a parent). Next you get the full facts of what happened. From there you can proceed.

    Definitely look into the Alternate Measures Program that BH suggested. It appears to be a good tool for first offenders.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Nov 9, 2006, 07:21 AM
    Hello mav:

    I wish to disabuse you of the notion, that the store should only have required the offender to pay for what he stole, and sent him on his merry way.

    Every time a store catches somebody stealing, it doesn't matter how small the stolen item is. The store saves a great deal more money, in merchandise that DOESN'T get stolen, when they prosecute the thief, and let the press know about it.

    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
    Ultra Member

    Nov 10, 2006, 09:30 PM
    What I don't understand is why he would steal a CD in the first place?

    Why wouldn't he just download it? Cheaper, and no risk.

    The Federal Court of Appeal rules that file sharing in Canada is LEGAL under current Copyright laws.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,473, Reputation: 760
    Uber Member

    Nov 13, 2006, 06:10 PM
    Actually, it makes perfect sense if they intend to prosecute him for the crime. Posting bail will set him free. He will have to appear in court to answer the charge. If convicted, I would guess that restitution and community service would be ordered ; probably no jail time. Perhaps by offering Zellers a fair amount of restitution and promising to never go in the store again he can persuade them to drop the charge.
    Poortoes's Avatar
    Poortoes Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 25, 2012, 09:40 AM
    It depends On your jurisdiction, you should check your local laws, I heard that generally for first offenders there is a hefty fine to pay yet in some countries you may be kept in prison overnight and sent to court the next day. Big box stores are reportedly lax
    On shoplifting persecution in recent times due to pettiness of the crime versus a potential lawsuit for false arrests. For 1.99$ it would be silly to
    Waste the police's time, and that's why some loss prevention officers decide
    To issue a fee to teach you a lesson and to cover security costs instead Of involving the police. Regarding the comments that suggest that the first time offender should be severely punished because it is a crime: a punishment should fit a crime, I'm more concerned with sex offenders and murderers that roam the streets rather than petty thieves. It's also about culture, in some cultures the law reflects religious sins such as stealing. I have also heard that these laws are harsher in anglo Saxon countries where there is a heavy shame culture. Another thought is that even though it was the first time the person was caught, they may have been seen on tape stealing prior.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions


Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.

Check out some similar questions!

Shoplifting [ 21 Answers ]

Please Help Me. I Was Caught By The Security Of The Store, For Thye First Time. They Got Back The Jacket I Stole (200 Dollars), And Called The Security Of The Mall, The Guy Banded Me Of Showing Up In The Mall For A Year. Then They Called For A Police, Police Gave Me A Ticket Of 65 Dollars. Because...

Shoplifting [ 7 Answers ]

Hi Dear, I am 19 years old. I was shoplifting four days ago and I was caught by the security in Zellers. I got a fingerprint date and court date which is next month and I am fined under $5000.00. I am really nervous and don't know what to do, I can't sleep at nights and neither can concentrate...

Shoplifting [ 17 Answers ]

Is it considered shoplifting to consume something that you intend to purchase in a store before actually paying for it (e.g. a can of soda), even if you intend to pay for it all along and in fact do pay for it immediately after consuming it?

View more questions Search