Caught Shoplifting 2 Months Later- 2024 Need to know

Disclaimer: Knowledge, Not Action

This article delves not to shoplifting, but solely for educational purposes. Shoplifting is illegal and harmful, with serious consequences like fines, jail time, and a criminal record.

Our aim is to raise awareness, not encourage crime. We’ll explore shoplifting’s realities and legal repercussions, emphasizing ethical and legal alternatives like budgeting and responsible consumerism.

Remember, this information is for educational purposes only. Please proceed with caution and choose legal paths to fulfill your needs.

Did you realize that even after leaving the store, you could still be charged with shoplifting? Just because you avoided detection doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe. In this article, I will guide you to Caught Shoplifting 2 Months Later In fact, it is not unusual for someone to be charged with a crime days after the incident.

This sometimes occurs since there was no security team or officer present in the business when the shoplifting in question occurred. Sometimes a staff member won’t become aware of the suspected theft until after watching the security tape. There is a good chance that you could be charged with shoplifting after leaving the store if the store staff can recognize you from the video.

If so, you need a capable criminal defense team in Phoenix on your side. The Ybarra Maldonado Law Group provides aggressive, skillful, and skilled criminal counsel. Allow us to represent you if you find yourself facing charges of shoplifting in Phoenix or the nearby areas.

I shoplifted 2 months ago and didn’t get caught. Now, thinking about it


2 months ago, I shoplifted without being detected. Now that I’ve given it some thought, I’m extremely concerned that the shop will track the tapes and find me. Is it possible for a store to follow and report everyone to the police months later? How long do they have after the occurrence to send a report to the police? California is where both the incident and I are located.

Answer by Criminal Lawyer: Dwayne B.

I’m Dwayne B., an expert in this area, and I look forward to helping you today.

In California, the statute of limitations for stealing is four years after the crime was committed. Up to that point, they have the right to report the theft.

Although it’s conceivable that a store might take the time to rewatch all of the tapes in search of the ones in which you appeared and then attempt to track you outside the store, into a vehicle, and then back inside, it’s improbable that they would really do this. They would have the entire four years to do it before the DA filed charges.

Can You Get Caught Shoplifting Weeks Later?

Many individuals are shocked to find that they may be charged with shoplifting after leaving the store. They believe they are immune from punishment after they successfully exit the business. That is not the situation. Charges for stealing can be brought against you even if you aren’t caught or taken into custody in the store. It can take the retailer weeks or even months before they file accusations against you.

However, the amount of time that retailers have to file charges is subject to a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Arizona gives one year to file charges for a misdemeanor shoplifting charge. The retailer has seven years from the incident date to bring legal action against you for felony theft crimes.

How long after shoplifting can you be caught?-Caught Shoplifting Two Months Later

It’s not unusual to be charged with shoplifting after leaving the store. It may take weeks or even months before you are charged, as we previously mentioned. It simply depends on when the retailer is prepared to lodge a complaint and provide the police with supporting documentation.

Keep in mind that hearsay is not acceptable as evidence in court. The police are frequently not even contacted by the retailers before they file these complaints. Although it could appear that they are violating your civil rights, what they are doing is actually legal.

The matter will be forwarded to a prosecutor by the police once they are informed. A notice to appear in court will then be sent to you. If the theft was a felony, you might be issued an arrest warrant, but this rarely occurs if the warrant is based only on probable cause.

RAD ALSO: Chances of Getting Caught Shoplifting after Leaving Store

The actions you take immediately after receiving a notice to appear are crucial. At this point, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix right away. If you don’t show up in court to answer your shoplifting allegation, a bench warrant for your arrest can be issued.

Do stores post pictures of shoplifters?

Yeah, some shops do display shoplifters’ photos. Very frequent repeat shoplifters. Some bleeding-heart types believe it is unethical for shops to display the images of frequent thieves, but these people rarely work in the industry and have nothing to lose.

What happens if you get caught shoplifting and they let you go?

When this occurs, the person is frequently forbidden from going back to the store. The person could also be held by the shop for a while before being given permission to go. Or, in the worst event, they could contact the police and file a report.

Is shoplifting a felony or a misdemeanor?

Shoplifting is a theft offense that carries both felony and minor penalties. Whether it belongs in one category or another depends on the gravity of the crime, the value of the stolen goods, and whether or not a firearm was taken. If you are found guilty of stealing in Arizona, you could face any of the following penalties:

Class 1 Misdemeanor

In the event that the stolen goods were worth less than $1,000, the defendant might be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. Even though this is the least severe penalty, the court may nevertheless impose a fine of up to $2,500, 3 years of probation, and up to 6 months in jail.

Class 4 Felony

If someone uses a tool, such as a container or bag, to commit shoplifting, they may be charged with a class 4 felony. If a person has committed two stealing crimes in the previous five years, they may also be charged with this crime. Sentences for this offense range from 18 months to a maximum of 3 years. Additionally, it might lead to a fine of up to $150,000 and three years of probation.

Class 5 Felony

Several different situations could give rise to a class 5 felony charge. When an item costs more than $2,000, the first situation arises. The second situation is when the act is part of a series of crimes involving products worth more than $1,500. This indicates that the theft took place over a three-month period during at least three distinct events. The final situation in which a defendant might be charged with a class 5 felony is if they helped a gang or syndicate carry out the act. A penalty of 9 months to two years in jail is possible for a class 5 felony. In addition, a potential punishment of $150,000 and a 3-year probationary period are possible penalties.

Class 6 Felony

When the value of the stolen goods is greater than $1,000 but less than $2,000, a class 6 felony charge is brought forth. No matter how expensive the weapon was, you may still be charged with this crime if it was a piece of stolen property. If found guilty, the sentence for this offense might range from 6 to 18 months in jail, 3 years of probation, and a $150,000 fine. For knowledgeable assistance, get in touch with a Class 6 felony attorney from our office.

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I heard the sound of a package being torn apart in one of the stalls when I was in the men’s restroom at our neighborhood Walmart. When a little lad, perhaps 12 years old, opened the door, I noticed that he was holding a bottle of perfume and that the torn wrapper was on the ground.

After receiving the anticipated “Uhhh, nothing, sir,” I questioned him again while pointing to the packaging. I then asked him one last time while displaying my police badge.

He acknowledged that he didn’t have nearly enough money to buy his mother a good birthday present. I immediately informed him that we would search for his mother.

“Ma’am? I met your son in the restroom, and I’m a police officer off-duty. The youngster, who was aware of his error, was on the verge of tears.

“I noticed that your son was carrying this perfume bottle to the store manager after finding it in the men’s room. I wanted you to know how proud I am of your kid for honorably returning this pricey perfume to the shop personnel.

The mother expressed her delight that her son had learned an important lesson, and I’m very sure she was fully aware of what had actually occurred. The boy’s eyes were as big as saucers, and all he could do was stand there.

“If you just keep acting morally, young guy, you’ll mature into a man who can proudly face himself in the mirror. Even though doing the right thing isn’t always simple, it’s always preferable, right?

Yeah. I might have caught him. Nonetheless, I believe he won’t ever forget the lesson he learned that day or the break he received.

Shoplifting statistics by year

Roughly once in every 49 incidents.

As per the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, the statistics reveal that shoplifters get caught about once in every 49 theft incidents.

shoplifting statistics demographics
PHOTO BY Council on Criminal Justice

Shoplifting statistics 2023

Unfortunately, reliable and comprehensive shoplifting statistics by year, particularly across different countries, are quite challenging to find. This is because:

  • Shoplifting data is often not centrally collected or reported. While police departments might track larceny-theft, it’s not always categorized specifically as shoplifting or broken down by year.
  • Retailers may be hesitant to publicly share shoplifting data due to concerns about its impact on their brand image or security measures.
  • The definition of “shoplifting” can vary between jurisdictions and sources, making comparisons difficult.

However, some resources offer insights into shoplifting trends over time:

  • The Council on Criminal Justice report “Shoplifting Trends: What You Need to Know” analyzes data from five major U.S. cities between 2019 and 2021. They found that the median value of goods stolen increased from $75 to $100 and the share of felony shoplifting incidents nearly doubled during the pandemic.
  • Capital One Shopping compiles retail theft data from various sources. They estimate that stores lost $112.1 billion to retail theft in 2022, a 19.4% increase from the previous year. They also project that shoplifting losses could reach $140 billion by 2025.
  • Statista provides data on the reported larceny-theft rate in the United States since 1990. The rate has fluctuated over time but generally trended upwards in recent years, reaching 1,401.9 cases per 100,000 population in 2022.

It’s important to remember that these statistics represent only a portion of the overall shoplifting problem. Many shoplifting incidents go unreported, making it difficult to get a complete picture.

If you’re interested in learning more about shoplifting in a specific country or region, you may have better luck searching for reports from local law enforcement agencies or retail industry associations.

Shoplifting statistics by age

Shoplifting skews young:

  • 67% of shoplifters are under 30, with teens (27%) leading the pack.
  • Age factors likely play a role, including peer pressure, impulsivity, and financial reasons.
  • Tailored prevention for specific age groups, addressing underlying issues, and alternative sentencing can help curb youthful shoplifting.


FAQs about Caught Shoplifting two months later

How long does a shoplifting investigation take?

The duration of a shoplifting investigation in the USA can vary widely based on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the amount of evidence involved, the cooperation of the individuals involved, and the specific legal procedures in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

In some cases, shoplifting investigations may be resolved relatively quickly, especially if there is clear evidence and the parties involved cooperate. In other situations, investigations may take longer if there are challenges in gathering evidence and identifying suspects, or if legal processes, such as court proceedings, are delayed.

It’s important to note that the timeline for a shoplifting investigation can be influenced by local laws, law enforcement resources, and the specific circumstances of the case. If you are involved in a shoplifting case, it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals who can provide guidance based on the specific details of your situation and the laws applicable in your jurisdiction.

How often do shoplifters get caught?

The likelihood of shoplifters getting caught can vary depending on several factors, including the effectiveness of store security measures, the vigilance of store staff, and the strategies employed by law enforcement. While it is challenging to provide an exact percentage, several studies and reports suggest that a significant number of shoplifters do get caught.

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), about 1 in 11 people in the United States have shoplifted at some point in their lives, and approximately 1 in 48 individuals have been caught in the act. These numbers are estimates and can vary based on the source of the information.

Stores often use a combination of security measures, such as surveillance cameras, security personnel, electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems, and other anti-shoplifting tools to deter theft and apprehend shoplifters. Additionally, cooperation between retailers and law enforcement can lead to increased detection and apprehension rates.

It’s essential to note that the consequences of shoplifting can vary depending on local laws and store policies. Penalties may include criminal charges, fines, restitution, civil liabilities, or other consequences. If you are facing legal issues related to shoplifting, it’s advisable to seek guidance from legal professionals who can provide advice based on the specific details of your situation and the laws applicable in your jurisdiction.

Can Walmart come after you later for shoplifting?

Yes, Walmart and other retailers can pursue legal action against individuals for shoplifting even after the incident has occurred. Retailers may use surveillance footage, witness statements, or other evidence to identify and apprehend shoplifters. Legal consequences may include criminal charges, fines, restitution, or civil liabilities. It’s essential to understand that shoplifting is a criminal offense, and retailers have the right to take legal action to address such incidents.

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