Should I be worried regarding selling old inventory from my job?

So I work at a national retail store as a mobile technician. Recently, we had to throw out some old demo phones because they were over 3 or 4 years old. Our AP said they don’t keep track of them so they are trash or recycle. So I keep some as back up phones for like kids and stuff to play with. Then I sold them after a while because I forgot they were demo phones and not just extra phones I had around. Should I be worried? I’m not sure if that would count as stealing if we were throwing them away because thats all we do with them Apple didn’t ask for them back

Asked on September 2, 2018 under Criminal Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is not stealing if 1) you were told you could take them, or 2) they were actually put in the trash by your manager (or he/she approved putting them in the trash and some else physically put them into the trash) and you fished them out from the trash (once something is set out for trash, the person or business throwing it out gives up its rights). If you took them expecting that they would be trash but without explicit permission, it is techically stealing, since until they are set out for trash, the store could have elected to keep them. That doesn't mean they will in fact take action against you, but that's where the dividing line between theft/non-theft is found.

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