These days, most stores offer self-checkout registers for customers who prefer the speed and privacy they provide. But although this option has become increasingly popular among consumers, lawyer Lindsey Granados is telling people that they actually run the risk of getting arrested by opting for self-checkout.
Granados explains that self-checkout registers aren’t as safe to use as many people assume. “The reality is that those machines are faulty in a lot of ways and are not particularly sensitive. They will, unfortunately, not scan items from time to time,” which “can cause a problem.
Because if you somehow didn’t scan something appropriately, or the machine accidentally didn’t pick it up when you scanned it, you could potentially be charged with misdemeanor larceny – or felony larceny, depending on how big the item was.”
For anyone who has used self-checkout before, you know how easy it is to make a simple mistake when scanning your own items. But while most of us assume that we will be given the benefit of the doubt if something is not scanned correctly or at all, Granados wants everyone to know that assumption could get you into a whole lot of trouble.
Granados continued to say, “If you get past the point of sale and walk out that door, Walmart or any other store could charge you with larceny. And that could lead to you having a misdemeanor conviction on your record, potentially.”
There are certainly hundreds of companies that offer self-checkout, and while you could risk arrest at any one of them for incorrectly using a self-checkout scanner, Granados claims that Walmart is the most common culprit charging for theft.
She states that Walmart, the biggest retailer in the country, “aggressively prosecutes people that are charged with larceny” after clumsily scanning their purchases.
It’s important to note that Lindsay’s warnings are coming from first-hand experience as a lawyer. Granados told the media, “I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve talked with that have been charged with larceny because one of those machines didn’t scan appropriately.”
She also has hands-on experience defending clients who were charged with theft and larceny long after their shopping experience.
She says, “They have video cameras that are very high quality and they will match that up against the register receipts and will come back and will prosecute you for other events that may have occurred in the past as well, because they keep that video and they keep those register receipts.”
Stores like Walmart and other nationwide companies spend a significant amount of time re-watching videos on the lookout for possible theft. And if you ever incorrectly scanned your purchases at a self-checkout counter, not only could you be charged and arrested, but you could also be banned from the store for life.
Lindsay Granados said that she has stopped using self-checkout counters to keep herself safe, and she tells anyone who will listen, “I would think twice about using those machines if I were you.”