What to do if I worked at a retail store and was informed today that they were calling the law about some groceries that I supposedly didn’t pay for a few weeks ago?

When they told me to wait for the police, I got into my truck and left. What charges am I facing?

Asked on October 11, 2013 under Criminal Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You are under no obligation to wait for police because a private business or store tells you to; there are no charges for that. If they believe you did take groceries without paying, they could report that to the police and you could potentially face theft charges, with the exact charge depending on the amount of money (i.e. the cost of the groceries) at stake--the more expensive the grocercies, the greater the charge. That said, it is likely a minor charge for any reasonable amount of groceries; and the police may not take the report seriously; and even if charged, they'd have to be able to prove your theft beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction.

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