Arrested for Retail Fraud from Sephora

Sephora stores are very proactive in their attempts to curtail retail fraud.  The fact that they sell small, popular, and often expensive products seems to tempt persons to steal from them.   A disproportionate number of clients that I represent are alleged shoplifters from Sephora stores, which says a lot about how Sephora stores are run.  From my observations as a criminal defense lawyer, they have implemented a number of different policies and procedures to combat shoplifting.

First, Sephora seems to be willing to prosecute persons detained for shoplifting from their stores.  The store also actively bans shoplifters from their stores by no trespassing orders that are given to the persons detained for suspected retail theft.  They employ a law firm to civilly seek damages against persons that steal from Sephora.

Second, they have a well staffed store.  There are many sales associates throughout the store that are trained to interact with customers.  This serves a two fold purpose – to encourage sales and to create a deterrent for persons that are considering to commit an offense.

Third, the store is designed in a manner to eliminate blind spots or other areas where a person may be able to steal outside the presence of loss prevention.

Fourth, the store has well trained loss prevention personnel that view customers through a closed circuit television and on the sales floor.  The personnel are trained to identify different signs or characteristics that someone who commits retail fraud may exhibit, and observe them in a way in which their identities as loss prevention go unnoticed.  Loss prevention at Sephora is also educated in identifying persons that are known shoplifters.  They make sure to watch these persons more closely.  Sephora is willing to chase after shoplifters who leave the store.

Fifth, the cameras and monitoring equipment is located throughout the store to eliminate blindspots.  Multiple camera angles cover each area of the store to prevent the view of the loss prevention worker from being shielded or blocked from properly seeing what is occurring.  It has the ability to allow loss prevention to pan in different directions and to zoom in with high resolution.  When someone is detained for shoplifting, the store is prepared to provide police with a clear, color video recording from multiple angles and vantage points of the incident in question.

Sixth, loss prevention from Sephora is trained to obtain from the person detained for shoplifting a verbal and/or written account of what they person allegedly did.  Loss prevention are not responsible to read Miranda rights or warnings to persons who are detained for shoplifting, or to otherwise safeguard their right against self incrimination.

Seventh, Sephora loss prevention have working relationships with mall security and local police who promptly respond to retail fraud complaints from the store.

The above steps that Sephora takes serve the purposes of deterring people from stealing, protecting store assets, and safeguarding the store from claims of false detention.  Sephora makes it easier to prosecute because they do most of the leg work needed to establish probable cause before the police even arrive on scene.

Even though there are all of these mechanisms in place, there is still sometimes errors that lead to false arrests.  When arrested for shoplifting it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney that has experience defending retail fraud cases.  Experience defending retail fraud cases is not the same as lawyers who have experience getting their clients to plead guilty to retail fraud.  Any lawyer is not the right lawyer for you.  A lawyer that understands how the store and how the law operates is your best bet to achieve the right result.  Experience matters.

There are many cases where the person detained for retail fraud is guilty of that offense.  In these cases the quality of legal representation may make a great difference in the result ultimately received.  A retail fraud conviction can result in arrest, jail/prison, probation/parole with conditions.  A retail fraud conviction can have other life altering consequences.  It may make it difficult to obtain employment, pursue certain careers, attend the best schools, or travel to foreign countries.  However, just because you are accused of retail fraud does not mean that you will end up with a retail fraud conviction.  Here is where the experience of the criminal defense lawyer is important.  For any retail fraud crime it is recommended that you retain attorney Daniel Hilf from Hilf & Hilf, PLC.