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Retailer Falsely Accuses Girls of Shoplifting on Social Media

 Posted on January 27, 2017 in Theft

Chicago criminal defense attorneyShoplifting, along with other forms of retail theft, cost retailers billions of dollars each year. It is perfectly reasonable for retail companies to take serious measures in protecting themselves from these types of losses. Sometimes, however, overzealous store personnel can focus their attention on the wrong individuals—people who have done nothing but come into the store to shop. A recent example in the Chicago suburb of Algonquin demonstrates how problematic false accusations of shoplifting can be, especially when social media becomes involved.

Targeting a 12-Year Old

Late last month, a 12-year-old girl and her 13-year-old friend were dropped off at the Target location in Algonquin, Illinois, to do some Christmas shopping. According to reports, the girls walked around the store for about an hour and a half, and each of them bought a few things. The girls say that a little while after they made their purchases—while they were waiting for their ride—store employees began following them. The 12-year-old told news outlets that one the employees accused them of shoplifting and told them to put back the items in their bags.

In addition to verbal allegations, the store employees reportedly took a photo of the girls and posted it to Twitter. The girls were never detained at the store and the police were not contacted, but, by the time the girls got home, the picture was gaining traction on social media. The 12-year-old acknowledged that the situation was more than just embarrassing; it has also caused her friends’ parents to look at her suspiciously. “My friends take it to their moms,” she said, “and then they can’t hang out with me.”

The girl’s mother says that Target representatives contacted her several days later to apologize for the situation. In a statement, the company said that it is taking the matter very seriously and conducting an internal investigation. The girls’ families are considering their options for legal action against the retailer and its employees.

Handling Shoplifting Allegations

Being accused of shoplifting can be very frightening—and not just for adolescent girls. Depending on the value of the merchandise in question and other factors, retail theft can be charged as a felony and have very serious consequences. If you have been charged, however, there may be options available that could allow you to avoid a conviction, even if the evidence against seems overwhelming. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney to discuss your situations. Call 773-276-5541 for a free consultation at Luisi Legal Group today.





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