Is There a Certain Demographic of the Population Frequently Charged with Shoplifting?

Interviewer: What’s a typical frame or background of someone who shoplifts? Do they tend to be younger or older in age? What is the demographic?

Dale: No, pretty much every age group has been charged with shoplifting. There are people that have never shoplifted in their lives. Recently, I handled a case that involved a teacher, 46 years old. She was nabbed shoplifting twice from two different grocery stores with $6.00 and $7.00 worth of items each time.

She says that they changed her migraine medicine and she had become very forgetful.

The Majority of People are Immediately Remorseful about Their Actions

Interviewer: What’s a typical back story of people that have shoplifted? What is their motivation for shoplifting?

A Shoplifting Charge Will Show up on a Background Check and Can Impact Employment Opportunities

Dale: I think most shoplifters once they’re caught are extremely remorseful and realize how stupid their actions were. However, for a lot of young people there’s a thrill factor involved.

They get a little bit of a thrill, but when they find out it’s going to impact their ability to get a job because the charge is going to show up on a background check. One of the worst items to have on your criminal record is dishonesty.

What Will You be charged with: The Legal Term for Shoplifting Is Petty Theft

Interviewer: What is shoplifting called under the law? Is it called larceny? Is it called theft or shoplifting?

Dale:   It’s called petty theft.

Interviewer: You said it could happen anywhere from a penny all the way up to just under $1000 and that’s classified as petty theft?

Dale: Yes. Most of the charges are for items valued under $10.00.

No Item Too Small: You Will Be Prosecuted for the Theft of Any Item

Interviewer: Why would Wal-Mart and these other stores bother to prosecute someone just for a $5.00 or $10.00 item?

Stores Aggressively Prosecute Shoplifters in an Attempt to Reduce Shrinkage

Dale: I think it may be one small part of a large problem. The shortages that they have every year are substantial. These shortages could total up to 6% to 7% of their sales.

Interviewer: Yes. It is called shrinkage, is that right?

Dale: Yes, that’s right.