Police intend to send a message to potential thieves that crime will not be tolerated. This was one goal of a large operation which combined the efforts of Florida law enforcement with local retailers. Focusing on so-called hot spots, police arrested 13 people for allegedly shoplifting and other crimes. Many of those in custody are local, but some are from other states.

Of the 13 arrested, nine are charged with petit theft. Additionally, some are facing drug charges, probation violation and various counts of fraud. Police report that most of the alleged shoplifters are repeat offenders with a combined total of nearly 200 prior arrests and over 50 total convictions.

One of those arrested reportedly used the same stolen credit card four times at the same retail store. The card was supposedly stolen from an employee at a local hospital. This alleged shoplifter has a 30-year criminal history dating back to when she was a young teen. The others who were arrested in the sting range in age from 26 to 60 years old.

While retailers may be happy to see these people taken into custody, those who are facing multiple charges may be confused about what to do to protect themselves. This may be especially true if they already have criminal backgrounds or some history with law enforcement. It may seem as if the odds are stacked against them. This is why those who are charged with shoplifting or other crimes in Florida may seek the advice and guidance of an experienced attorney when deciding the best criminal defense strategy for their case.

Source: Sarasota, Fla. Patch, “13 Arrested In Shoplifting Crackdown”, Sherri Lonon, May 17, 2016

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