An Overview Of Shoplifting Charges In The State Of Alabama

Interviewer: What do people typically shoplift from and what are some typical items that you’re seeing these days?

Zach Peagler: It runs the gamut, but most of the shoplifting cases that we deal with come from some of your larger retailers – Target, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s – we deal with cases from there. And it leads me to assume that some of the smaller retailers probably don’t prosecute shoplifting as much; they probably work it out in some other manner. But some of the larger retailers, they have to deal with shoplifting on a national basis – they will create company policies that they’re going to prosecute shoplifters and seek full restitution; meaning if the shoplifter damaged the goods then they’re going to get payment in full for those goods. And they send representatives to testify in court – for example Wal-Mart sends representatives anytime you deal with a client that is charged with shoplifting from Wal-Mart.

Larger Retail Stores Tend to Vigorously Prosecute An Individual Accused of Shoplifting

They’re going to send a representative to court and be prepared to testify in court if necessary, to prosecute that individual. But we just don’t get a lot of cases where the person has been caught shoplifting from smaller retailers or gas stations. We get a few but it’s just seems to me that those people probably – if they catch them, then they deal with the situation as it’s happening and then they probably just don’t have as many sophisticated means to catch shoplifters. The larger retailers will have secret surveillance in the store, they’ve obviously got security cameras with people watching them, and that type of thing.

Shoplifting Offenses Occur Either Due To Compulsion or Necessity

Interviewer: Is it always a crime of necessity? Or what are the reasons behind it that people actually – that you’ve heard that people feel?

Zach Peagler: It varies so much, it’s hard to put a finger on it. But I’ve had people that I just never can understand why they’re stealing what they’re stealing, because I’m dealing with one client now that has no reason in the world to steal, has no reason in particular to steal what they have a video of him stealing. So those type of cases are very perplexing. It makes you wonder about the psyche of people that shoplift.

Shoplifting And Theft Of Things Having Value On the Black Market Usually Occur Due To Drug Addiction

Then there are other cases in which I’ve represented people that have been accused of taking a turkey out of a grocery store, so that one you can probably assume that they – to some degree – had noble intentions. I mean some people have to do what they can do to try to feed their family. So it runs the gamut from some that are completely perplexing because there’s absolutely no excuse or reason to do it; and then others that they do have an excuse. Some of the shoplifting – and theft in general; not necessarily shoplifting but stealing things of value on the black market – a lot of that is drug related.

Accidental Cases of Shoplifting are a Rare Occurrence in Alabama

Interviewer: So have you seen any cases of accidental shoplifting as well?

Zach Peagler: Most of the time there’s been some video footage or some witness that has seen them try to take the tags off or put clothes on, on top of other clothes and that type of thing. That’s usually what I deal with.

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