if the police were not summoned to the scene, it is unlikely criminal charges will be filed. You will likely receive a civil demand letter from Safeway's attorney. These letters are threateningly worded to imply that you will face criminal charges if you don't pay up. In fact, they have no force of law whatsoever. Ignore them. To collect they would have to sue you, take you to court and win the case. They will almost certainly not do so over a measly 50 bucks.
The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal questions can only be fully answered through consultation with an attorney to whom you give full and accurate details. Anything you post here is not confidential and is not protected by the attorney-client relationship. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting.
Suggestion: avoid returning to that store at all costs. Most likely the police were not called when you skipped out, but your actions as you describe them are highly suggestive of unlawful intent and you can be certain that reappearance at the scene by you -- even months down the road -- will be noted and may cause action by the store. It is always tempting to assume that if an arrest does not occur at the time of the allegedly unlawful conduct, then there will be no arrest. But that is not the law and not necessarily the practice. Stay out of the store to raise the likelihood that you will not be arrested on these facts.
A further point: your statement of how all of your conduct added up to an honest mistake is not persuasive, not even a little bit. I am not saying it isn't true -- perhaps it is. But your explanation will not be believed by almost anyone who hears it. All the more reason to avoid prosecution by staying away from the store.
No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship set forth in a written document executed by the client and by me or a member of my firm. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. I can give advice, make recommendations and answer specific questions only after reviewing the evidence and documents applicable to a specific client and following a personal meeting in my office in which the relevant facts can be developed and analyzed. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.