Case study: I was caught stealing about $20 worth of make up

by | Aug 22, 2012 | Law Blog

I stole about $20 worth of makeup and I opened one package. The security came out and told me to go into a room and give them all of the makeup that i took. I took it out of my purse and gave it to them. The police were not called and I didn’t have to sign any papers. I am 19 and I am freaking out because I don’t want my parents to find out. Please tell what is going to happen to me. Thank you.

Attorney Roe Response:

Walmart takes a tough stand on shoplifting, at least that is what we see in Riverside County, So. CA. Just look at the ceiling when you are in one of their stores and you will see hundreds of little-bubbled cameras. Of course, there are far fewer cameras up there than the bubbles would imply, but still, they are there to let you know their position on loss prevention. I have seen cases where clients have allegedly taken less than $100 and the clients were cite-released by responding law enforcement and appeared in court to find charges filed. I have successfully sought dismissals in exchange for civil compromises in all cases where appropriate. It does not appear you were cited/released and therefore, you may be off the hook, for now. A filing may indeed occur at some time. The longer the delay the greater the likelihood of a dismissal for the delay in prosecution. Sit tight. Stay quiet. And learn from this temporary lapse in judgment.