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My friend got caught shoplifting at Target. Will he have to pay the civil demand?

New York, NY |

My friend Mike was caught at a Target shoplifting several articles of clothing. He put them back when he thought he was being watched, went to a Toysrus nearby, but went back to the Target & stole different clothing. They took his info from id, but they did not call the police. They told him of a ticket he'll get in the mail in 2 weeks to pay. He signed a paper & left.

He told me that while he was at Toysrus, he took a couple of small items but was not caught. Target knew he went to the toy store; they saw him enter. They did not know he stole there as well. He would like to know if Target can inform Toysrus that he was caught at Target, and to check their own cameras to see if he stole from the toy store?

Also, what will happen if he does not pay the fine?

Oh, he also thought as he walked home that he was being followed by the police. He saw a police car as he crossed one street (he was still a bit away from home) but thought nothing of it. It's only when he got to the last block before turning the corner to his building that he saw 2 police officers standing on the curb in front of a grocery store. When he turned the corner to his building, he was not followed. I told him I don't think the police do it that way. They would have come to the store if they were called. I told him let this be a lesson learned and never do it again. He agrees. Very foolish.

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Attorney answers 3


Can Target tell Toys R Us? Yes. Will they? Unlikely.
I advise my clients to ignore the civil demand because I've never seen a store sue to collect. I write the store or it's lawyer and tell them not to contact my client. That ends the letters and calls that will start soon for your friend. Your friend was lucky not to get arrested and should not count on getting so lucky again.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


If he does not pay the fine they will likely just write him some letters. ignore the civil demand and they will most likely not do anything.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


I agree with my NY colleagues. Hopefully Mike learned his lesson. He does not appear to be the smartest criminal.

Jasen Nielsen