If somebody shoplifts and does not get caught on the spot, gets out of the store and off the property with the stolen items, are they safe?
I KNOW SHOPLIFTING IS WRONG AND I HAVEN'T POSTED THIS QUESTION FOR YOU TO TELL ME SO. I do NOT shoplift myself, never have and never will, but I know very many people do. I don't agree with it, and personally I'm not to thrilled with anyone that shoplifts and causes the prices of the items I need to buy to go sky high and be raised through the roof. BUT, I was having a conversation with someone about shoplifting, and this question was raised--- If someone steals an item from a store, gets out of the store and off the property before being seized, are they then off the hook as far as any type of prosecution goes? To me, it seems as if YES, they could be punished at any time for that crime, but also, by that point, law enforcement most likely would NOT be able to recover the stolen merchandise, therefore not having an item of proof that somebody actually walked out of the store with it. Even if they went to the extreme of getting a search warrant, allowing them to search your home for what item they think may have been stolen and they find it, there's really no way for them to prove that you did or didn't purchase that item at another store or another day rather than the one in question!Especially if the store's surveillance isn't all that great, you can't arrest someone because you THINK someone committed a crime! Anyway---What does anyone think? Rather, what does anyone KNOW about procedure for a similar situation?? and last but not least, I know laws vary from state to state, so just in case this might help, I'm inquiring about the laws in Pennsylvania, my state of residence. Thank you in advance for any light you may be able to shed on this topic!!