I’m a lawyer – here’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make when you’re accused of self-checkout theft
A lawyer has uncovered the top mistakes he thinks customers are making after being accused of stealing from a self-checkout.
Dubbed a “self-improvement advocate,” Eugene Cisco took to social media to warn customers to stop defending themselves after being questioned by employees at major retailers.
“In my practice, I’ve seen literally thousands of people go to court on charges of shoplifting after using one of these self-checkout machines,” Cisco said (@reallifeandlaw) explained in a recent clip on tik tok.
The attorney went on to say that shoplifting charges have increased by about 30 percent compared to statistics in recent years.
He explained that customers are often unfamiliar with or unwilling to use self-checkout machines, which can lead to confusion when paying for items.
“This is a recipe for disaster,” Cisco noted.
This unfortunate scenario then leads to one of the biggest mistakes people can make when accused of shoplifting, according to the attorney, because they forgot to scan an item.
The first mistake, according to Cisco, is apologizing to a retail employee for neglecting to scan an item.
“One of the biggest mistakes a person can make after a store’s staff accuses you of shoplifting is to apologize for not scanning an item,” the attorney said.
Cisco said that’s because it doesn’t do the suspected shoplifter any good — whether or not he intentionally forgot to scan an item, an employee won’t believe him.
“There isn’t a store associate in the world who would think you just forgot to scan an item,” he said.
“And the jury won’t believe you either.”
Instead, the lawyer advises to remain silent in the scenario.
“The best advice I can give you if a store associate attacks you and accuses you of shoplifting is to keep your mouth shut,” Cisco noted.
He went on to say that another mistake is telling the clerk, or even a judge, that you have money in your pocket to pay for the item that wasn’t scanned.
“Nor will it help you to tell that employee, a judge, or a prosecutor that you had money in your pocket when you were accused of shoplifting,” Cisco said.
“Having money in your pocket is no defense against a shoplifting charge.”
The third and most tragic mistake the buyer could then make, according to Cisco, would be to not seek legal counsel and plead guilty to a charge of shoplifting.
The attorney said buyers forget how long the charges remain on their criminal records.
“Many people would not seek the help of a lawyer and plead guilty just to get out of court,” he added.
“Many people who are going through something like this for the first time don’t realize that a shoplifting conviction can accompany them for the rest of their lives, or until they receive a sentence.”
Several viewers responded to the attorney, stating that they would now do without self-checkout when shopping altogether to avoid being charged with shoplifting.
“I’m not going to use them!!!” exclaimed one viewer.
“I tell them I don’t know how and force a staff member to help me,” wrote another.
A third added: “That’s why I refuse to use self-checkout.”
For more related content, check out The US Sun’s exclusive coverage of the three dire consequences of using self-checkout machines, says another lawyer.
The US Sun also has the story of why a lawyer says Walmart is cracking down on self-checkout theft in a new way.