Do Stores Track Down Shoplifters?

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Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes that happen on a daily basis worldwide. Even though some countries have strict laws against theft even then the events of shoplifting are increasing day by day.

To fight against shoplifting, most stores take lots of precautions like installing CCTV cameras, sirens, and other anti-theft devices in their store. Some stores even go a mile ahead and track down shoplifters. But do all stores track down shoplifters? Let’s answer all the questions related to tracking shoplifters in this article.

Quick Summary
In most cases, until the stolen item isn’t really expensive the store does not care to waste their time tracking down the shoplifter. However, they may ban the shoplifter from their stores or may even post their pictures.

Do Stores Track You Down After Shoplifting? Everything You Need To Know

do store track down shoplifter

Yes, most stores track down shoplifters. Big grocery and electronic stores such as Target, Best Buy, and Walmart monitor shoplifters through surveillance cameras and other surveillance devices. Some stores may also use face recognition software to find serial offenders and stop them from entering their stores.

Some small store owners may also use social media to track down the shoplifter or they may even take the help of the police.

Does this mean that stores can track stolen items? Yes, stores can track stolen items, especially electronic devices and that is through their serial number. However, the chances of tracking down a stolen item through serial numbers are very less. Hence, most of the time the stolen item from a store is never found.

Even if the stolen item is not found the Police can track you down for shoplifting, especially, if the store owner has filed a complaint against you.

If the store owner has footage of you shoplifting an item from their store then it’s even easier for the police to track you down.

Ok, so do stores post pictures of shoplifters? Yes, some stores do post a pictures of shoplifters.


They may even share it with other store owners or even with the police. Some store owners even post pictures of a shoplifter on social media so that someone can help them track the shoplifter down.

Can you go back to a store after shoplifting? It’s not wise to return to the same store after shoplifting because the shop owner or employees can identify you and hand you to the police.

Also, some store owners may ban you from entering their stores for life after you are caught shoplifting. If they have banned you then you cannot go back there and if you do then they can charge you for trespassing.

Suppose I am involved in shoplifting, can the store fine me for it? A store cannot legally fine a shoplifter, it’s not their right to do that. Only the law can fine someone for their crimes. However, a store has the right to ban a shoplifter from its stores across the country.

Stealing an item from a store is considered a crime in almost every country. If you are found shoplifting from a store then you have to face legal consequences. Now, what consequence you may face depends on a lot of factors. Such as the law in your local jurisdiction, if the item you stole was expensive or not, if you have a previous criminal history, and much more.

In some cases of shoplifting, you are just fined and do not go to jail but sometimes you may end up being arrested as well.

Ok, so how long do stores keep shoplifting records? The time for which the store keeps a record of shoplifting may vary from store to store. Some stores may only keep the records for some time and destroy them later. While some stores may keep them for an indefinite amount of time. Commonly, a store keeps shoplifting records for at least a few years. The time for which the store may keep the record also depends on the law of the jurisdiction in which the store is situated.

How To Protect Your Store?

To stop shoplifting in your store you can take the following measures.

1. Surveillance Device

Having a surveillance device such as a CCTV camera, RFID tags, and metal detectors is a must to fight shoplifting at your store. Make sure the thieves know that your store is under surveillance, that way most shoplifters won’t ever dare to steal from you.

2. Install A Hidden Spy Camera

Shoplifters or thieves are very clever, they know how to trick CCTV cameras and other surveillance devices. Hence you must install hidden spy cameras such as spy pen cameras or other types of spy cameras in your store. Since these devices are hidden, the shoplifter will get recorded in them.

3. Train Your Employees 

You must give your staff the training to detect shoplifting events and how to tackle such situations. It is because a camera or surveillance device may not be able to detect shoplifters all the time. Hence, giving your employees the training will help you big time.

3. Go To Police

This is the best option you have. If you ever fall into such a situation when you become a victim of shoplifting then instead of tracking down the shoplifter yourself, you should go to the police and take their help. If you have some evidence against the shoplifter then you must provide it to the police. Such as their CCTV footage, photo, credit card details, etc. This will make their job easy and the chances of tracking the shoplifter will increase by many folds.

Final Verdict

Stores can track down a shoplifter. However, tracking down a shoplifter is not that easy because once they are out of your store you may never see them again. Hence you must take all the precautions to prevent shoplifting at your store. Even after taking all the precautions if shoplifting still happens at your store then you must take the help of the police. You can help them by providing the evidence you have against the shoplifter. It will help them catch the thieves easily and the chances of you tracking down the shoplifter and getting back your stolen item increases.

About the Author

Shivam Yadav is a cybersecurity enthusiast dedicated to clarifying the complexities of cyber threats and making online safety accessible to all. With a background in Computer Science and Engineering, Shivam’s passion for keeping people safe online has been the driving force behind his journey with SpyDrill. He specializes in simplifying concepts related to web protection and guiding parents on the effective use of monitoring applications to ensure their children’s online privacy & safety.

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