I'm a lawyer – 3 mistakes to avoid if Walmart wrongly accuses you of stealing and tricks staff use to force confessions | The Sun

LAWYERS have warned Walmart shoppers against making three self-incriminating moves if a store believes a customer is stealing.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates said the big box store is on the lookout for shoplifting.

The company invests heavily in loss prevention tactics.

One of these tactics is to employ uniformed and undercover security guards, something the New York lawyers say is done in their state.

The company reportedly employs a lot of security guards that work in plain clothes and may often look like teenagers.

Additionally, the office revealed Walmart uses multiple cameras in each store that are able to zoom in on as well as follow suspected shoplifters.

The law office shared tips specific to New York State law.

Customers may find some of what the lawyers advise regarding New York Walmart to be true for other stores, but take the tips with caution as The Sun doesn't give legal advice.

Being accused

Walmart security guards may lawfully detain customers if they have reason to suspect that shoplifting, the office stated.

In most cases, undercover Walmart security guards will confront the suspects in the store or as they leave.

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It's likely that the security guard may have seen potential stealers hiding an item or trying to leave the store without paying for merchandise.

But, if Walmart's security guard's cannot detain customers unless they have concrete evidence that goods have been shoplifted.

So, it is essential customers know their rights and don't self-incriminate.

The statement

The NY law office said Walmart stores in its area call the police if someone's suspected of shoplifting products valued at $25 or more.

The lawyers said the loss prevention might attempt to get suspected shoplifters to sign a statement saying they will never enter Walmart or Sam's Club property again.

If customers sign this statement and later step on Walmart or Sam's Club property again, they could be arrested for trespassing. 

Therefore, the law office advises against confessing to shoplifting or agreeing to refrain from entering Walmart or Sam's Club property, either verbally or in writing.

The security guards may also say they will not call the police if customers sign the document.

The law office disputes that idea.

If the items a shoplifter is accused of stealing cost $25 or more, the lawyers said the business probably already called the police.


Walmart reportedly cannot hold suspects for an unreasonably long time, the law office said.

It noted that Walmart security could hold suspects long enough to investigate the incident or until police to arrive.

"But the staff cannot postpone or delay contacting the police without a good reason," the law office stated.

It's possible that security may not call the police if the items are less than $25 or if the accused is a minor.

Walmart will call an accused minor's parents.

But, if the accused is of age, the NY lawyers said they'll probably let them go after getting contact information if the merchandise is less than $25.

Though, there are likely future repercussions for alleged shoplifters, even for taking small items.

A few days after the incident, Walmart will reportedly send suspects a letter demanding five times the value of the suspected stolen items, the law office warned.

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If customers are detained or arrested for an item more than $25, the lawyers said that doesn't mean customers will be convicted of shoplifting.

There are often defenses that could be used to get larceny charges reduced or dismissed, the law office said, that experienced Shoplifting from Walmart Lawyers familiar with its policies know.

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