Great Lakes Crossing Mall is a popular shopping destination due to its collection of outlet brand stores. Neiman Marcus, Off Saks, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, and Bass Pro Shop are a few of its known merchants. An issue that goes hand in hand with the large amount of traffic at Great Lakes Crossing and desirable merchandise is shoplifting.
Great Lakes Crossing goes to great lengths to protect its tenants. There is mall security, close circuit court, and a working relationship with the stores and Auburn Hills Police.
How do stores catch people? The stores also have mechanisms in place to protect to protect themselves from losses from retail fraud, embezzlement, and other types of theft such as:
- Closed Circuit Television and high definition cameras to observe and record persons in the store;
- Theft detection devices attached to products;
- Store designs that eliminate blind spots;
- Placing products that have a higher value, or which are frequently stolen, in visible locations;
- The use of trained loss prevention officers to monitor for suspicious activity;
- Training of store personnel to communicate suspicious activity to loss prevention and/or mall security
Typically warnings are not given out when an individual is caught. Prosecutions are meant to prevent the occurrence of repeated thefts and to deter others from stealing.
If a ticket is issued by police or an arrest is made, what is the next step? A court date will be scheduled at the 52/3 District Court which is located at 700 Barclay Circle in Rochester Hills, Michigan 48307. The first court date is an arraignment. At arraignment the charge and penalty are read by the magistrate or judge and a bond is set. If bond is unable to be posted you will remain in custody during the pendency of the case.
When is the best time to hire a lawyer? Right away. Having a lawyer involved early gives you the best chance of receiving a great result.
Who should I hire? A lawyer that specializes in theft cases. My recommendation is attorney Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC. Mr. Hilf is a local attorney who frequently appears at the 52/3 District Court. He is well known for the criminal defense of retail fraud cases. Having the right lawyer will help you obtain a reasonable bond and reasonable bond conditions. The lawyer will be able to look at your case at all angles to find the best possible defense. If trial is not the answer, having an experienced lawyer negotiate on your behalf for a great result is vital. In many instances jail and a theft record can be avoided. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer will give you the confidence you need that the case will be handled in the right manner.
What Am I facing? Generally, retail fraud (shoplifting) can be charged as a 93 day misdemeanor (by the Auburn Hills City Attorney), a 1 year misdemeanor (by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office), or a 4 year felony (by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office) depending upon the amount involved, your prior record, and your intent.
Embezzlement (employee theft) generally is based upon the amount that is stolen by the employee, and the employee’s prior record. With embezzlement charges, if a series of thefts occurred the total amount of the theft can be added together to make the charge more serious.
There are other types of fraud that sometimes occur at Great Lakes Crossing Mall. One of the more common offenses is credit card fraud (otherwise known as Financial Transaction Device – stealing/retaining/possessing without the device holder’s consent). This offense is a 4 year maximum felony.
If you are charged with a felony from an offense at Great Lakes Crossing Mall the case will begin at the 52/3 District Court, and will continue to the 6th Circuit Court at 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac 48341 if a probable cause determination is made at the District Court level.
The maximum sentence listed above does not mean that this is the result you will receive. For all of these offenses, if convicted, the Court has the discretion not to incarcerate you. For youthful offenders under 24 years it may be possible to avoid having a theft conviction through the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.
How are the Judges at the 52/3 District Court? Notoriously tough. This is another reason why you need an experienced lawyer’s help.