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Shoplifting question

Discussion in 'Juvenile Crime, Law & Court' started by RRicci, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. RRicci

    RRicci Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Colorado
    First of all, I'm not sure if this is the proper place to put this question. If there is a more suitable place to ask it, please direct me where to go.

    This is a general question that my friend and I are discussing: Say I, an adult (54 years old) go into a store with a minor (14 years old and not related to me) and she shoplifts, say, a bottle of nail polish. Would I get in trouble because I am supposed to keep an eye on the minor while she is with me?I say yes, you are the adult and need to make sure the minor obeys the law. I think *I* can get in trouble. My friend says no, I wouldn't get in trouble, but the parents can. Who is right?

    I just realized that I accidemtaly put Colorado as the jurisdiction. I meant to put California. Can somebody please fix this?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you had no knowledge of the shoplifting you have no responsibility. You would have no criminal or civil liability.
    The parents can be held responsible for any financial loss and for civil penalties.

    California Penal Code 490.5(b):
    When an unemancipated minor’s willful conduct would constitute petty theft involving merchandise taken from a merchant’s premises or a book or other library materials taken from a library facility, any merchant or library facility who has been injured by that conduct may bring a civil action against the parent or legal guardian having control and custody of the minor. For the purposes of those actions the misconduct of the unemancipated minor shall be imputed to the parent or legal guardian having control and custody of the minor. The parent or legal guardian having control or custody of an unemancipated minor whose conduct violates this subdivision shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor to a merchant or to a library facility for damages of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), plus costs. In addition to the foregoing damages, the parent or legal guardian shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor to the merchant for the retail value of the merchandise if it is not recovered in a merchantable condition, or to a library facility for the fair market value of its book or other library materials. Recovery of these damages may be had in addition to, and is not limited by, any other provision of law which limits the liability of a parent or legal guardian for the tortious conduct of a minor. An action for recovery of damages, pursuant to this subdivision, may be brought in small claims court if the total damages do not exceed the jurisdictional limit of that court, or in any other appropriate court; however, total damages, including the value of the merchandise or book or other library materials, shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each action brought under this section.

    The provisions of this subdivision are in addition to other civil remedies and do not limit merchants or other persons to elect to pursue other civil remedies, except that the provisions of Section 1714.1 of the Civil Code shall not apply herein.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. In other words, it's possible but not certain and depends on all of the relevant facts and circumstances.

    The parents who are not present when the incident happens would not "get in trouble," although I suppose that depends on exactly what "get in trouble" means. As noted in the prior response, the parents could have civil liability.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A 14 year old girl or boy, who steals a bottle of nail polish, or a tube of lipstick, isn't going to get in trouble these days.

    Juveniles steal because they get away with it.

    A juvenile once told me as I lectured some high school students, "We don't get in trouble no ways, judge, we's jest kids, yo. We gots juvenile impunity."

    I sadly had to agree.
     
  5. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    I am a Retail Theft consultant and answer questions like yours daily. No one can say for certain as the exact circumstances are unknown. If the adult had no knowledge and played no role in theft then I would "guess" no. However I caution you that without knowing the exact circumstances none of can say for certain. If this is a "real" event consult an Attorney
     

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