The Gaunt | Law Office

More Than 20 Years Of Experience With Criminal Matters

3 shopping habits that could lead to shoplifting allegations

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2023 | Shoplifting And Theft

Every Indiana shopper typically wants to save as much money as possible and minimize the frustration involved when out shopping. Whether looking for a new pair of jeans or a week’s worth of groceries, people tend to focus solely on their own experience while shopping and don’t much consider how things look from the outside.

Individuals know that they are law-abiding citizens and probably assume that others would reach the same conclusion when seeing them out at the shops. However, managers, security officers and loss prevention specialists see the world a bit differently than the average person. It is their job to watch for those that would misappropriate a business’s resources and to catch them in the process whenever possible. Ultimately, certain innocent behaviors could result in intense suspicion from loss prevention, security or management professionals at a retail shop, including the three actions below.

Peeling up a price tag

Some people dislike the sticker residue left behind by certain types of price tags and will peel back a label to see if they can remove it before they purchase an item Others want to know if the company has marked up the item or how much they recently marked it down, which may prompt them to look under the tag with the current price. Those trying to remove a price tag might make security professionals suspect them of sticker swapping, which occurs when someone replaces the label on one product with another to minimize what they pay at checkout.

Putting items in other items

If someone intends to buy a fabric storage bin, they may see no issue with putting the books that they want to buy in that bin as they proceed through the shop. However, some people will try to shoplift by placing smaller, more valuable merchandise inside of larger objects and then only paying for the item used to contain other merchandise. In some cases, loss prevention professionals will detain someone before they ever reach the checkout lane just because of how they stack or organize merchandise while shopping.

Wearing a piece of merchandise

Perhaps someone lost their sunglasses and found the perfect pair while shopping. They may put those sunglasses on their head as they continue through the store. Jewelry, purses and clothing are among the other merchandise items that people might start using while still shopping, which might draw the attention of loss prevention specialists and claims that they never intended to pay for those items.

Depending on the value of the merchandise, the shoplifting accusations that result from someone’s behavior in a store could lead to misdemeanor or sometimes even felony criminal charges. Recognizing why someone got arrested for shoplifting could be an important first step toward developing a viable defense strategy.