Crime of shoplifting

Shoplifting occurs when customers take items from the store without paying for it. Stores have now included many processes to deter shoplifters and to catch them before they leave the store. Here is a general guide to shoplifting laws.

Deterrents – Stores have now added surveillance cameras in their stores to monitor shoplifters. Most stores have also included signage that lets shoppers know that they are being monitored. Apart from these measures stores also tag products with security tags that alert the security system before the stopper attempts to leave the store.

Holding shoplifters – Store owners have a legal right to hold a shoplifter in a reasonable manner for a reasonable period if the store suspects that the person has shoplifted. However, if further investigation reveals that the person did not shoplift, then the store can be held liable. The store manager can ask the suspected shoplifter if they have any merchandise on them that they have not purchased. If the manager wants to press charges, and the suspect is an adult, the manager should call the police. In the case of a minor, the manager should ask for the contact details of the suspect’s parents. The manager can only hold the suspect for a reasonable period and cannot hold the suspect’s belongings.

Civil Liability –If a manager acts in an unreasonable manner, uses physical contact or holds the suspect for a long period, the store can face civil liability.