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Crimes Defenses – White Collar Crimes We are a top criminal defense law firm with a team of experienced attorneys handling shoplifting cases in all California courts including Los Angles, Pasadena, Glendale, Van Nuys, San Fernando, and El Monte.

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Shoplifting is considered a form of theft and is subject to prosecution. In the state of California, store employees and managers have the power to make a citizen’s arrest if they see shoplifting in progress. Store officials may detain a private individual for a reasonable time to do an investigation. Title 13, Chapter 5, of the California Penal Code Section 490.5(f)(1) allows an employee to detain a suspected shoplifter for a reasonable amount of time.

Generally, in the United States, the store employees who detain suspects outside of and inside the store premises are allowed by state statute limited powers of arrest and have the power to initiate criminal arrests or civil sanctions, or both, depending upon the policy of the retailer and the state statutes governing civil demands and civil recovery for shoplifting as reconciled with the criminal laws of the jurisdiction.

Retailers in the United States may have the authority under state laws to request Civil Recovery Demands (Shoplifting). So, it is not uncommon for those who get arrested for shoplifting to receive a demand letter for money from the store within a couple of weeks of their arrest.


Most department stores have loss prevention personnel who patrol the store acting as if they are real shoppers. They may try on merchandise and browse the racks, all the while looking for signs of shoplifting and looking for possible shoplifters. Many large retail companies use this technique, and will watch a shoplifter conceal an item then stop them after they have exited the store.

These types of personnel must follow a strict set of rules because of very high liability risks. Many big retail or grocery stores like Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Zellers, Loblaws, etc. have a loss prevention officer to keep an eye out for shoplifters or to catch runaways. Most of these stores use secret codes to alert management, LPs and associates of shoplifters. LP is a very crucial job in that they act as an ordinary shopper and have to follow the suspects all around the store by foot or by joining the cameras, and watch every move the person makes so that they don’t face a lawsuit for apprehending the wrong person.

Famous Shoplifting cases:

In 2001, actress Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills, California. Ryder was eventually convicted of misdemeanor theft and vandalism and will be eligible for expungement of the conviction after finishing probation. Ryder was originally convicted by a jury of felony larceny/vandalism and was sentenced in a nationally televised California Superior Court proceeding in December 2002.

In 2003, Will Grace actress Shelley Morrison (who played Rosario Salazar) was arrested for shoplifting at a Robinsons-May store in California; the charges were later dropped. In early 2006, former White House aide Claude Allen was arrested for an alleged return scam at a Target store in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Jean Eaton, while mayor of Albert Lea, Minnesota, was accused of stealing hundreds of dollars worth of clothing from Marshall Field’s stores in Rochester, Edina and St. Cloud in an alleged clothing swap scam. Eaton had claimed that police acted illegally when they executed a search warrant that gathered evidence used to support a felony theft charge against her.[citation needed] Eaton later reached a plea agreement with Olmsted County prosecutors to have the felony charges dropped, by entering into an adult diversion program, which includes restitution, and possible community service.

In August 2010, Rudy Giuliani’s daughter Caroline was arrested for stealing five beauty items worth about $100 from a Sephora store in Manhattan. She was later offered a dismissal in return for a day of community service and six months without a further offense. Ironically, Rudy Giuliani – a former Republican candidate for President, former Mayor of New York City, and former United States Attorney – is known in the law enforcement community for being a proponent of zero tolerance, where police are told to arrest petty criminals as a way to deter major crimes.

Source: Wikipedia

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Criminal prosecution can affect your health, freedom, employment, and social life. You need help and you need the best criminal defense you can get. At the Law Offices of Tony M. Seyfi, with the state of the art computerized legal research tools and forensic techniques, we will focus on identifying the defenses you may have and will develop numerous challenges to any crime possible.

Our goal is victory for our clients and to keep them from going to jail, and we are confident of our defense strategies. If you would like to discuss your case, call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION and case analysis.

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