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Employee Theft (Felony level)

First of all, I am not a lawyer, I am not giving legal advice. Just an ex criminal giving some advice, and sharing my story  (in plain english) to people in my situation.

Let me start by sharing two things with you. One, Cameras. are. everywhere. It is the 21st century, and they are even hidden in places you don't think they are. As an ex retail employee, I know the secrets they don't tell you. They place cameras not in the stalls, but they are in fact, inside the fitting rooms. They are constantly looking at the customers, and you when you are at your job. And you better believe they study every minute of that film. Security personnel know your every move wether they are played back, or watched live. Two, If you are stealing from your job, they will let you bury yourself. They do not care if it is morally wrong. They will sit back and watch you steal every night. They will make you think you are getting away with it, and meanwhile, they are recording what you stole for their restitution. They can do this, and it's perfectly legal.

10 months ago I got a job at Macys. I loved working there. The managers were friendly, and I instantly made friends with most of my co-workers. Unfortunately I took a bad habit from my last job to Macys. About a month in at Macys, I got comfortable and decided to shoplift (so so stupid). I stole almost every night I worked. I stole nearly $100 worth of merchandise a night. I would wear the stuff out. I did this for a long time and never got caught, and I never thought much of it. One night, the LP said he wanted to talk to me, and I agreed. He took me to the back room in the security office. He basically told me that he never talks to people unless he knows something is going on. I confessed to everything because I didn't want to make things worse for myself. The total amount that I stole was $7,968 over the course of 9 months. My LP told me he wanted to help me, and told me he had a similar case over the holidays. As long as I made an effort to pay them back, he wouldn't tell the judge to "hammer me". After signing the paperwork, a police officer came in to question me. My LP told him how much I stole. The police officer just looked at me and said "Wow...Well, Macy's is just expensive." He didn't judge me, and despite the value of the merchandise I stole, He didn't arrest me. But know this, when the police come in to question you, even if you are not arrested, this will show up on your record as an arrest. He just wished me luck and left. The police officer and my LP were very kind, and he continues to be kind to me as I come in and make payments.

My day in Municipal court was quick. I pled not guilty, and left. Nothing to it. I wanted my right to a trial. This is probably the BEST thing you can do. NEVER PLEAD GUILTY TO A SHOPLIFTING CHARGE ON YOUR FIRST APPEARANCE. You never know what could happen and it is usually to your benefit. My story is a perfect example.

My case was in limbo for awhile. Because my theft was a felony, It went up to superior court. However, the grand jury did not find sufficient evidence to sustain the return of an indictment, and the case was closed. Legalese to english: My felony was dropped. forgotten. vanished. If you are in this situation and receive this in the mail: this is great news for your case. 

A few months later, I paid Macy's back, Hired a lawyer, and had my final appearance (for the misdemeanor, because the felony was dropped) The misdemeanor was reduced to a petty offense (kinda like a drunken public pee). I was fined $500 by the state, and I could not go to Macy's for a year. In two years I can get this nightmare expunged from my record...which is around $1500. No community service. No jail. However, if I am caught at Macy's I will go to jail for a month. That's it. 

The most important advice I can give you as a person who escaped a felony conviction: get a lawyer. Shoplifting is no laughing matter and it stays on your record as an arrest even if you were not arrested, and even if you do not serve any jail time. BEFORE they make you sign anything, and BEFORE you pay any restitution, please please please find a good lawyer and hire him or her!!! I payed Macys in full BEFORE I decided to get a lawyer. When the prosecutor's office DROPPED my felony out of the system, turns out I DID NOT have to pay Macy's back. I did the right thing I guess...but I won't lie, it would have been awesome to have gotten away with that. (oh, my criminal mind.) Lawyers are not as bad or as expensive as people think, and they pay off. In total, my legal fees were $2500. I was expecting a LOT more. If I did not have a lawyer, (the judge's exact words) My fine would have been doubled, and I would have received jail time (yes, even for my first offense [the misdemeanor])

My desire to be bad and break the rules definitely backfired on me. The rush I got from stealing wasn't worth the potential charges I almost faced. I got caught up in what I thought I was getting away with. Long story short- Never ever steal from a department store especially if you are an employee. If you are an employee they know who you are, and they have your information. It's not like the customers that steal every day, when their identity is unknown and most of them get away with it. If your employers notice a shortage, they will start to look at everyone, and then they will look at you. You will get caught and I can almost guarantee you that the LPs know you are doing it. Breaking the law is expensive. Don't do it if you're poor as sh** like me. And nothing is worth the life changing charges you could possibly face.  I needed to share this because none of the stories on here have quite as high a price tag. Just thought id give support to those facing a felony conviction. You are not alone!
eatontowngirlxo eatontowngirlxo 18-21, F 136 Responses Apr 18, 2012

Your Response


Ok so what if they caught you, you get fired but they never call police

I was recently caught shoplifting makeup , $43 with tax total and was taken to the station for prints and the whole shebang. Completely stupid, ignorant , awful lack of judgement. I Was diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety at 12 years old and as you can imagine this has pushed me to some new lows and restless nights. I haven't told my parents or boyfriend as their reaction (all are pretty strict and familiar with law) will add to my mortified guilt ridden mind and likely cause even more pressure which I know I can't handle right now. I can't sleep or eat, I feel guilty every day. I hired a lawyer ( petit larceny misdemeanor charge) just to be safe and help keep me from screwing myself over. I am 20 years old no priors. My mail goes to my parents address though I reside with my boyfriend , I know my restitution Mail should be arriving soon. I work 2 jobs and provide fully for myself , though barely making it by doing so. I payed the last of my weeks savings and any savings I had for this lawyer, hoping it will prevent my future jobs or housing situations (my boyfriend wants to get a house together in a year or so) from being affected more than I couls help. What should I expect? I have spent the last 30 minutes reading every response on this page trying to Gather what I can from the feedback and stories. Should I come clean to everyone ? If I don't have to and if the aftermath of court will not affect them or involve them , I would like to keep this to myself as I can barely handle knowing what I did as it is. Thank you!

I work at a beauty store and was accused of stealing coupons by a manager I was working with. I was confused and shocked when she approached me about it because all I did was set aside coupons to ask her if we were allowed to reuse them (This is my first job and have only been working there for 2 months so Im still learning) i placed the coupons on a cart next to the registers where I was stocking products. I walked away and the manager wheeled the cart the back room. Later I realized the cart was gone and went back to see if the coupons were still there. They weren't anywhere to be found so I continued on with the night. After we were about to close she attacked me with questions about the coupons and told me I stole them.. I told her numerous times I didn't steal and didnt do anything wrong. She laughed at me and told me I was going to be terminated. I started crying and walked away.
The next day I did not receive a phone call from my job. So the day after that I called my GM and asked if I could meet with her to tell her my side of the situation. She told me it was in LPs hands now and that I will meet with him on Sunday. What's going to happen??? I didn't steal and I wasn't planning on stealing! This was one huge misunderstanding and I'm scared :(

problably your manager stole them for herself , and seing you as a unnexperient person , blamed you to justify the disappearance of the coupons, my own chief tried to do the same with me but i prooved to boss who really stole the stuff in fault as i managed to photograph him stealing it with my phone without him realize it.

I confessed and signed off to about $11000 in stolen merchandise there was no video footage shown to me for proof I have to call a number by friday to set up a payment plan or they'll press me with felony charges what should I do?

i was just accused of stealing from my work place. they have no prof i did it. they have now fired me an call me every day to return the stolen stuff. how should i handle this.

I'm 18 years old and I just got caught shoplifting in JCPENNEY where I worked at and I've been doing it for about a month and a half along with another coworker and I got pulled in to talk to LP and apparently I stole about $1,000 worth of merchandise and I have to pay it all back along with my coworker and they said that we had to split it and they also said that I had to go to court and they also accused me of changing prices which I did not do but I'm so terrified! I don't know if I should plead guilty or not even though they have video evidence of me doing it and I was literally shoplifting when they pulled me in plus they made me write this statement stating everything that I was doing and I can't afford a lawyer so I don't know what to do and I really don't want this on my record because I want to be a nurse one day and this was all just a stupid mistake. They said that it would just be put down as disorderly behavior or something but I'm still scared!

Wow that's awesome for you what state do you live in I'm going threw the same thing right now I have so many questions so I should get a lawer then I'm reading your experience an it looks like I should bring that there's 4 of my family members involved..

I did not get caught but i am in a scary situation right now. For the span of several month i was stealing food type items from my place of work (eating out of sight of cameras and throwing away the evidence.) they are small inexpensive packages but i know it must have added up to a lot by now. As far as i know no one knows or is suspicious but stores inventory is coming up in a week and i am afraid that they will see a bunch of missing items and look at me with suspicion. I have had some trouble with the law in the past and i really dont want to get in trouble. What should i do?!
Quit my job? Give a one week notice maybe? Or can they still get me? I'm scared and feel awful for what i have done...

I'm in your shoes now and I do t know what to do and I'm pretty worried about going in to work tomorrow :/ my plan is to hand my notice in if they say anything like then need to talk to me as it would look better if I handed in notice then they sacked me right :/

So did anything happen?
Thus far nothing has come of my situation. Either i was really good at hiding it, there was no(t enough) evidence, the goods never amounted to as much as i thought, or i got the luckiest break and they decided not to pursue it.
This is so far, and it has been 12 days since inventory. It's possible that i still have it seriously coming to me. I got really paranoid for a while there and was sure that they were watching me, waiting for me to slip up so they could get the solid evidence, after the fact. Still nothing seems alarming or different.
But no, i know that i will not do that again. I have started to take more pride in myself and my work and don't really feel the need to anymore.
I wonder how your issue is going. Quitting your job may not be wise, as it could be suspicious, but it could also be helpful, depending on the circumstances. Maybe best to just hang tight like i did and if trouble arises, cross that bridge when you come to it.
Wishing good luck and the absolute best, from a (hopefully) reformed criminal. ;o

Oh! How much I wish I had read this 6 months ago :-(

I got off work around 2, I spent half of my time talking to an LP because not only me but other employees were stealing. I admitted to how much I stole, and at approx. the total of what I stole and it came out to $200-252.. I know what I did was horrible. I shouldn't have even stolen anything but the LP did tell no charges were being put to me as long as I make payments to the $252.60 ( which it could even be less but I was just nervous and averaging an amount.) anywho, So that happened.. then another thing happened. So all the employees put their belongings into a locker in the basement of the retail store. No locks on any of them unless you feel the need to bring one. Well, with my stuff being stolen from my past job, I always want to remember who is next to my things, so I scope the lockers just so I get a brief memory of whose next to me incase I AM missing stuff. Well it came in handy one day when I was missing my wallet that happened to be found a few hours later in someone elses locker. ONE thing I did do that looks bad on the cameras in that area is.. I dug through a few purses but ONLY to find my wallet. I was freaking out! I haven't gone through anyones belongings since but I still look through lockers and myself as well as other employees hide things for "holds" that we want for ourselves in the lockers. People save what they want to buy until they have money to buy it and until then they switch the stuff into different lockers so the managers don't find it when they clean them out. Well they also caught me on camera doing that. So they assumed I was taking more than just merchandise but peoples money. I had confessed that the only time I took money was when I opened a locker and there was a $100.00 bill just ontop of stuff in a locker and so yes I did take it which is HORRIBLE and I am DISGUSTED by my actions but, I told LP I was willing to pay that person back (anon. of course) and hope that it doesn't get pushed into a bigger situation than it already was. Well thats what happened on my part, but I guess 2 other people complained to be "missing money" one person missing a $20 and the other missing $40. I had nothing to do with it and I feel like I'm going to get arrested. The LP lady sounded so scary and said that "We have nothing to do with what the investigators choose but they will see the footage, and once they do they will make the arrest" but Idk if she said that to scare me because after I had explained the truth she said to pay it back anon. and from today till whenever I get a call from the store manager (24-48hrs) I am on suspension..
I am very scared and nervous. I need help and do not know what will happen to me. I know its confidential but I HAD to tell my boyfriend, which we also live together and he could tell something was wrong when he walked in and I exploded into tears. I explained it to him, and how I was paying everything back and how she told me in the beginning how I guess the employees want to press chargers and he held me and said everything would be okay and that it can't be that serious especially when i'm already paying it all back and signed to pay it all back..
I just need more advice. please help me anyone. I'm only 19, this stuff isn't me and what I did was a mistake, plus the shoplifting. Its all not me at all and I don't want to go to jail.. Please.

Hello I worked at goodwill for over a year, and would give customers discounts and well yesterday a customer grabbed a whole bunch of merchandise and I rang him out normally and then proceeded as if nothing happened I been doing this for a while and I'm scared that they'll go back to see all the cameras and transactions anyways I got so paranoid and scared that I left without telling anyone my friend is on management training and said that they hired a detective and called the cops. I'm scared I was only trying to help people.its goodwill now more so greed will. I was also on my last day at work because I had resigned already.what can happen can they look back at everything I did or what will happen I'm 19 in illinois

Hey I know this form is like 2 years old but I am in need of some type of advice !!.
I am currently 20 years old , single mother who was caught shoplifting at walmart of things $105 mostly fem products & diapers & wipes. We'll anyway I went to court I pled not guilty but I had gotten something in the mail to we're I had to pay 250 dollars to some lawyer person , it's been like 2 months that I have done that but since then I have opened my own shop in a whole different state 513 miles away !!. My next court date is 9-25
My fiancé doesn't know about my charge but he did pay my bail money when I went to jail but he didn't know it . I'm so afraid to tell him .. This is my first time EVER being in trouble with the law but I was going thru a rough patch in life when I did the worst mistake of my life !!.
I've never been away more than 2 days away from my son !. I really don't know what else to do .. Please help me ..

When I was 16 I got caught seeling from my emmpolyer .. I got a notice but still no court date I'm now 17 and my family wants to move to NC can I leave state or what?? I'm scared I wanted to be in the navy I feel like now I can't be and I didn't mean to steal the stupid money it was my first time and I was caught not by camera but my manger said it that's all I know a police officer questioned me gave me my yellow ticket and I'm to be in NC june 19 I'm scared helpp

The store that I worked at had a rewards program. Every $100 you spend you get a little $10 cash card as a reward. While working the register, on two separate customers' purchases (one $80, one $50) I put in my rewards code. I got the rewards card and used it on a $16 purchase. A couple weeks ago I was ushered in to the LP office where a representative for the company was there. I immediately confessed, wrote out what I did and signed it, and signed something that said I wasn't being threatened. Then I was suspended and told to give the ten dollars back, plus empty out my locker. I gave them the ten dollars back, and haven't heard anything from them since. It's been two and a half weeks. I'm in Wisconsin, could you tell me if this will stay on my record? Can I omit this job on applications, or will that just screw me out of any job I try to get? This is my first offense, there were no cops, no "going downtown", I'm 19 years old and have no reason for doing it

So one of my favourite managers got unjustly fired in September. Me and two girls were furious. I guess in a way of getting back at management i came up with the idea of them Cashing me out but not scanning all the product. (To give you an idea it was 4 mini pizza trays, worth $3 each. I paid for one they gave me the other three. So the theft was $9) (another time it was a board game valued at 19.99 but I don't think they know about the board game) time went on nothing happened so I figured I got away with it. We had a change in management, the general manager at the time stepped down and we got a new one. Two days ago my co worker warned me they were watching me like a hawk and to never steal another thing again. I agreed and went on. Yesterday I went into work and everyone was acting very weird. People were being called into management office. Owner and store manager were looking at videos together. Just a weird day. Anyway. I ended my shift and went home. This same co worker told me she had been called in and they questioned her on the theft. They said they knew everything so they suggest she answered honestly. I was extremely scared and nervous. She met with me after she finished talking with them and we figured out they had asked her to cover all my shifts. They were planning on firing me. I didn't want a termination on my record so I called and told them there had been extenuating circumstances and I wouldn't be in for my shift tomorrow and I was also quitting. Effectively immediately. I was scared but I figured that was the end of it. Because they never actually pulled ME in and asked me about it (I never gave them a chance ) I figured I'd let things simmer down then look for a new job. Well this morning a police officer showed up at my door and asked me if I had quit my job at home depot (name changed ) I said yes. He said does you quitting have anything to do with them planning on firing you because of theft? I said no I just wasn't happy there. There had been changes in management and I just did not want to be there anymore. He asked if I was aware of the theft allegations. I said yes. Basically gave me a 20 minute scare-me-straight lecture about what could have happened. He said they aren't pressing charges as of right now. I do have a one year trespass notice from that location. He said he isn't pressing charges but he can't speak on behalf of everyone else. Made me cry a lot scared me but then left. I went down the hall and he proceeded to talk to my dad for a few. After he left for good my dad came and told me even though he said they may press charges they technically can't because they don't have video footage that far back. My question is, judging from the information I've provided do you think a) this will show up on record b)affect me getting other jobs. C)have any other affects on me? I made an extremely stupid mistake and am scared shitless. Also side note i am 20 yrs old and live in ontario canada. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Similar position right now... Over the the course of 3 months (worked there for 4) I stole around $900 from the til, $20 at a time. They knew for over a month before I was pulled into the managers office by LP. Right now I am facing charges of theft in the second degree, a class B felony in washington. I am so scared right now. For anyone out there thinking about stealing from your employer, DON'T!!! It is NOT worth it, promise. They WILL catch you, and facing felony charges isn't a nice position to be sitting in.

Be smart, Be safe <3

You as well!

Thank you for sharing this experience with us. That is so caring of you.

Thank you so much I wanted to help people

Hi I have a friend that is 19 and a freshmen in college and he stole for the first time. Police asked for phone number and looked at ID. He really dont want to go to jail. And was really honest with LP and police. What can he do to not go to jail? Does he need to plead not guilty and say wat he did and ask to give him an alternate solution?

I have got the same charge yesterday for employee theft and I'm 17 I'm so scared what do you think the punishment will be for me I don't want to say the wrong thing in court ? ( PLEASE RESPOND!! )

what if you get cought and have your kids with u. and u have court what could happen?!

I'm in the same boat. Being charged with 4 misdemeanor embezzlement instead of 1 felony. I haven't been arrested yet. Idk what to do. I've never been in trouble and can't afford an attorney. I was doing false returns. Lp called me in the office said they had it on camera and i admitted it and signed some papers, police came and got my name and stuff and took the camera footage from lp. I am so scared. I have no job and no money coming in. I know it was stupid to do but i did it cause my family needed stuff and i just didn't have the money to take care of things. It was around 800 bucks. The cop said they would send me papers trekking me to turn myself in, when i do that will i need to be bailed out? Any info i could get from here would be great idk what to do!!!

I need help my mother is trying to say I stole her belongings from when she was in jail she asked me to get them I have not been able to get them to her however so now she is pressing charges on me for theft over 500 what should I do?

I was working as a grocery clerk in a food store for the summer. Around mid July I intentionally put items in a plastic bag that I wanted and knowing that I couldn't pay for them since I was busy the whole day and it was closing time and all cashiers were gone. Walking around the security caught me with the bag and asked me for the receipt. I got so scared and told him that I threw it away. He told me that I cannot leave with the bag so he took it from me and gave it to the assistant store manager. She wrote the item's serial numbers down and told me that she will check the system to see if the items were paid for already the next morning. Going home and was off from work the next day knowing that I never paid for the items got me so scared that my body temperature was high that I could sleep for 2 days. The following day I went to work and I walked into the store assuming that they forgot about it, I noticed that my time card was missing. Upon looking for the assistant manager she greeted me with depression and told me that Human Resources wanted to speak with me. She and I knew that it was a high risk of me being fired so she says I was a hard worker and she would miss me. I then drove to the head office, they called me in around 3pm after waiting for 4 hours and they questioned me about attempting to steal. I told them honesty and truthfully everything what happened. However I still got terminated with my last paycheck. Luckily no police or fines was involved. I was not allowed to go back to that store until after 3 years.Guys and girls shoplifting won't do you any good, it ain't worth it. Don't do it or attempt to do it. That was a hard lesson learnt for me

I'm on my way to preliminary court now for Macy's please everyone wish me luck cause this is my first offense and I don't want this to be on my record

Okay here is my situation and I have no idea whats going to happen. Hopefully you are still answering. Today I was at a store that only had 1 camera in the middle. Im sure the camera got my head and stuff but I made sure to unwrap the magic cards that I stole with the camera out of sight. I then left the packaging in the store and left. But then realized I should have taken it. So I came back (but left the cards in my car) and tried to take the package and a lady caught me. She told me to give the cards back and I showed her my pockets and said I didn't do it. She then just looked at me and said "Fine but you need to leave now". The lady WAS an employee. Then she just went to the front and put the packaging in the garbage while I left. Afterward I left and saw they had no parking lot surveillance. But im still unsure. Will I get in trouble?

1. I feel like a scumbag and am Never Going to do this again.
2. I knew it was wrong but still did it.
3. The cards were 3.99.

So... from what ive told you do you think I will get a letter/cops show up at my house? Ive wound down but am still nervous. Please reply.

Well as long as the surveillance cameras didn't catch you and no one else saw you acting suspiciously then they have no proof that you took it

I stole from Target and LP caught me, but I ran away. I later called and apologized and promised I would never take anything again. They said they wanted me to come in to talk but I said no. I plan on staying out of the store for awhile, but do I have anything to worry about? Can they convict me of anything? I'm over 18 btw.

I am 17 caught shoplifting at forman mills . What will the consequences be ? I can't affford a lawyer .

Walmarts wanting to prosecute me over register mistakes. I over rided a battery for a customer by accident. I meant to put thirty dollars because that's what the pricetag in front of it said but the machine didn't process the last two zeroes and it sold for 30 cents. I felt bad but there was no managers around I could run to for help. So I figured they'd confront me about it. They never did. Now its back to haunt me two months later. They're claiming I intentionally let the customer steal from them. They want to prosecuteme and I don't know what to do

I'm 16 I was caught shop-lifting in target. The goods were in my bag and they got there stuff back. I got a letter form target saying that I had to pay the Amount. This is my first offense. And I'm scared out of my pants. This isn't my first time stealing from target but this is my first time getting caught what should I do. I need all the help I can get.

So I was recently a associate at kohls and I was caught stealing merchandise credit and giving away extra coupons and kohls cash for 2-3 months.. I was called into the LP office and they spoke to me and I admitted to stealing and he had me sign a paper with 8 questions asking why I did it.. Blah blah blah, and then he said I was suspended until further notice. Will I get arrested or what? I'm so scared and nervous. I am 18 by the way

So what ended up happening to you ?