You don't have to leave to be guilty but more facts are needed. Hire a criminal defense lawyer.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
The police can investigate and arrest later. In this case, it seems like the security at the store believed you took items valued at over $1000.
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
Unless the way you had the items "in a cart" or other facts you don't mention demonstrated an intent inconsistent with the ownership of the items by the store until you paid for them, then you have a defensible case on that ground. But you don't need to leave the store or even go past the cash register to be liable for larceny.
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