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Can Wal-Mart charge you with theft after you have already left the store?
Find answers to your legal question.

Can Wal-Mart charge you with theft after you have already left the store?

And how long do they have to do it?

they can if you're still on their property. as far as how long they have to do it, i'm not sure.

As long as they need.

yes, if they catch you in the parking lot.

of course. they usually let the person walk then embarrass the hell out of them

Yes they can. The surveillance cameras will add credence to their case too.

Unless they have prove that you stole it and the object wasnt already yours, then no

Back W
Oh yeah they can charge you after you left the store...if they have proof... they got Video

It's not theft until you leave the store!

you have to have left the store to be charged.

Yes they can prosecute if they have proof you stole, period, maybe from their cameras.

Yes. Its called a Survellience Camera... they have the evidence, they can prove its you - they can charge you whenever they are ready.

Jeff (weseye) Wesley
Only if you have taken something without paying for it. I don't what the statue of limitations are for stealing in your area.

If you signed one of their civil complain letters for shoplifting and agreed to pay in lieu of going to court, they can file shoplifting charges usually within 90 days to 6 months depending on the state.

According to the retail store I work for, it's technically not theft until you have left the store. Then you stole the item.

Lexx L
That's the only time they can charge you with theft. It's not theft if you're still in the store. They usually have cameras and they could wait up to 2 years, the statute of limitations.

Actually they ALWAYS wait till you have exited the store, so you can't claim you were going to pay for it. then nab you in the parking lot.

They can only nab you if all of the following criteria are met:

1) They see you take and conceal the item

2) They have 100% observation of your activities

3) You pass the final point of sale

4) You step out of the building

If a Wall mart store thinks you have stolen something, they can accuse you in the store, or in the parking lot, or even on the street, if you get that far. They may detain you and call the police. They do not have to nab you before you leave the store.

Charles & Willa
They can accuse you,and detain you,if you are still on their property. Only the police can charge you . And yes ,only after you have left the store and are found to be in possession of alleged stolen items,without a receipt.

erica s
um, if you stole something, they can charge you with it.

ever hear of security cameras????

the only hope you have is that the camera or a naked eye did not catch you doing it. just because you left the store means nothing.

they could be talking with police and id ing you right now.

solution......buy the thing. dont steal it.

If you don't steal stuff, you never need to know the answer.
What's the point of stealing from Wal-Mart anyway? You can buy everything in the whole store for $20. If you're going to go to the trouble of stealing something, go to a high-end electronics store or something.

⌡Machine Head⌠
Generally you have to have left the store or be in the process of leaving the store to be charged with theft. If you are still in the store the claim that you were merely holding the merchandise prior to lawfully paying for it usually obtains.

Yes. Actually, they HAVE to wait until you leave the store (otherwise it is not theft). The statute of limitations on theft varies from state to state and the amount stolen, but it probably is not less than 2 years (so they have at least 2 years to press charges). Wal-Mart themselves do not file charges, but rather report you either to the police or to the DA's office.

If you are still in the store the items are still the property of the store with the intend of selling them for profit, hoping you will be the buyer.

Once you leave the store without paying for the item it is still the property of the store and you have stolen it since you did not pay.

Yes Wal Mart can have you arrested and press charges, how long they have depends on different states and their statues of limitation and liability.

I think maybe a solution to the shoplifting in Wal Mart might be for the police to apprehend the thief outside in the parking lot and let the irrate customers, who chose to legally pay for their items, beat the living crap out of the thieves for continuing to raise the prices of the items customers who lawfully pay for in order to cover the cost of the items these thieves steal!!

╔Elizabeth╗ ♪♫
Unless you got caught stealing it, I don't think they'll do anything. When I was much younger, I used to steal from Wal-mart and people got suspicious sometimes... I never got in trouble for it though.

Edit: Then again, the Walmart in my area didn't have security camera's. Kind of hard to say. Walmart and other department stores also tend to have undercover loss prevention people too... so once you get out of the store, unless you know theres security cameras, i doubt theres much they can do.

Yes; in fact they cannot charge you with theft until after you leave with a stolen item. If you intend to steal an item from a shop, they can't charge you until you have actually left without paying as, if you are still inside the building with one of their items, you may still intend to pay and acquire the item legally. Once you are outside it's theft, plain and simple.

They could charge you up till whenever the local statutory limit for reporting a crime expires.

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