Shoplifting is a niche form of theft that most people associate with teenagers or maybe rebellious young adults going through a hipster phase in their early twenties. However, shoplifting or retail fraud is a crime committed by people of all backgrounds and ages.

It is possible for successful adults to find themselves in a situation where they get accused of shoplifting, possibly without having actually taken anything from a store. Those already facing shoplifting charges will want to defend themselves against the consequences such charges might produce.

Those who frequently find themselves engaging in retail therapy may want to learn a little about behaviors that could prove risky

Getting confused while trying on jewelry or clothing

California defines shoplifting as the act of stealing or attempting to steal items from a store worth less than $950. Theft could mean hiding items in your pockets or purse, or it could mean leaving the store without paying the full price, perhaps unintentionally.

Making a trip to the changing room or dressing room can be a big inconvenience, so many people try to bring everything they want to try on in one trip. The problem with this approach is that rushing through multiple outfits or pieces of clothing and jewelry might lead to someone leaving something on underneath another piece of clothing or having something fall into the pocket of an article of clothing or a bag.

Through a totally innocent mistake, that person could wind up accused of shoplifting or attempting to shoplift the items that they forgot they had tried on.

Not checking inside boxes and containers

Some people will try to steal from a retail facility by taking items and placing them inside other items that they pay for in a purchase. Slipping an expensive pair of earrings into the toe of a pair of sneakers would be an example.

It’s possible that you could pick up a piece of merchandise that someone intended to use in this manner without knowing it. It’s also possible that a child or even an employee made a mistake and put something where it didn’t belong. While you may not have realized the item was in there, you could have a hard time convincing security of that if you try to exit the store with hidden items.

Picking up items with altered or switched price tags

Some people who want to shoplift will go so far as to create fake bar codes or find ways to modify bar codes on existing products so that they scan for substantially lower prices than want the item is worth. This way, an individual can sneak items through checkout without attracting attention from employees.

Giving a quick glance to the sticker on items to make sure that no one has drawn on it and to verify that the price matches any nearby displays will reduce the risk of getting wrongfully accused of shoplifting because someone altered a price tag.