CanI be charged with theft for using coupons?

I was fired from my job for theft. I had on my own time, not while on the clock, used coupons. These coupons where for a particular item. There has always been a glitch in the registers that allows any of this company’s items to be scanned with these coupons. Doing so, the customer would receive cash back. In the store’s policy under coupons, the customer has the right to use this money to buy other items or have the money put on a gift card to use at another time. They fired me for theft of $68 for using these coupons. I was arrested and charged with a theft ticket.

Asked on September 1, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the coupons were for customers and not for employees, if you took them, you could be charged with theft.  Larceny is a trespassory taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent to permanently deprive.  Taking and carrying away the coupons (store's property) with no intent to return them would be larceny. 

If you took the coupons to take advantage of the glitch in the registers, that would be larceny.

If as an employee, you were entrusted with the coupons, taking the coupons would be embezzlement.


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