My friend is having extreme anxiety over past shoplifting act of around $10 - should she still be worried of criminal action 6 months later?

Submitted by Helpthrowaway948484 in Illegalism

My friend made a horrible mistake and shoplifted an item at a retain chain under $10. She was not apprehended inside/outside the store, hasn’t received a complaint in the mail, etc. The event occurred around 6 months ago.

She is so anxious and worried that the store will still come after her and that an arrest warrant will be issued.

What is the policy of most large retailers in regard to petty shoplifting (under $15)? If someone was not apprehended in the store/outside the store for suspected shoplifting, what are the odds that a store would try to find/come after this type of shoplifter?



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ItWasMe wrote

This has to be a joke...

In case in some astronomical chance that this is an actual concerned person, just know that the general rule of thumb for something that incredibly cheap, is that once you’re out the door you’re fine. 10$?! I thought it was gonna be for like 1000$.


Helpthrowaway948484 OP wrote

I’ve told her that her fear is probably unwarranted, but she is still so worried. She has read stories online about people being tracked down after the fact by loss prevention and is just worried they will identify her somehow.


Almonds wrote

Wow I can’t even imagine someone so straight laced... she seems to have an irrational fear of authority?


Helpthrowaway948484 OP wrote

She doesn’t normally do stuff like this. This was a random, stupid mistake she made and now it’s been haunting her. I just hate to see her upset.


Lifted_Hickory wrote

Ive lifted multiple times where the single item I got was $800-$1000. More multiple times of $600 worth in a few items and I've been back to the same exact store within months and no issues. I've lifted majority of my household items from a few of the same stores every week for years now where my annual totals have been in the tens of thousands.

Your friend has nothing to worry about. But if it's that big of a thing to them this life just isn't for them.


marcus66502 wrote

If you want to give her peace of mind, check out the statue of limitations in your area. In most jurisdictions in north America shoplifting charges have to be filed within a certain time (varies by area but mostly within six months). Once that time has elapsed, they can't file charges even if they have clear evidence.


Helpthrowaway948484 OP wrote

Thank you! I think the statute of limitations is 1 year. I think she’s just worried that there is possibly already a warrant out for her arrest or that they’ve tracked her down. We just didn’t know what the odds were that she would be caught/was caught on camera and whether they were likely to pursue her.


HelpMeSteal wrote

$10 is not really worth the legal hassle. Beside if there's been no word after 6 months, they aren't going to do anything at all.