Will Police come to my house after a shoplifting offence?

Asked about 4 years ago - Pittsburgh, PA

I shoplifted a small item (about $12) from a store. No police were called, I was not stopped nor arrested, and technically I "got away" with it. However, I may have been on security camera, and the tags I took off may have been found. Can the police come to my house and arrest me? If so, how soon after the offense occured must I be arrested in?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Forest Dean Morgan

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . The police can come to your house to investigate the offense. The statute of limitations for a summary offense (first offense, less than $150.00) is 30 days after the incident, or 30 days after the discovery of the identity of the perpetrator. For a misdemeanor or felony, the statute of limitations is 2 years.

  2. Clifford L. Tuttle Jr.


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . If you are contacted by police, do not speak to them, even to acknowledge visiting the store, until you have consulted a lawyer. Many people think that this will make them look guilty, but it is likely in such a circumstance that the case cannot be proven unless you supply some of the evidence.

    However, it is unlikely that you will hear anything more about it. Please use this as a learning experience. If you do it again, you may not be so lucky. I have spoken to people who cannot get a job because of a retail theft conviction. This consequence is far worse than the official punishment.

    I have written on what to do when stopped by department store police on my blog, Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk.


Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

27,264 answers this week

3,080 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,264 answers this week

3,080 attorneys answering