Shoplifting is a criminal act of taking merchandise in a retail store without paying for it. The act of shoplifting requires the intent to permanently deprive the merchant of the merchandise. Many states allow merchants, including their store security team, a privilege when trying to prevent someone from stealing items from a store.
The shopkeeper’s privilege is a privilege given to merchants to detain a suspected shoplifter on store grounds. The merchant can only detain, or hold, the alleged shopkeeper for a reasonable amount of time.
No. The merchant can only detain someone if there is reason to believe the individual attempted to or actually committed theft. The theft must occur on store property.
In order to use this privilege, the merchant must:
No. A citizen’s arrest occurs when an individual detains another because the citizen has actually seen the detainee attempt to or actually commit a crime. The detainee is detained until police arrive to make an official arrest. The criminal act could be any crime, including shoplifting.
Yes, if the merchant has enough facts, they can call law enforcement to make an arrest. When an arrest occurs, the suspect is physically taken into police custody.
The shopkeeper’s privilege can lead to a shoplifting or theft charge. Contact a criminal lawyer about your arrest. If the merchant was wrong, your lawyer could get the charges dropped.
Last Modified: 12-01-2016 02:42 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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