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Your Rights If You Are Suspected of Shoplifting, theft, criminal lawShoplifting is a common crime. More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the U.S. in the past five years, according to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention.

Being accused of shoplifting or theft is unique in that police are not usually involved, at least at first. Usually, a security guard or someone else employed by the store is the person to first accuse someone suspected of shoplifting. Because of this, there are different rules that stores and security guards must follow.

What happens if you are suspected of shoplifting? First, a store employee may stop you, and they can stop you before you exit the store. Under Illinois law,  a store can detain you if they have “reasonable grounds” to believe that you shoplifted. The store can only detain a suspect in a “reasonable manner and for a reasonable length of time” for the purpose of:

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