I was recently stopped for shoplifting in Sam's Club. I gave them some story about the jacket being mine. While they were checking the tape I left. They can find out who I am through my receipt. What should I do? Can they arrest me after the fact?
Yes it was stupid.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Under the description you provided, yes a person can be arrested after the fact. There is no law requiring a person be arrested right there on the spot. Whether or not they would go through the time and effort to seek an arrest warrant, is not something I can tell you.
Some major stores will seek prosecution on each and every potential shoplifter to set an example. Lots of other stores are not quite as aggressive. Its really up to the particular store; and up to any other facts or circumstances of the situation that I may not be aware of.
The store certainly has the right to seek an arrest warrant. However, its always possible that the store might just let it go, since you were caught, the jacket was recovered so the store isn't out anything, and the store management might just figure they better things to do and not pursue it. But I have no way of knowing.
Hope this helps some.
Robert J. Johnston 843-473-2213
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