You are very lucky that the guard cut you slack. Learn from it. What documents did you sign? Did you read them? Did you receive copies? The documents should spell out the warning and conditions of not reporting the crime.
If the police weren't called, and if the guard didn't report it, then you may get a letter from Walmart stating that you are a) on their list of possible problems or b) prohibited from going to that Walmart. Certainly, their anti-theft department will have your name and will not be so quick to dismiss you next time.
As far as your record is concerned, you don't create a criminal record if no charges were filed.
Providing users with information is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. However, if in reading my response, you are interested in retaining me to represent you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
You may well get a "civil demand letter" ordering you to pay a civil penalty; probably $500. The consensus on this forum is that such letters may be ignored.
In the unlikely event that charges are brought, the MA and Boston bar associations can assist you with referrals; each often has a "dial a lawyer" day when you could call for advice.
The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
The fact that the act was not caught on video is of no consequence; you handed the phone back at some point, and signed something, probably to the effect admitting that you took the store's merchandise. The good news is that you did get a big break from store security. If the store never files for a criminal complaint against you, you do not run the risk of getting a criminal record. The store's loss prevention department and the law firm who handles the store's civil demand letters rarely coordinate, i.e. if you do not pay the civil demand, it is unlikely that the store will seek a criminal complaint in retaliation.
Some people prefer the peace of mind that comes with paying the civil demand amount (a number between $50 and $500), but know that the store's recourse against you should you refuse to pay is filing a civil small claims action against you in your local court. Filing a small claims against you to recover at most $500 plus the filing fee is simply not cost effective for the law firms that send out these civil demand letters. The money is made off the 1 out of 100 people who pays up, not from suing the 99 who refuse to pay.
By not contacting the police and, hopefully, the company not seeking a cfriminal complaint against you, this is not on your CORI (criminal record). There are consequences, however, for your actions. What you signed was most likely an admission that you took the phone. It MAY also be an agreement that you will pay the money requested by its law firm. As Attorney Pang indicated, it will be somewhere between $50 and $500. If you took a copy of what you signed, read it...that way, you should know what to expect. Paying money may be well worth it in order to keep your record clean.
Valerie Semensi @ 781.383.1940