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Black Friday & Theft Crimes

Penalties of the Five Finger Discount

Once a year, countless Americans express their gratitude on Thanksgiving before preparing for a long day of shopping and fighting for the last discounted item on Black Friday. However, the irresistible deals and steals available on Black Friday drive some people to actually steal the deals, resulting in theft charges. Being one of the busiest shopping days of the year, it is no surprise that retail theft is among the most common crimes committed on Black Friday.

Although retail workers are busy controlling frenzied crowds of shoppers and helping customers, they are still on high-alert for shoplifters. In fact, retail workers and security alike are particularly vigilant for theft criminals on Black Friday compared to regular shopping days because there is a greater opportunity to commit theft amid the chaos and distractions on Black Friday. That’s why many retailers use the following strategies to prepare for this unofficial start of the holiday shopping season:

  • Posting anti-theft signs (i.e. “shoplifters will be prosecuted”)
  • Organizing the store
  • Training staff to detect and deter thieves
  • Expanding video surveillance
  • Utilizing smart shelves

Retailers do not mess around with shoplifting, therefore if you are caught, you could be subject to the following charges:

  • Petty theft (shoplifting): A misdemeanor crime involving the theft of an item worth less than $950. It is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fines.
  • Grand theft: A wobbler offense, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, that involves the theft of property worth more than $950.

In addition, you may be restricted from ever returning to the retail store that you allegedly shoplifted at, and your photo and other identifying information may be circulated to other retailers so they can prevent you from entering the premises. Thus, not only can a shoplifting conviction cost you time behind bars and steep fines but also limits on where you can shop in the future. If your employer, landlord, bank or university learns of your conviction from your criminal record, you may tarnish your reputation and lose your good standing with these entities.

Our Theft Crime Attorneys Will Fight for You

At Appel & Morse, we understand that good people can end up in bad situations. Everyone makes mistakes, while others get wrongly accused of making mistakes. Either way, our Santa Barbara theft crime lawyer is ready to advocate for your best interests and work to minimize the impacts of your charges. We know what’s at stake and will stop at nothing to help lower the stakes no matter what it takes.

Schedule your free consultation at (805) 467-6060 today!