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Banned and Wondering What Happens Next?

Submitted by Sracry in Shoplifting

Hi Everyone

I live in Canada.

I was really stupid and kept hitting up 3 of the same chain store in my city. I know this is stupid and completely killed my chances of success but I got caught up in a lot of bad decisions motivated by low self esteem and shoplifting made me feel like I was successful at something and it became an addiction and I lost all common sense.

Last week I was in the store this young guy kept watching me. I know he thought he was being lowkey but seriously, I could tell because every time I glanced up he was in my line of sight, looking at products a man of his age and dress doesn't look at (ladies purses, ladies shoes etc). I thought I lost him and quickly tossed the things I wanted in my bag in a place I thought was a decent blind spot (used it many times a success) But after moving around the store a couple of times it was fairly obvious he was LP. I doubled back to home goods area and dumped all the stuff as quickly as I could. I thought about leaving the whole bag since it was only to stash the goods. But anxiety kicked in and I decided to empty out instead as the empty bag would be evidence so I regretfully did this all in plain view of the cameras. Ugh.

After emptying I tried to lead him around the store elsewhere to confuse him so I could quickly leave but I he must of been teaming with somebody somwhere watching the cameras because when I made a quick exit, he was out of sight but then as I was just steps from the final door I heard somebody say "HEY!" loudly from behind me.

He never touched me but came right in front of me and said "I saw you put that stuff in your purse. I was half expecting him to come after me so I just replied "Excuse me?" But then he said "I have pictures of you at all of my stores. You are BANNED from this store, all of the stores, permanently!" and at that point it registered with me the gig was up.

Not knowing how to respond. And faking my own innocence to make myself feel less humiliation, I said "I'd like to know your full name sir" (Acting as if I was going to make a complaint later) but he just glared at me and so I angrily repeated myself, trying to scare him somehow but he just started walked away and quickly disappeared back into the store.

I turned around to see if himself or anybody else was watching from inside or coming, but it was hard to tell due to reflection on glass doors. Then suddenly I realized time was of the most importance and I needed to just book it out of there. So I hastily walked to my car (STUPIDLY I parked with my plate facing the door in the closest lot) and took off. That was on Friday..

I'm done with shoplifting, it'd be too anxiety riddled now that I've been "caught". Im confused though and wondering if anybody here thinks anything further might happen?

I honestly don't know why he didn't try to detain me (I had no items on me but he told me he knew me from being on camera -he didn't make any accusations -just said he had pictures of me from other stores)

and why he didn't just follow me to my vehicle or watch to try to get my plates. May I have gotten lucky and maybe he was inexperienced LP? He was young in his mid 20s, maybe

I am however worried that maybe if there is a parking lot camera that they can get my plates off of that. I left as quickly as I can but I've been bugging out the past 3 days wondering if the cops are going to show up. I should say I was not driving my own vehicle, but a family member who I live with. If contacted by cops and asked about who was driving their car, I know they would rat me out so I feel very on edge..

Has anybody had any similar situations? Im hoping the banning from the store and not attempting to detain me means I may of gotten off this time. Or should I be worried?

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Boonanas wrote

Also if like you to keep in mind that there are store policies that work more with prevention than apprehension. Meaning they basically want you to.stop rather than have to.fill out paperwork, deal.with law enforcement,.etc. Clearly Wal-Mart and Target are two that love apprehension and prosecution, but they are.generally shittier stores to.shop in.

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DerpRun wrote

It wasn't the store manager? LOL You should be just fine AND since you weren't officially served a ban notice of anykind, it's technically not "official" (I would think) that you are banned so if you recklessly went back for whatever reason, the police would show up at their request and serve you with a warning like I got and will be considered your Official warning and if you returned and were caught ANOTHER time then that would be considered Criminal Trespass. I wouldn't go back to any of that store in the area or that half of the state for a cpl years at least. I feel your pain here though.... I just got reckless and was banned from Hobby Lobby. They didn't have me on camera though I guess because even though police showed up, they only missed a warning ticket....I had JUST got there and knew something was up so I was empty handed headed out then boom. Sucks. It was the store manager who banned me with the help of LP like they had just literally been waiting to see me walk through the doors. Love the store but something seriously wrong with upper management like inbred type shit idk lol.

Depending on your state, if they have evidence of you "conceleaing" (dumping shouldn't matter) then I think they have up to a year to prosecute but this is provided they have all your info like the had mine. Apparently all the stores (4) had been watching me for a while and no evidence....I was periodically clearancing a non obvious item at a realistic clearance price here and there and they started to check up on it but overall I think they saw me there SO much (each store about once a week) that they just started watching me which I noticed that too and voided those stores. Anyway it sucks cause other than the staff, HL has a lot for people into that stuff ie me. I'm not able to put what I got from them specifically but I'll say this, prior to banning, within a 4 month period, I cleared everything I realistically could that I wanted as well as shit I didn't, and even ended up stuck with doubles on a lot of it! Greed and lack of self discipline = no bueno. Who becomes that big and doesn't use cameras except on their emplyess? Do they really believe JC is gonna serve justice for them? Hope JC is gettin paid to do their work on that. Have to say though.. Thanks HL!! Don't you worry though now, I already know Ol' JC is gonna get me...just hopefully not before I get across the border and visit three locations there lol Maybe I will maintain these since the drive is almost 2 hrs out and it's easy enough to do only once a month. #Thuglifecraftin

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Sracry wrote

This! I knew the employees had some suspicion but only one maybe two employee actually cared..I just avoided those ones and didn't lift if they were around..sometimes they made it super difficult which was such a piss off!!

Also, Im 100% certain this LP was sent there just to locate and hopefully put an end to the problem..I had certain days of the week I went and I showed too much of a pattern..I saw some signs certain people (management) were getting susp of me in all 3 stores..I ignored those signs too busy chasing the rush I was craving

And the LP issued my ban not the management, but to be honest from the reading Ive done thought LP was allowed to issue a verbal ban?

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DerpRun wrote

I would assume they can just to be safe. Your situation sounds exactly the same....management at ea store showing sign of suspicion and then the LP chick I had never seen before ...now makes sense how quickly their suspicion grew! I bet she was called in to end the problem as well. Well damn. Now we know right ? Maybe we should thank Ol' JC we got off without a record! :D

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Boonanas wrote

If you were told to stay away, just stay away, plain and simple. I had a similar issue where I thought (maybe wrongfully so) that plates were taken but here we are months later, nothing happened. I'm assuming you have taken well over felony limit? Even so, it may be store policy to catch someone in the act rather than pursue afterwards, especially since you weren't actually detained or caught in store.

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Sracry wrote (edited )

Thanks, I absolutely wont be returning.

Thankful for the net or else I would have never known how to spot LP.

I didn't know it was typical LP policy to approach a shoplifter AFTER ditching the goods.

Yes with out going into details I suspect I am am way way "above" the limit and that is my number one concern. I suspect maybe blind spots have been on point for the most part. But recently in the past month I have pulled some bold moves on camera hoping the footage would just go unnoticed.

I honestly think it is because I figured out early on this chain has rotating LP, So it felt like a free for all since they were never there. I never, ever had anyone watch or follow me till the other day. Should of known they'd send someone eventually. Took them many months though, which is so crazy

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Boonanas wrote

Yes I understand. Everyday that passes is less likely anything will happen, plus it would be very hard to.prove value of good based on camera footage alone even though you may have let some.slip in plain view. There are many lawyers that would tell you the same. Very hard to prove value of merchandise particularly with gaps in cameras. Just don't go back and if by some.chance something DOES come up (probably not), do not give them any info. They will arrest you if they decided to.beforehand and nothing you can say will stop.them. please keep us up to date.

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Sracry wrote

Thankyou for your opinion. will definately update.

Thinking about it just makes me so paranoid. I keep wondering if that idiot is now making it is life goal to go through all of the footage they have collected of me to build some big case against me months from now.

Is it possible to convict somebody with out knowing the total value of what has gone missing? Could they estimate and tell a judge to just go with that or does it need to be proved on paper?

Couple more questions if you don't mind.. If cops get involved do you suggest the person involved should refuse to answer yes or no to any questions asked? Is there any benefit to claiming innocence in this kind of situation or could that potentially work against you?

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Boonanas wrote

Every lawyer will tell you to say nothing. Also, every lawyer will tell you that everything possible but unlikely. Like, they can go after you a year later... will they though? Probably not. Also another common theme that I read is that if police are not involved at the time they probably will not be involved. Your situation basically says it all the guy basically told you to leave the store and that you are band. This is probably not an enforceable ban but you might as well not try to poke the bear. It's easy to think that there's some punk kid that just wants to get someone by reviewing past footage but that's probably not happening. Trust me I was in the same position.

Whether or not they can prove exact value, that doesn't stop them from filing a report. Target and Walmart have basically zero gaps and surveillance which is why it's so easy for them to prosecute. If you are out of store that has tons of gaps it's probably a lot harder for charges to stick but the charges may or may not occur anyway it's just that they will be more likely to be dismissed

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Sracry wrote (edited )

Thank you, your replies have been super helpful

I definately won't be testing that store and will stay away.

I still can not help but wonder why he didn't try to detain me then and there? because I read somewhere LP can detain you if they have evidence of previous thefts (enough to prosecute) and will just call the cops to come pick you up.

As I said previous Im not sure at what point they picked up on me, but it took several months before this guy actually showed up to catch me. So I'm not sure if maybe they just started reviewing the footage now or what. He mentioned that there is "pictures" so that must mean somebody was reviewing footage previously. Im just confused because if they saw me sooner why didn't they send someone way sooner? This store was like a candy store for lifters prior to his ass showing up. Im just surprised it took them months to call someone in. They must not care that much about their merch.

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Boonanas wrote

It all comes down to store policy. The store maybe realized how much shrink has occurred and hired some dude to attempt to deter. Was he undercover/PLAINCLOTHES? I would give it two weeks before I felt like I was fully in the clear (I know it will feel like a lifetime but it'll be over before you know it). You should look up a shoplifting attorney in your area, they are always willing to calm your nerves and explain what you should actually expect and most will tell you that it is rare to be charged after the fact.

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Sracry wrote

Sorry, somehow I missed this! Yes, he was plainclothes, and Im certain I saw him talking into something a couple times when he was at a distance from me.

I cringe each and every time I think of him going back to the homegoods section and collecting all of the stuff I dumped, and reviewing all the footage. UGH.

When they ban you, how do they go about enforcing it? Do they show your photo to employees? Is it even legal to be showing employees photos of alleged shoplifters? I feel like that would be against my rights somehow, since my circumstances, being an alleged shoplifter or not, before being proven in a court they are labelling me as something that may or may not be true, and that seems like it could be slanderous to my reputation which is not cool or fair

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Boonanas wrote

No matter how cringey it felt, it was the right thing to do. He was trying to follow the 5 or 6 rules of an L.P associate, maintain eye contact, watch them leave with merch. They do this so that they can see you DUMP the merch, which would make for a bad stop if they actually stopped and told you to go to the back with them.

I'm not sure a ban is enforceable per se as you didn't sign anything, it mostly sounds like a "this is your last warning" type deal.

They probably show your photo to team leaders/managers but they probably don't show it to all employees. Does a friend of yours work at the place or something?

I had a similar situation where I had to dump some clothes and felt cringey just thinking of them looking at what I dumped. Not a good feeling but it's just emotions. The cost of the store looking back at all the tapes ( which who knows how long they keep video for, could be at most 3 mths I've read), is probably more than you took. They just want you to stop doing it. I know its hard to think of some snot nosed kid wanting to 'get you' out of your head, but it's realistically not likely. They want in store apprehensions.

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Sracry wrote

Thank you so much for replying to all my posts!! You have no idea how much it means to me, I know it sounds dumb but I just need somebody to talk to about this right now.

What I am extremely worried about is that they may be now case building. I could almost not sleep last night.

Since LP mentioned he has my photo, and banned me I am worried that maybe this is only the beginning for me. Because once he shows it to each manager of each store the managers will likely comment on how regularily I've been coming in during the past few months, and maybe they will decide to investigate and case build due to the high financial losses.

I know for a fact management dislike me since I've been glared down and followed a couple of times but at the time I honestly didn't think they knew the extent of what was going missing and to be honest at the time was feeling invincible and just didn't care..

So, Since they have footage of me picking up, and then dumping, what if they add up the amount of what I had (About $120) could they use that in court as the "average" cost to the store each time I came in? Cause that would add up BIGTIME if they pursued charges and went with that as an estimate.. I also regretfully didn't even care about the face cams they have on the door that record every face that enters and exits and since I formed a fairly consistent pattern, they could easily find the dates and times I came in and case build against me quite easily..

The worse part is in late December I used my (now ex-boyfriend)s debit card in the store one time because I got nervous. The one manager who recognizes me was there as well (walked up right as I was paying) so they could easily find that date and time and look it up in the machine. I was actually super paranoid right after that happened, but nothing actually came of it.

Since it's not my card, if they looked it up, would they possibly try to contact my ex boyfriend and ask him if he let anybody use his card in the month of December? He doesn't know about my "hobby" and if he did he wouldn't agree with it, plus I know for certain he would rat me out because he hates me now.

If he ratted on me for using his card, could the cops come to my door. and arrest me based on his word that I used his card and the management and the video footage in the store of me buying something?

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Boonanas wrote

They can't use 'average' amounts, they would need hard numbers.

I'm guessing they already have all the footage of you and that's why you were confronted the last time.

It's not the beginning, it's the end. They know you were a repeat shoplifter and told not to come back. Case closed. Anything is possible but any lawyer or person with experience in this will tell you that you probably got away with this one. You should call a lawyer and get their advice (usually free and confidential), it's rare (but not impossible) for an after the fact issue, particularly if there were no police involved. I know you think they are all thinking about you right now, trying to find anything and everything they can, but that's just paranoia, unless you're boosting Tv's or something.

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Boonanas wrote

If you were told to stay away, just stay away, plain and simple. I had a similar issue where I thought (maybe wrongfully so) that plates were taken but here we are months later, nothing happened. I'm assuming you have taken well over felony limit? Even so, it may be store policy to catch someone in the act rather than pursue afterwards, especially since you weren't actually detained or caught in store.

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I_buy_shit wrote

Not sure about Canada but in my state concealment is not a crime. A crime is only committed if you remove a security tag or you pass all points of checkout with merchandise.

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Sracry wrote (edited )

Yeah this guy seemed really flustered and hostile. I felt like a little kid being shouted at, the way he approached me and got up in my face. I cant help but wonder if he reacts like that to somebody on their first time or if he only does that to the seasoned shoplifters. As I said, he claims he "had pictures of me from the other store" but stopped short of saying he personally saw or had acual evidence of me lifting anything.