Torrance, Shoplifting at Macy's, Case Dismissed on Motion

Our client, age 44 and with a great job with a major corporation, went into the Del Amo Macy’s and tried on a pair of sunglasses with a price tag over $200.  She liked them so much that she put them in her purse.  She then saw a few boxes of expensive chocolate and did the same thing.  Macy’s loss prevention was watching her the entire time. 

As our client walked out of the store, loss prevention stopped her.  They then took her to a back office in the basement, where they held her for four hours before Torrance Police came to take her to the station.

The client was released the same day, but not until late in the evening.  She was badly shaken up.  Her six year old daughter and her husband were very worried about her.

The client then called Greg Hill & Associates.  He met with the client and listened to the story.  The client had no prior record and a steady job of over fifteen years with the same employer.  It did not make sense.

Greg recommended that the client take an online shoplifting prevention course through the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention and the client did so.  She also provided the certificate of completion to Greg prior to the arraignment in the Torrance Superior Court.

At the arraignment, Greg noticed that the police report indicated the client had paid Macy’s $425 loss prevention demand before even being taken to the Torrance Police Station. 

Greg decided to file a motion for civil compromise, arguing that while under duress and under coercion, she paid Macy’s a fine with the expectation that no case would be filed, as they promised her. 

Greg then argued that such payment constituted a civil compromise, as described under Penal Code section 1377 and that the judge should find this and dismiss the case.  In preparing the motion, Greg asked the client to prepare a short essay concerning why shoplifting is illegal, which the client did.
Greg then filed and served the motion.  The judge in the Torrance Superior Court granted the motion, noting the client’s completion of the online shoplifting prevention course and her essay.

The Torrance City Prosecutor was quite upset.

The client, however, was happy because she avoided possible termination due to a crime of dishonesty.  She also avoided a plea bargain, wherein she would have pled to a misdemeanor violation of Penal Code § 484(a) (shoplifting). The terms of probation, according to the last plea bargain offered, were a $300 fine, plus penalties and assessments (a total payment of approximately $1,400), thirty six months of summary probation and five days of community service.

For more information about the issues in this theft offense case summary, click on the following articles:
  1. What is a Motion for Civil Compromise?
  2. What is Shoplifting and Its Defenses?
  3. What Can I Do About My Criminal Record on the Internet When The Court Dismissed My Case?
For more information about theft and robbery crimes, please click here to watch our theft offenses video.

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Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well. S.A., Torrance
Greg Hill did an outstanding job on every level. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. He welcomed my input and my concerns. . . from the first conversation to the last - I always felt 'it mattered' to him. S.C., Rolling Hills Estates
Thanks again for your hard work. We want you to know that we are very appreciative of all that you have done [on our son's] behalf. With warmest regards. L.H., Torrance
Dear Greg, Thank you again for all your help. Your professionalism and thoroughness is greatly admired. I will definitely recommend you to my friends if they ever need legal help. V.L., Carson
Thanks for investing in my case. I talked to other attorneys out there and they had an arms-length of attitude, but not you. Your intensity and interest helped a lot. C.R., Pomona