This holiday season, retailers are taking extra measures against retail theft to protect themselves from brazen daylight robberies. Some 50 percent of retailers surveyed across the country reported losses of at least $1,000 in merchandise in 2020 compared to 29 percent the previous year. Overall, organized retail crime costs retailers about $700,000 per $1 billion in sales. Retailers are utilizing technology and training employees to keep an eye on potential shoplifters. So, what do you do if you are facing retail theft charges, but the evidence does not add up?
How Much Was Stolen?
Perhaps an overzealous security officer stops you and no theft has even occurred. But, if you are facing charges of retail theft it is no slap on the wrist. If you are accused of taking more than $300 in merchandise, you could be charged with a felony offense.
Dismissing or Dropping Retail Theft Charges
As with most crimes, there must be evidence that retail theft was committed beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the legal standard of proof in the criminal justice system. If there is no store security footage, witnesses, or some other way to demonstrate that you took something from the store, the charges should be dismissed.
Employees may see or think they see a shopper take something from a store. They will likely call security. A store manager or security officer will search the customer’s personal belongings, including their purse or bags, looking for stolen merchandise. What is key here is that the store employee or security officer needs to have probable cause that you stole something. Otherwise, the charges could be dropped.
Unfortunately, you may be out holiday shopping with a friend or even a family member but they have a different agenda. They may want to take advantage of the busy stores to commit retail theft. However, if employees see that you are with them, the store will likely consider you guilty by association. In these circumstances, the store could pursue charges against you even if you had no idea your friend was committing a crime. At [[title]] we will pursue various options to help you avoid a conviction.
Contact an Elgin Retail Theft Lawyer
If you are arrested and charged with retail theft this holiday season contact [[title]]. We know that a conviction could have a significant impact on your future. A Kane County retail theft attorney will try to have the charges dropped or dismissed. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.