Hello, I have a very anxious nephew (16) still asking me questions I cannot answer. He thought it was smart to steal an item valued around 5-6$ by ripping out of the packaging, but his anxiety comes from the fact that the package is still behind. I’ve previously been told that the chances of something happening are slim to none, however he’s read some stories about people getting charged after the fact weeks or months later, making him worried he will get either a knock on the door or something in the mail when he leases expects it. I would just like some reassurance for him if they find the packaging and investigate: will it be possible that the retail store he grabbed the item from try to press charges for an item valued that low (I am aware stealing anything of any value is a crime)? Or will they just simply flag him for that particular store? Any response is satisfactory, I would just like some extra reassurance so he’ll stop worrying or at least calm down.
Several lawyers have already answered your question in great detail, but we aren't psychic.
It's probably unlikely that anything will come from this incident, but nobody can predict what will happen. The store might not even be aware of the theft because a janitor picked up the packaging and threw it away. That's about all you can tell him.
As I mentioned in my earlier response, the good thing news is that he has a functioning conscience and is probably scared enough that he isn't going to steal again.
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If this happened in the City of Los Angeles $5-$6 is way below the City Attorney filing guidelines for a petty theft. In addition the LAPD isn't going to waste a lot of resources on a pipsqueak crime like this.
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