Even though the spectacle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has passed, holiday shopping is merely beginning. Expect to see your neighbors haul red and green clad shopping bags along with new flat-screen TVs though their doorway.
Despite the discounts that parade in stores across the nation, some shoppers still aren’t satisfied. One American out of eleven is guilty of stealing products, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. Over the last five years, police across the U.S. have arrested ten million shoplifters. Now, it’s particularly hitting northern Ohio hard.
Just because shoplifting is common, this does not mean you won’t get caught. Several retailers step up security during the holiday shopping craze. You might see detectors at store entrances as well as hidden cameras and guards.
In Ohio, shoplifting is a misdemeanor offense. Even if you don’t exactly plan to rob a store at gunpoint, simply pocketing items of any value can land you in jail, force you to pay a fine, and leave a permanent stain on your record. Giving in to temptation just once can create a major obstacle when you need a new job or apply to college. This is why finding skillful legal council is so critical when you stand accused of shoplifting.
To prevent theft charges, parents should always check their cart before leaving a store to make sure young children haven’t added products without realizing that they stole. Parents of older children and teens, however, should monitor “gifts” and items that start to appear suspicious. At a certain age, this behavior becomes inexcusable and a judge can hold them accountable for juvenile crime.