Can Walmart hold minors for shoplifting without proof that they were shoplifting?
2 attorney answers
Your friend needs an attorney if he was charged with retail theft. To answer your question, the store is well within their right to hold you. Stop shoplifting because when you get caught it will cause you issues for the rest of your life with education, employment, housing and financing.
Stores are allowed by law to detain people, including minors, whom they suspect of shoplifting. This is known as the "shopkeeper's privilege." A store that has reasonable grounds to believe that there was shoplifting can detain a person for a reasonable amount of time in order to verify identification, determine whether any property was taken, and to alert law enforcement. The store can also hold minors until their parent/guardian can pick them up, or they can turn minors over to police. The issue in your case would be whether holding a minor for 2 1/2 hours is reasonable. If no attempt was made to contact your parents during this period, you might be able to argue that your detention was unreasonable.