Can Walmart prosecute someone for attempted shoplifting if the items were only valued at around $35? This incident took place in Arizona. The person involved is an adult, 34 years old, with no previous criminal record except for a minor at-fault car accident that occurred around 7 years ago, which was resolved through traffic school and payment.
In this scenario, the person was taken to a side room by an individual who appeared to be from the loss prevention (LP) department, accompanied by another worker who may have been the manager, after the store alarms went off. The person was visibly upset and explained that they had hit a rough patch in their life, facing financial difficulties. The LP and manager expressed understanding, mentioning that they often hear similar explanations from others.
They requested the person's driver's license and asked them to empty out their purse. Most of the items found were the person's personal belongings, such as medication and a blood sugar checker. The LP and manager emphasized the importance of honesty and asked if the person had committed similar acts at other Walmart locations. The person hesitated to answer initially but eventually admitted to two instances of taking low-value items, like water mixers, for work purposes. They were concerned that lying could lead to more severe consequences if discovered. The items in question included face wash, electrolyte water mixers, and a supplement for women's hormone health. The LP and manager stated that they could understand the reasons behind the two items related to work, but not the face wash.
The police were not called, and instead, the person's information was recorded. They were allowed to leave with the few items they had purchased. The store informed the person not to return for 24 hours while they considered whether to pursue prosecution. The person agreed and was informed that their information would be added to a database. They expressed cooperation and a desire to avoid trouble, having been advised that lying could create further complications. The person had encountered conflicting information, some suggesting that the outcome might depend on the specific store's policies. They consulted a lawyer who mentioned that if the police were not involved, there might not be much to worry about. They were informed that receiving a letter could indicate a court date, potentially leading to a fine or community service.
It's important to note that every situation can vary, and this narrative is based on the provided details. If anyone has gone through a similar experience, they may have encountered a different process. The person involved is feeling extremely distraught and upset, vowing never to repeat such actions, as this is their first encounter with this type of situation.