Loss prevention officers recognized the defendant in his store as a former shoplifter. The suspect and two other individuals pushed two carts full of merchandise to the back of the store where they filled up empty Wal-mart with the goods. The suspects then attempted to leave the store and pass all points of sale without attempting to pay for the items. Loss prevention apprehended the defendant for attempting to heist $1149.35 worth of merchandise from the store and is later arrested on charges of grand theft.
Grand theft charges can be put into place when any property valued at over $300 is willfully taken. The offender has an intent to steal the property, depriving the owner of ownership.
A grand theft charge will be considered a felony under Florida law. A charge of a felony can include not only jail time and/or probation, but a fine. Felony charges can be first, second, or third depending on the value of the property taken.
- First degree- First-degree will be imposed if the offender takes $100,00 or more of property.
- Second degree- Second-degree felony will be imposed if the offender takes $20,000 to $100,000.
- Third degree- A third-degree felony will be charged if the offender takes $300-$20,000 of property.
Rights of Loss Prevention Officers
A loss prevention officer is hired by a store in order to prevent shoplifting. Many times these security guards are undercover. Their main job is to patrol the store, trying to catch or investigate shoplifters.
As loss prevention officers are not a part of government law, they do not have to respect any constitutional rights of the offender. However, there are many laws that will protect the defendant. The loss prevention officer may not use excessive force against one, and they can not falsely arrest one. They cannot charge you with the actual crime- only law enforcement is able to do this.
If a loss prevention officer accuses you of shoplifting, request that a law enforcement officer is called in. A police officer can read you your Miranda rights, and you may request the assistance of an attorney. As a loss prevention officer is not part of government law, they do not need to read you your Miranda rights, and no statements should be made to them.
A loss prevention officer can only detain a suspect for a certain amount of time that is within reason. If no law enforcement shows up in this time frame, they are required by law to let you go. They also can not force you to speak with them.
RESULT: The client has been convicted of stealing from Wal-mart twice before this arrest and was currently serving a probation sentence for the second conviction. The defense successfully negotiated the case on the client’s behalf resulting in NO CONVICTION and NO PRISON TIME!