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Shoplifting case, (walmart)

Scranton, PA |

I was caught shoplifting at walmart, as i was leaving, an LP stopped me at the door, told me the items in my purse needed to be returned, and i should go back inside with him. i complied, without resisting and went into the back of the store with him. I allowed him to empty my purse in which he found 35.00 worth of merchandise. He did not call the police, but asked me a series of questions about myself. address, phone number, age height weight, he asked if i had a drivers license, to which i answered yes, and i believe he wrote down my drivers license number. i was not asked to sign anything, he then told me i should expect a court summons in the mail, and a letter from walmart. today i received a civil demand letter, should i pay it? if i dont will they decide to file criminal charges?

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Attorney answers 2


THe civil demand letter has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal charges. In fact, to actually recover under civil demand (assuming you do not pay), the retailer must bring a lawsuit against you. Generally, they do not. If you are concerned, you may wish to consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area who can provide appropriate guidance.

Whether you pay or not is an individual decision that only you can make.

Because the police were not called, it is possible that charges may not be filed. This is particularly true because of the value of the merchandise. Some stores have a minimum limit that will result in a prosecution. Again, this would be a policy and is not a defense in the event you are charged.


Law Offices Michael J. Brooks, Esquire
(215) 230-3761 “Perspective from the Legal Vantage Point”

Pursuant to Pennsylvania civil law, Damages in Actions on Retail Theft - 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 8308, the victim of a retail theft is entitled to the value of the stolen item, plus $150.00. They will also become entitled to their attorneys fees if the matter should go on to the courts. If the person addressed in the letter is a minor, there is 20 days to comply with the written request. Please see the link below for the statute.

Disclaimer: Please note you should not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. Legal advice can only come from a qualified attorney after having had an opportunity to become familiar with all of the fact specific circumstances of a particular legal matter, and then to apply or research the relevant law.

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