So, hypothetically you go into Target and steal a few items. You make it out of the store without being caught. Can you still be arrested for shoplifting afterward?
The quick answer is yes!
Actually, most stores wait until the suspect has left the front doors before approaching them. This proves that they had the intent of stealing and went through with it. If they were to pick something up and conceal it but then pay for it at the cash registers, this would mean that they were not stealing.
Another situation would be where someone loses confidence and puts the item back. They may have had intent to steal, but they did not actually steal. Employees have to be very careful when approaching a suspect because wrongfully accusing someone can be a very awkward encounter for the company and the individual.
Another thing that most people don’t know is that you can be arrested even after leaving the parking lot. Although it is not likely that the store will go through the trouble of looking through video footage and filing charges, it is possible.
If you stole something worth a lot of money or you shoplift often, there is reason for more concern.
In fact, there are many cases where this has taken place in the past. If a store feels like they see someone suspicious or they recognize the person from previous situations where there was trouble, they may take the time to look at their cameras. If they find that there was stealing, they could use facial recognition software to identify that person in previous videos.
Anything less than $500 worth of stolen goods in Minnesota is considered a misdemeanor.
The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor in Minnesota is 3 years. That means that for up to 3 years after the date of an offense, one could be charged for stealing. So if someone has been stealing consistently for 3 years, they could technically be caught for all offenses and face a larger penalty.
If you feel that you may be or are being charged with a theft crime, call a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Most will have a free consultation with you and inform you of what could happen in your specific case.