Got Caught Switching Price Tags ---HELP

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xosweetie

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Oct 26, 2007
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OK, so a friend of mine is desperate and she asked for my help but i don't know anything about the laws. My friend went into a Marshalls, switched price tags (making 10 dollar items to 2 dollar items) on around 5-6 items. She went to checkout and the employee became suspcious so she asked 3 managers. Soon a crowd of 10 management people went to check the prices and found that the tags had been switched. They were suspicious but she was really defensive so she paid for a few other things (but left all the things that had been switched behind) and left before they can ask anything. however, she did not have cash on her so she paid with a credit card....so the question is:

1. Can she be charged with a misdemeanor/get caught even if they didn't stop her on the same day? Like, they usually LP departments onyl send out civil demands. I mean, it's possible that they can view the surveillance cameras again and then call the cops and use her credit card to chase her down.

2. If she uses a different card, with the same name, at the store again? Will they know that she switched price tags since i know a lot of stores have backgrounds of customers?

3. If she didn't sign anything or go to a backroom, can the police still get involved after a while?

4. She is going to an ivy league and she's afraid her future will be affected. She told me that she only switched 5-6 items, but she didnt buy anyof them...will her life be affected forever?

5. can the police become involved after a week?


I already told her what she did was awful and morally wrong. I pretty much grilled this into her. So please no more comments about how stupid she is, etc....just tell her what she can do at this point and how scared should she be?
 

xosweetie

Member
Oct 26, 2007
89
0
OK, so a friend of mine is desperate and she asked for my help but i don't know anything about the laws. My friend went into a Marshalls, switched price tags (making 10 dollar items to 2 dollar items) on around 5-6 items. She went to checkout and the employee became suspcious so she asked 3 managers. Soon a crowd of 10 management people went to check the prices and found that the tags had been switched. They were suspicious but she was really defensive so she paid for a few other things (but left all the things that had been switched behind) and left before they can ask anything. however, she did not have cash on her so she paid with a credit card....so the question is:

1. Can she be charged with a felony/get caught even if they didn't stop her on the same day? I mean, it's possible that they can view the surveillance cameras again and then call the cops and use her credit card to chase her down.

2. If she uses a different card, with the same name, at the store again? Will they know that she switched price tags since i know a lot of stores have backgrounds of customers?

3. If she didn't sign anything or go to a backroom, can the police still get involved after a while?

4. She is going to an ivy league and she's afraid her future will be affected. She told me that she only switched 5-6 items, but she didnt buy anyof them...will her life be affected forever?

5. can the police become involved after a week?



I already told her what she did was awful and morally wrong. I pretty much grilled this into her. So please no more comments about how stupid she is, etc....just tell her what she can do at this point and how scared should she be?
 

bisousx

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Jan 3, 2008
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Unless they caught her switching the tags on camera, I don't think they can prove that she did it. But I'm not a lawyer so let's wait and see what they would say
 

Pursegrrl

Oh no she di-int!!
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Jun 1, 2006
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1. Can she be charged with a felony/get caught even if they didn't stop her on the same day? I mean, it's possible that they can view the surveillance cameras again and then call the cops and use her credit card to chase her down.
Depends on how aggressively the store wants to track her down I suppose. They may just let it drop or they may call the cops and want her arrested. I don't know what timeframe limit there is, if any, on taking action like this with law enforcement.

2. If she uses a different card, with the same name, at the store again? Will they know that she switched price tags since i know a lot of stores have backgrounds of customers?
I would bet money her name is on some sort of list the store keeps of suspicious customers or those who've bounced checks, stuff like that. Frankly, she'd be pretty brazen going back in there again, IMO. Not to mention that the store managers might recognize her too.

3. If she didn't sign anything or go to a backroom, can the police still get involved after a while?
I don't know what time limits there are if any (see my response to question #1).

4. She is going to an ivy league and she's afraid her future will be affected. She told me that she only switched 5-6 items, but she didnt buy anyof them...will her life be affected forever?
I bet she'll never forget what happened, and how close she flew to the flame. So, hopefully her life will be affected forever in a good way, in that she won't ever attempt a foolish, criminal stunt like this ever again. Hypothetically, if she were convicted of a crime as a result of this, it would stay on her record for quite a few years and she'd have to disclose it when applying for jobs, etc.

5. can the police become involved after a week?
I don't know what the time rules are, but again it just depends on how aggressive the store management wants to be in tracking her down.
 

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
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Oct 7, 2006
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The fact that she switched even ONE tag is unacceptable. Does she do this often? Does she shoplift? If so it's probably only a matter of time before she gets caught.

I don't think I would want to be friends with someone like that.
 
Jun 26, 2007
2,027
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Well your friend didn't actually BUY the items she was trying to steal/price switch, right? Whatever she actually bought at the register was faithfully bought. Basically she is just a shady customer now..I would advise your friend to not shop at Marshalls again.

I don't know much about retail policy but I imagine they will keep her info on file just incase she comes again and attempts to do something like. I doubt Marshalls will track her down aggressively since your friend did not ACTUALLY steal anything.

Tell your friend to stay out of that Marshalls..and any other Marshalls for that matter, since her future is potentially at stake.
 

xosweetie

Member
Oct 26, 2007
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Ok so I told her each of the advice you guys gave and she wanted to know if she can't go to marshall....can she still shop at places like tjmaxx and homegoods which are owned by the same company as marshall is?
 

bipolarbear

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Jun 10, 2009
735
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Why, why, why would she want to go back to that Marshalls?? Or use her CC and give personal information there?? From the information you've given so far, it sounds like her choices aren't just bad, they're self-destructive. Especially if she's supposedly so bright. Hopefully she learned something from this, but this sounds like the kind of risk-taking that's about more than saving a few $ and it's even more concerning that she convinced you to become a conspirator.

I'd steer away from this friend, or at least be very careful about what you get caught up in with her. Self-destructive people have an amazing ability to get others in a lot of trouble and bad spots, often when they slip away without a scratch.
 

tonij2000

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Mar 21, 2007
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I'd say that since they let her walk out of the store with no handcuffs on, they probably won't go after her b/c really she didn't steal anything even though she did try to. Tell her to just stay out of stores, period, until she gets help and works through whatever issue caused her to attempt this.
 

unluckystars

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Dec 11, 2008
4,362
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philly
no nothing will probably happen. they were probably annoyed but thats it since she didnt purchase those items. normally stores that dont put their merch behind glass will not sell things for that price if it doesnt come up in their system cheaper because people will do that and its out of the stores control. now she probably shouldn't go in there again because if they see her, they will watch her like a hawk!
 

prof ash

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Jun 10, 2007
2,419
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USA
I am trying to envision myself in the very same situation as your friend. I would never, EVER go into a Marshall's again, and not any other stores that are owned by the same company either, like TJMaxx/Home Goods. Knowing that she has what may be a promising future ahead of her, any small move can ruin it. Hopefully, this fear alone will prevent her from going into any of this stores.

Perhaps they have her on videotape actually switching the tags, and now they have her information on file? Like others have said, she is most likely on a list of suspicious customers, and I would not take any chances. Whether it is 10 dollar items or 1000 dollar items, it is still a crime.

I wish I knew more about what can be done legally- for example, can authorities contact her because she is on videotape doing something illegal (switching tags) even though she is no longer in the store/didn't buy the items/steal them? It's the same with illegal drugs- a person can't be arrested if they are on tape doing the drugs, but if they are caught possessing, using or selling them, then they can. Very tricky.
 
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