Shoplifting or retail fraud is a crime that has recently gripped the attention of people all over California. While San Diego may not currently have a wave of retail fraud like what has occurred in San Francisco in recent months, shoplifting is still a common crime.
Most people accused of shoplifting went into a store with the intention of removing an item they didn’t pay for. Security guards, loss prevention professionals or managers might stop someone that they suspect of shoplifting. In some cases, they might call the police and then prosecute the individual for shoplifting. Any of the three behaviors below could lead to your arrest while out at a store.
Moving or altering the price tag
The label that states the price for an item and the bar code that allows the store’s cash registers to scan items can play a role in shoplifting. People may switch price tags and demand that the store honor the price tag they apply to an item. They might take a barcode from another product in the hope that the cashier won’t notice the issue. Some people even print their own barcodes to trick cashiers and cash registers alike.
Putting products inside other items
If you intend to buy a purse or other container, you might use it already while in the store. Filling it up with other merchandise means you don’t have to touch a dirty shopping cart or basket. However, concealing items inside other items is a common form of shoplifting and might lead to someone suspecting you of criminal activity.
Forgetting that you have something at the bottom of your cart
The rack at the bottom of your shopping cart can be an important place to put heavy and expensive items that you don’t want in the main basket. It can also help you conceal a birthday present from a child for a spouse who is with you while shopping.
Unfortunately, if you don’t immediately produce that item while going through the checkout, someone could stop you on the way out of the store and accuse you of shoplifting.
Recognizing how common retail behaviors can lead to shoplifting charges can help you avoid mistakes and also plan to defend yourself.