Due to the popularity of Somerset Mall, Oakland Mall, Nordstrom Rack, and other shopping destinations, there is a large volume of retail fraud investigations in the city of Troy. Most retail fraud cases begin with an individual’s apprehension by a lost prevention employee (asset protection) from the store. The lost prevention employee typically detains the individual and recovers the merchandise in question and determines whether or not the merchandise was purchased. If the lost prevention employee makes a determination that shoplifting occurs he/or she will usually attempts to have the individual admit verbally and sometimes in writing to the theft, contacts the police, and writes a store report about the incident. The responding police officer is usually given a copy of that store report, along with any store video. The merchandise that is the subject of the complaint is photographed, and a determination is made as to the retail price of the merchandise involved. The individual is given notice by the store that he or she will be considered a trespasser.
The police officer has the discretion to issue a ticket, which will require the individual to be arraigned at the district court within 10 days, or to take the individual into custody. If the alleged retail fraud is a felony, or the individual has warrants, the individual is typically taken into custody. If the individual is a minor, typically a parent or guardian is contacted and the minor is released to their custody. A person who is in custody, in most circumstances, is arraigned within 72 hours before a magistrate.
At the arraignment a magistrate or Judge will read the charge or charges in open court, provide notice of the potential penalty, determine if the individual needs a court appointed lawyer for the next court date, and sets bond. For bond purposes the magistrate or Judge will typically consider the individual’s risk of flight (whether or not they will appear in court) and danger to the community (typically the individual’s prior record or information about the alleged offense) when setting the bond amount. The bond amount can be a personal bond (no money is required), cash, surety, or 10%. The bond amount can include restrictions such as (but not limited to) drug/alcohol testing, inability to leave the State of Michigan, no new criminal offenses, etc. The legal representation that an individual receives can influence the bond amount and bond conditions.