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Retail Theft: The Difference Between Being Detained By Security and Arrested by Police

August 24th, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Retail Theft: The Difference Between Being Detained By Security and Arrested by PoliceIn Illinois, retail theft under 720 ILCS 16-25 is a crime that is taken seriously by businesses, law enforcement, and the courts. It is a crime that is committed so regularly that certain stores hire their own security guards to help combat and prevent retail theft from happening. You could be stopped and detained by store employees or store security if you are suspected of shoplifting. You could also be arrested by police. But what is the difference between being detained by store security and being arrested by law enforcement?

Store Security and Employees Have Limitations

While store employees and security have the legal ability to hold a shoplifting suspect, their ability to do so is limited under the law. You can be detained by a store’s security or employees on for a reasonable length of time and in a reasonable manner. Store security is not required to read you your rights, wait for a parent or guardian, or wait for a lawyer before questioning a suspected shoplifter. However, police are required to do these things when you are placed under arrest.

Detention can occur either on or off of the merchant’s premises. During the detention, security may:

  • Request you to identify yourself,
  • Verify your identity,
  • Inquire about whether you have in your possession merchandise that you have not purchased, and do not intend to pay for,
  • Report you to the authorities, and
  • Attempt to contact your parents or guardian if you are a minor.

Each of these is at the merchant’s discretion. In the case of a minor, the merchant is not required to contact his or her parents before handing the minor over to law enforcement.

Detention is not the same as being arrested – only the police are capable of arresting you. Stores sometimes choose to let a suspect go and not press charges. Many stores simply ban an individual accused of shoplifting from ever entering the store again. Other times stores decide that the police should be involved and detain the suspected shoplifter until police arrive and make an arrest.

When you are placed under arrest, law enforcement must read you your Miranda rights. These rights inform you that you are in custody of the police and that you have the right to remain silent and that you can get a lawyer. The exact format of Miranda rights vary from state to state, but generally the Miranda warning covers these basic points. You will next be taken to jail and booked.

When you are arrested for retail theft, it is absolutely critical that you only consult with a lawyer before telling police anything because your lawyer can advise you on how best to protect yourself, your rights, and your freedom.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

There is a difference between being detained by store security and being arrested by law enforcement. If you are facing retail theft charges, you need the help of an experienced retail theft lawyer. Please contact a Rolling Meadows shoplifting attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200.

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-26

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Written by Staff Writer

August 24th, 2016 at 2:56 pm

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