Retail theft involving self-checkout lanes is fairly common. In a study of four countries including the United States, research shows that retailers that have a self-service option experience double the loss (theft) compared to those who do not. The study suggests that ‘checker less checking’ in the self-service lanes promotes theft by reducing the sense of risk. The reality, however, is that shoplifters or employees using self-checkout as a means to steal are much more likely to get caught.
Just recently a shop lifter was arrested at a Florida Walmart, after purchasing $1,800 worth of merchandise for $3.70 in the self-service lane. Surveillance video showed the women removing stickers from clearance items and placing them over the bar codes of large electronic items and heading to the self-checkout lane. What seemed to be the self-checkout ‘bargain of a lifetime’ resulted in charges of grand theft and retail theft that will likely result in serious consequences if she is convicted.
Retail theft is a serious crime in Wisconsin, which can result in thousands of dollars in fines and incarceration depending on the value of the merchandise. Property or services stolen that do not exceed $2,500, will likely be charged as a misdemeanor with a fine up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to 9 months and a criminal record, which can have a lasting negative impact. If property or services stolen are greater than $2,500, felony charges may be brought, which will translate into substantially higher fines and longer periods of incarceration.
Experienced Waukesha Shoplifting and Retail Theft Crime Defense Lawyers
If you or a family member has been charged with a retail theft crime, it is vitally important to contact an experienced Wisconsin theft crime defense attorney. Depending on the circumstances, a criminal defense lawyer will seek a dismissal of charges. In other cases, a reduction in charges may be possible, from a felony to a misdemeanor for example, which can result in reduced sentencing with the possibility to expunge the criminal record in the future. Contact Waukesha Wisconsin retail theft attorney, Andrew C. Ladd for effective representation if you have been arrested for shoplifting or employee theft today. We are here to help.