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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 124 Responses Apr 18, 2012

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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 ?

How do I know if I am being charged with a felony?

My ex manager was quiting and was buying a lot of stuff her last couple of days working there and she told me and another associate we could pick out some things we liked and we could have them, and being a girl that's like a dream for me! But I have also taken a wallet after that and gave my friends free coupons, well 2 months later the lp asked to talk to me and I confessed to it all and it ended up being 339.79$ he made me and the other associate sign saying we will pay it back, and then two cops came in and arrested us and took us to get fingerprinted, the lp also said he has cameras all over the store and he has been watching us, and I just really feel so dumb, because when she told us to get the stuff I trusted her and really thought she was going to pay for it under her discount, and after I knew it was wrong I never said anything, well after I got to go home they said they want to wait till I turn 18 and prosecute me for a felony I'm so clueless help?

I stole a bag from Macy's around November or so as an employee and the bag did not have any censors and i was in the back where non of the camera's are and I still work there, but the other day a co-worker who i am very close to was called in by LP and when I asked her what it was about a manager said not to tell me... I never told anyone i stole the bag but could it be that they might have asked her some questions about me???

for about three months I have been making fraudulent returns to a credit card I own From my employer and I checked my credit card and saw that the returns equal 3500+ dollars. we do an yearly inventory take in January and I'm scared shitless. I've been trying to buy back the things I've returned so that the cost will go back down. if I am caught how much time do you think I will be facing. I have an earlier theft charge from when I was about 16, i'm currently 21 now, but it was sealed. will that effect my potential trial sentencing?

So about a year ago I got caught shoplifting at h&m , the security guy took me into a back room , made me sign a confession, looked at my school id since I don't have a state yet (btw I'm 17 and have a clean record) and he asked for my social security # but I didnt give it. He also took a picture of me but didnt call the cops or anything. The dress I took was $15. He let me leave, telling me that i could never go into an h&m store again in any state. I never got a fine or anything but recently I accepted an offer for a job at sears and they are going to do a background check and I'm really worried that this is going to show up on it. Will it or is my record still clean ?

I Am 14 years old, I Got caught shoplifting at a Dept. Store. The total was 14 years old, The cops were called but i wasnt arrested. I have to pay $150 for the civil Demand. What will happen next ? I learned my lesson, its better to pay it then to get caught and pay double or the triple

what if you plead guity? what would happen if its just a petty one? like first time offender and the item worth not more than $100? should you just pay the store and then the court?

Hi. A employee was caught doing false returns at Wal-Mart where work and I had been doing the same thing. She told them that I was doing the same thing but when I went back to work they didn't question me. I am under so much stress that they will question me. I quit and have not went back since. What can happen to me ? I do know that they want to talk to me, other managers who are my friends have told me that they wanted to talk to me. Im freaked out. im 23 and this is my first time ever being remotely in any type of trouble ! Please help

i work at target and i didnt know it was wrong but people left promotional gift cards people left.now they're realy on my arse. im on a final warning cept now they say i still have 50$ of gift cards i have to turn in on my next shift but i have to turn in the giftcards that i do not have. what do i do

i was cought shoplifting at macys nothing big they took me to the backroom handcuffed me in a room and came in 20 min later told me sign some papers they fined me 500 bucks they said theyll usually call the cops but they were busy so they didnt they told me to pay the fine and and i would get letters in the mail considering i live with family and wouldnt want them finding out. now they said i cant go back to macys for three years if caught i can be arrested now im moving out of state can i go to the macys in my new state? i will never do this again so not worth it but if i dont attract attention will i be good? plz help thank you!

Hi there!

I have a question for you. I was also caught shoplifting at Macy's. It was my first time doing something STUPID, and I got caught. It was a really ****** experience, and I won't do it again. Like you, due to the amount, I am being charged with a felony. I didn't spend the night in jail, but I was taken downtown, booked etc.

I am going to plead "not guilty" to the felony, and because I have a clean record, my lawyer tells me that I will probably get accepted into a diversion program which will keep a conviction off my record and hopefully this will go away :(

Macy's took a photo of me, and one of the LP people mentioned I might be banned for three years, but I haven't received a letter or notice informing me. This even happened almost one month ago....

How do I know if I am really banned? My parents and family DO NOT KNOW about this incident, and if they ever found out, I don't even know what I would do with myself. I am SO sorry I made such a huge mistake, and I have learned my lesson. The past year has been difficult...and I've had a lot of personal issues. Still, there is no excuse for what I have done.

My question to you is this: How do I know if I am really banned from Macy's for three years? Why haven't they send me something....when your family and friends don't know, it's sort of hard to avoid Macy's.

Secondly, is there any way that I can write a letter to the store manger or Macy's corporate and tell them how genuinely sorry I am for what I have done? It really was my first time. It was a moment of weakness....do you think that if I write a really heartfelt apology letter, they might lower or remove the ban?

Thank you for sharing your story on this site :) I look forward to your response.

hi, I've posted here before. I got caught in Wal-Mart for les than 20 dollar. just make up. on February. no cops caked, haven't receive anything from court and hopefully I don't. I was let go in les than five minutes just took a copy of my I.d and no papers signed. anyway I'm 20. and a college student km starting to look for a job but I'm really nervous. my aunt wants me to go apply at her job in Sears. it's not directly in Sears but with a company that hires for cleaning. there's a form saying that they want my permission to look into my background. and I noticed it says they'll look for any retail theft reported by any company or employer. I heard stores have data base where they save you for that. if that's the case I'm scared cuz no one knows. I'm trying to put this behind me, but it's hard. I'm afraid if apply and they find something they'll tell my aunt. I paid the civil demand I know u don't have to but I rather have a little piece of mind. idk if they are charging me but it's been a couple months already. what should I do. should I apply to the job.

Im under 18. I opened up a make up box while I was in the bathroom at target. A lady just came in and said: a female is trying to open up packaging. I was really nervous. And then I went out, She said: drop everything u stole on the floor. I said: I wasn't trying to steal anything. But she wouldn't listen, she said: or she will call the cops. So I dropped everything and a security guy came and asked me to leave right now. And I left. I'm really really nervous right now, that's the worst thing that could happen to me?

Probably will make you pay for it...but no criminal record..especially not after your 18th...just dont do it again