Retail theft is a major problem in New Jersey, with minor theft crimes and shoplifting offenses costing businesses millions of dollars every year. The high cost of retail theft has led many retailers to implement extremely effective strategies for combatting shoplifters. Additionally, more and more retailers are intent on “sending a message” by pressing charges against anyone caught shoplifting, even when the value of the item stolen is extremely low. Beyond that, NJ prosecutors have been all too happy to seek maximum penalties in shoplifting cases. Depending on the circumstances, even juvenile shoplifters could be subject to harsh penalties for minor theft offenses. The bottom line is that a person charged with shoplifting in New Jersey could be facing serious punishment that includes heavy fines and prison time.
One small mistake should not ruin the rest of your life. Whether you are a minor who stole a pack of gum on a dare from friends or an adult who acted impulsively, the consequences of a shoplifting arrest and conviction could be catastrophic. That’s why it is imperative that you have a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side, handling your case and protecting your legal rights.
Retailers in NJ and elsewhere have become savvy when it comes to catching shoplifters. Here are some of the theft-prevention strategies utilized by store owners:
Identifying Potential Shoplifters
Retail is big business in New Jersey, which is why companies are investing a lot of money into researching the types of individuals who are most likely to commit shoplifting offenses. Additionally, retail companies are training their employees to watch for for juveniles who look nervous, alcoholics and drug addicts who act suspiciously, and professional shoplifters who wear loose-fitting clothing to conceal stolen items and attempt to create distractions inside the store.
Retailers are also training employees about the strategies used by shoplifters to get away with their theft crimes. For instance, shoplifters who switch price tags on items before attempting to make a purchase are now more likely to be caught by an employee who understands this tactic.
Greater Scrutiny of Customers
Since shoplifters are more likely to target areas of the store that are left unattended, many retailers are now installing video monitoring systems and two-way mirrors and even utilizing security guards.
Changing the Store Layout: Some retailers now utilize security experts to take a look at the store layout and correct any potential security issues, such as areas that lack adequate lighting, expensive merchandise that is not kept behind the front counter, and store shelves that are too high and leave items out of sight of store employees.
Plenty of retailers now place electronic security tags on their sales products, especially expensive items. These electronic tags will trigger a store alarm when a shoplifter tries to exit the building without first paying for the item.
If you have been charged with shoplifting or any other type of theft offense in Atlantic County, NJ, it is imperative that you have a qualified criminal defense lawyer handling your case. The experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can help you fight your criminal charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.