Shoplifting in Oklahoma was once a crime that was treated as a minor inconvenience. Today’s shop owners and managers are vigilant to those trying to leave without paying for merchandise. Such was the case recently when a woman was stopped for allegedly shoplifting at a mall in Oklahoma City. The suspect wound up in a topless tussle with a mall security guard outside the store. Witnesses in the crowd that gathered said that she wriggled out of her shirt while trying to break free of the guard’s grip. She was unsuccessful, and was eventually removed from the mall and taken to jail by police. The shop owner was reportedly present in some of the video footage, looking on and even attempting to assist the mall security officer during the struggle.
Shoplifting is considered larceny in Oklahoma City. When someone attempts to remove up to $500 in merchandise from a store without paying for it, they can be charged with petit larceny or theft. The suspect was accused of trying to hide items inside a shopping bag at a clothing store without paying for them. Several shoppers at the mall recorded the woman in the altercation with the mall guard. Depending on the circumstances, the intent and the results, the half-dressed woman could also be charged with indecent exposure and possibly other infractions.
A criminal defense attorney can help those charged with petit larceny, indecent exposure and other crimes to ensure they are judged fairly under the requirements of the law. In Oklahoma, those charged and convicted of shoplifting can also be held liable in a civil action for the retail price if it can’t be sold at its regular value. The individual can also be responsible for paying court costs and attorney’s fees of the shop owner, a fine, and may also have to perform community service. Those charged and convicted of indecent exposure could face a wide range of punishments, including jail time and fines, depending on whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) national statistics, the shoplifting rate is 3.91 per 100,000 crimes committed in Oklahoma County. The national shoplifting rate is 40.9 per 100,000.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in Oklahoma CIty, call the MK Bailey Law Offices to set up a free consultation appointment.