April 1, 2021

shows the front of teh Costco in Garden Grove California

Shoplifting Charges? Costco Theft in Explained

Being Caught Shoplifting at Costco is not a proud moment. Costco is one of the most successful companies when it comes to stopping shoplifting. Their shrinkage of inventory numbers is below others in the industry. This term refers to occurrences of shoplifting to merchandise for sale. It is a standard used in the retail theft industry to measure the effectiveness of loss prevention officers.  A Recent business article by Business Insider explains how Costco does this. 

Costco Loss Prevention and What they Do to Catch Shoplifters.

“By strictly controlling the entrances and exits and using a membership format, we believe our inventory losses — shrinkage — are well below those of typical retail operations,” the report reads. Costco is also known to pay higher wages than Walmart and Target, thereby increasing worker satisfaction and reducing the amount of theft on the part of employees”

https://www.businessinsider.com/costco-raises-minimum-wage-war-for-talent-2019-3

What happens when you get caught shoplifting at Costco?

Shoplifting is a problem that most big stores deal with on a daily basis. When Caught Shoplifting at Costco, you will immediately be escorted into the back of the store by security guards who will then call the police. The security personnel in the retail industry are not nice to shoplifters. Loss prevention officers will often be very hostile to people who are suspected of shoplifting.

Police Officer Will Arrive and Decide If it is a Misdemeanor or Felony. 

Often times they will let you sit there after being Caught Shoplifting at Costco for hours until an officer on duty has to the time drop by and take a report. In most cases, police officers are angels compared with loss prevention officers.  The officer will review the report by the loss prevention officers and categorize the forms of theft and your method. This goes into whether you used instruments or if you had the intent to steal when you walked into the store or whether this is a form of employee theft.  After this, the officer will decide whether your case is a felony theft or misdemeanor theft . 

Consequences if you get Caught Shoplifting at Costco

If you have been charged with shoplifting at Costco, you are probably facing jail time and hefty fines. You may also have to deal with the embarrassment of the whole thing becoming public knowledge. Aside from the criminal record on your permanent record. A theft conviction is one of the most problematic charges when it comes to potential employers making decisions about hiring. It is hard to bring someone on who steals. 

Being Convicted for Shoplifting at Costco is a Crime of dishonesty. 

For misdemeanor crimes it is most likely you will 0 days in jail for stealing or any kind of significant jail sentence. However, if the amount goes over a specific amount then the jail sentence can be significant. In addition to the jail sentence, you are also facing a civil penalty in the form of a civil demand letter. 

What to do When You Get Caught Shoplifting at Costco

You may think that being caught shoplifting is the end of the world however, there are some steps you can to take to resolve the situation. We will discuss the legal process in the next paragraphs.

Hiring Your Lawyer

But, you still have options. First, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in shoplifting cases. Second, you need to make sure that your lawyer knows everything that happened and can explain it to the prosecutor. This is your chance to tell your side of the story. You will need your attorney to review your case and any videos that came with the case.

Do Not Pay the Civil Demand Letter For Shoplifting.

You should not immediately pay the store. Paying the letter does not make your problem go away with the court unless you agree it is for the purpose of a civil compromise. If you are able to pay it and have them accept the payment as a civil compromise then your case can be dimissed.

shows the picture of a civil demand letter given to shoplifters
Civil demand letters are given to shoplifters after they are caught