WA Caught at Self-Checkout for Theft at Coles - Help?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by jon holding, 4 November 2019.

  1. jon holding

    jon holding Member

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    Hi,

    Recently, I did something very stupid, which I am ashamed of. I was using the self-check out at Coles and I put a few items through as cheap vegetables about 25$ amount. The rest of items I paid for my total came to about $30.

    As I was leaving, one of the workers asked to see my receipt. I said I didn't print one. He then said we could see the receipt at the machine. I pretended I didn't hear him and kept walking as I was so scared. He then grabbed my bag, I let him have it with no resistance and kept walking. He did not try to pursue me.

    I feel like the police are going to show up at my doorstep any second as they can easily trace my identity through the credit card I used or the CCTV.

    How likely do you think it would be for Coles to pursue this with the Police?

    I am sick with anxiety and shame. I feel I ruined my life over saving $25 dollars.
     
  2. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    You are right, you got yourself in trouble. You should have not walked away, if you cooperated, it would have been dealt between you and Coles, but now I think the police will be called, that will be at the manager's discretion. They may not do anything as they have your bag and have the items. It is a bit tricky. I've never been in a situation like this and I don't or willing to be in. All you can do is wait now for that knock.
     
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  3. Joshbuck

    Joshbuck Well-Known Member

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    This is your first offence, isn’t it?

    If so please calm down, you’re going to be fine and your life can in no way be ruined from this. If it’s under $150 worth, it’s a lesser charge. Everybody’s doing it tough and seeming as you only stole food items any lawyer worth their salt should get you off with a suspended sentence or fine with no conviction recorded.

    Seeming as the items never actually left the store they’d have to prove intent to charge you with stealing, running off doesn’t help you there. But if the police do get involved, don’t make a statement. Not without consulting a lawyer.

    Most would say a duty solicitor (one provided by the court) would be sufficient to help you with this matter but I would recommend applying for legal aid (free if you’re a citizen and can show you’re not rich).

    In the meantime, you can call them or pop into the closest office for some professional advice to help ease your mind.
     
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  4. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    A little suggestion for the newbie - you should never make such definitive statements on here. Everyone's circumstances are different and these kinds of statements could lead to people making decisions that are not in their best interests. (Please take note of the underlined words below.)

    For the OP, the fact that you left the scene will likely result in the Police being called and being charged is, therefore, a real possibility. If you are charged and this is your first offence, then it is certainly possible that you won't be fined or have a conviction recorded, but leaving the scene will likely work against you. You need to remember that shoplifting costs these company's millions every year, so they take it very seriously and so do the courts.

    I recommend that you contact your local Community Legal Centre and get some initial advice on what to do if the Police show up.
     
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  5. Joshbuck

    Joshbuck Well-Known Member

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    Yes that’s why I make sure to say I’m not a lawyer and the best advice I can give is to talk to a lawyer, not the police as you will only incriminate yourself.

    The first answer just sounded so cryptic. This sort of stress can be very hard on some people and I didn’t want a first time offender feeling like their life is ruined, when from my experiences I feel I can say beyond a reasonable doubt with competent representation this person at the least won’t have a conviction recorded against them.
     
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  6. Joshbuck

    Joshbuck Well-Known Member

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    I’ll make sure to be much less definitive in my statements from now on though.
     
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  7. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    I answered the OP question whether the police will be involved or not, I should have added that the OP should talk to a lawyer, but I got that in my signature, just in case I forget to write it in my answer (as in this case).

    Don't forget that the main objective of these companies or shops is to minimise shoplifting, and I think by them getting back the goods and the OP got a scare, the should be enough not to get the police involved, but I may be wrong. as I mentioned it will be to the discretion of the cole's management.
     
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  8. Joshbuck

    Joshbuck Well-Known Member

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    Yea I agree everything you said was correct, I just thought the way you worded it may have made the OP feel irrationally “sick with anxiety and shame” as they already were. Just wanted to ease the conscience of who am I sure is a perfectly good person who’s made a mistake.
     
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