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2 forms of shoplifting that don’t involve running from the store

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2021 | criminal defense

Florida shoplifting offenses often involving juveniles and impulsive crimes. When a teenager steals a small item they want but can’t or don’t wish to pay for, they stick it in their pocket, inside their purse or up their shirt before exiting the store as quickly as possible without paying for it. 

This kind of shoplifting is well-known and common, but it is certainly not the only way that people steal from retail businesses. There are other, less well-known times of shoplifting, some of which require planning or even specialized equipment.

Tag swapping

When a shoplifter doesn’t want to risk exiting the store with unpaid merchandise, they may put different price tags or barcodes on an item to pay only a fraction of its true price. Some people will take tags off of the existing merchandise in the stores. Others will create their own barcode stickers or price tags that they’ll place on an item hoping that no one will catch them.

Using a purchased item to hide an unpurchased one

When you buy a pair of shoes, you need to try them on first. People will take the tissue paper out of the toes of the shoes, try them on and then put the shoes back in the box. Some people will take an extra step by wrapping up a watch or a pair of earrings in the tissue paper that they shoved back into the toes of those shoes. 

The same thing could happen when buying a purse or other container. Putting something inside and leaving without paying for it is still theft, even if you pay for one of the items.

Any activity that deprives the retailer of the full price of their merchandise could be shoplifting, even if it isn’t a grab-and-go operation. Learning more about common kinds of shoplifting offenses can help you avoid making a mistake that leads to criminal charges.