Legal Question in Criminal Law in Ohio

Ok this is the story I know

My brother was at mijer with a friend last night, when they enterd the store a AP officer begain following them a little time later the AP droped a pair of ear buds on the floor (no package or price on them) in the path of my brother and his friend who picked them up and pocketed them

They where then detaind by the AP and police where called

Me and my mother arived and the police soon after the head AP told us what happend (while the AP that caught them laughed and joked how stupid they where loudly infront of us) well the cops talked to the AP and took my brothers info and left before we could talk to him (in fact he stayed away from us during most of this only coming to talk when he needed the info) so we offerd to pay for the ear buds but where told that it would be $60 or $200 if we didnt pay in 30 days

We are waiting for court documants but im confused whats going on

Are they alowed to set people up like this and can they charg this ridiculus fine for $10 gel ear buds?

I know my brother was in the wrong but this seems a bit much

Asked on 6/10/12, 6:58 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Sauter Cloppert, Latanick, Sauter & Washburn

In many-attempted shoplifting cases where the item(s) are of little value, instead of asking the local prosecutor to prosecute the offender on criminal charges, the store will send a civil demand letter to the shoplifter. This is done to cover the cost of the store's loss-prevention department and damaged/destroyed merchandise due to attempted theft.

Should your brother not pay their demand, the store CAN ask a local prosecutor to press criminal charges against your brother, could ban your brother from the property, or the store could sell the debt to a debt collector. Failure to pay the demand MAY negatively impact your brother's credit report.

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Answered on 6/11/12, 7:39 am

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