Target stores take an aggressive approach to apprehending suspected shoplifters. The reason for this is to deter shoplifting, reduce losses, and to protect the merchandise. What specifically does Target do to address retail fraud:
First, Target prosecutes for shoplifting. There are no warnings. There is no mercy. The employees involved with the theft investigation testify in courtrooms, when necessary. Target actively bans people from their stores with no trespassing orders who it suspects of shoplifting. Target has a civil law firm seek civil law settlements and judgments for damages.
Second, the store employs asset protection/loss prevention personnel that are well trained. Technology is used to help the loss prevention team, such as closed circuit television, theft detection devices, and store designs to eliminate blind spots. The loss prevention personnel have specialized training to identify behaviors of shoppers that suggest that they may commit some form of theft. Target tries to identify known shoplifters so that loss prevention is alerted whenever such a suspect enters the store so that they can be watched closely.
Third, the sales personnel are also well trained. They alert loss prevention or management when they see something suspicious. Dressing rooms are frequently checked.
Fourth, when a person is apprehended on suspicion of retail theft, they are questioned about the incident in an attempt to gain a confession. Loss prevention, unlike police officers, are not required to provide Miranda rights. The recovered merchandise is documented. Videos are preserved. All of the evidence – the loss prevention reports; the suspect’s statements, store video, photographs of merchandise, etc., are given to the police officers once they respond to the scene. Target makes it easy for a police officer to file a report. Target makes it easy for a prosecutor to go forward with a prosecution.
Even though Target attempts to do a thorough investigation, mistakes sometimes occur. The fact that the desk for customer service is so close to the exit sometimes is a source for confusion and error. Not everyone detained or arrested for retail fraud is guilty.
Experience matters when it comes to the defense of retail fraud cases. Not every criminal defense lawyer has the knowledge and ability to properly defend retail fraud accusations.
Even in cases where guilt is apparent, an experienced criminal defense lawyer that specializes in retail fraud cases is a necessity. The quality of legal representation is often the difference between jail and no jail. It makes a difference when trying to obtain a charge reduction or a status in the law to keep the offense off your record.
Retail fraud convictions can have life altering consequences: it can affect your reputation; it can prevent you from obtaining certain jobs and pursuing certain careers; it can effect your ability to obtain loans/grants/assistance. It can effect your ability to travel. To individuals that are not United States citizens, it can affect your ability to remain in the United States, or return if you ever leave the country.
Make the smart decision and hire the right lawyer. For all retail fraud cases I recommend the services of Attorney Daniel Hilf of the law firm Hilf & Hilf, PLC.