Caught shoplifting $9.98 item in Century 21 in New York City . No police, no arrest . Got $75 demand letter

Caught shoplifting $9.98 item in Century 21 in NYC,no police,recorded my id,address,asked me to sign three papers,took pictures of me and the item.Got demand letter from their attorney,said"under new york general obligations law 11-105, century 21 has a civil claim against you because you intentionally deprived ... ... you may be held liable for the cost of the merchandise, the cost associated with loss prevention expenses and/or a civil penalty... this letter is a demand that you pay $75.00 in satisfaction of this civil claim... if we do not receive payment within 21 days from the date of this letter, Century 21 Department Stores may make further effort to enforce its rights under this law." WHAT CAN I DO? WILL/DID THEY SUE ME? ANY CRIMINAL CLAIM WILL HAPPEN? any effect to my status?

Flushing, NY -

Attorney Answers (3)

Terri Beth Kalker

Terri Beth Kalker

Criminal Defense Attorney - Flushing, NY

Pay it ASAP! They can sue and press charges. They are within their rights to do both and the $75 is within their rights to request as they pointed out.

Eric Edward Rothstein

Eric Edward Rothstein

Criminal Defense Attorney - New York, NY

I advise my clients not to pay this civil demand because I have never seen a store sue to collect as it is not worth their time and money. Michael Ira Asen handles the claims for Century 21 and I've never seen him sue. I write letters to the store or their attorneys for my clients directing the store or its lawyers not to communicate with my client and to only deal with me. This stops the store or its lawyers from contacting my clients any further. Ignoring the civil demand letters will not cause you to be arrested now - I've never seen some one arrested after the fact. You got very lucky.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
Joseph A Lo Piccolo

Joseph A Lo Piccolo

Criminal Defense Attorney - Garden City, NY

You can pay or not pay. They are unlikely to sue. They are unlikely to involve the police now. As to status, consult with an immigration attorney.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a... more

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