Target Loss Prevention Policy: Shoplifting Fines, Legal Penalties, etc

Short Answer: Target’s asset protection and security specialists are responsible for theft prevention and recovery of Target merchandise and equipment. The team designs their processes to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Target stores also use security cameras and work closely with the local police in an effort to prevent shoplifting. For more information on the Target loss prevention policy, see below.

Target Loss Prevention Policy

Target’s loss prevention policy includes the use of video surveillance systems to help control theft and assist in the recovery of stolen merchandise, a corporate customer service associate said. This applies both inside and outside the store on Target property. Each store also has a dedicated staffing budget for asset protection and security employees who identify and apprehend shoplifting suspects.

General Target Loss Prevention Policy

We called stores in Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York for more information on the Target shoplifting policy at the store level. While most locations were unwilling to provide information due to safety and security concerns, representatives did share that Target works closely with local law enforcement. We were told that all shoplifting suspects will be arrested and prosecuted if proven guilty. Shoplifters will be responsible for all criminal fines and legal fees they incur as a result of their arrest. Target shoplifting fines and fees for each individual incident will vary by state and degree of crime severity.

Asset protection specialists at Target are responsible for keeping thorough documentation of each shoplifting incident at their store. They also work to identify shoplifting trends occurring within the store — such as whether shoplifters are targeting certain items — and to conduct internal theft investigations if necessary.

Target’s security specialists are members of the asset protection team. They work at the front of the store and are trained in emergency response and how to handle a crisis to avoid escalating the situation. Some of their main job responsibilities include suspect apprehension assistance, merchandise recovery, and documentation of security issues.

Suspect Apprehension

Once a shopper is identified as concealing merchandise, they become a shoplifting suspect. The Target security officer should attempt to give the suspect a chance to cooperate with them before an apprehension becomes physical. However, Target loss prevention and security officers do have the authority to apprehend suspects both inside and outside the store. We were told that Target advises its security personnel to perform apprehensions in pairs, if possible.

After apprehending a suspect, the loss prevention officers may take the suspect to their office to question them and await the arrival of police. Suspects are not required to speak to store officers. Target will have law enforcement proceed with an arrest if stolen merchandise is found on their person. Specific laws regarding apprehension and detention of larceny suspects may vary slightly by state.

Legal Penalties: Target Shoplifting Fines and More

Each state has guidelines that define a specific dollar amount as the criteria for determining whether a shoplifting offense is a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, New York law states that a theft totaling under $1,000 is classified as a misdemeanor. A theft over $1,000 qualifies as felony larceny charges in New York, with varying degrees of severity as value increases.

The charges and punishment for shoplifting are also determined by the shoplifting laws set by each state. Again, using New York as an example, a misdemeanor charge will result in up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Other Store Shoplifting Policies

Our previous research features the shoplifting policies at CVS, Sephora, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

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