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How Long after Shoplifting Can You Get Caught in Canada?

How Long after Shoplifting Can You Get Caught in Canada?

No matter what, we are here to help you out in your time of danger. But first, we must clear, no crime is accepted even if it is a small one. According to a study, more than 50,000 people get caught for shoplifting in Canada.

In the Criminal Code of Canada in Section 334(b), if you are caught for shoplifting, you may be fined from $2,000 and above after considering the situation. There are many common punishments besides that such as court fee, jail time, damage of your career and reputation, restriction to travel etc. so, you should not take it normally and go up for it.

Let us give you some ideas on how long after shoplifting can you be caught in Canada-

How Long do You Need to be Alert?

According to statistics, you can get caught a maximum of 2 years after the theft. In most cases, you can get caught right after you leave the shop without paying by the security guards. There are many things you need to consider after thinking that you are clean and ready to move on. Such as-

CCTV Footage Checking and Investigation

In every retail shop, there are CCTV cameras at every corner. Sometimes you can get caught right away if the store staff notices you messing around suspiciously. But in case, you could get away from the shop without getting caught, don’t feel relieved. There is still danger hanging on your nose.

Sometimes the security department checks their CCTV footage twice a day or week. So, after finding your face, they will call the police ad they will find you after some inquiries. In some cases, you may get lucky, and the camera may catch you from a blind end. That doesn’t mean we encourage you to that because one time you could get away with it, but not every time.

State Policy

There are variations in state or store policies. In many stores, you may get arrested, or others would just simply let go charging a fine.

Likewise, in different states, the arrest can take part in different time duration according to the law enforcement system.

Value of The Theft

There many properties that can get shoplifted, for example, food or packaged fast food, beauty and cosmetics products, electronic goods, etc. Sometimes the store accountant will let you go if the value of the stolen product is much more than dealing with police, court fees. In that case, the store guards and other staff will be in pressure to not let that happen again.

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Ways to Delay Your Arrest

There are various smart ways to delay your arrest, lets read it below,

Stay Calm

Whatever you did illegal, don’t try to escape hastily. By this, you will raise suspicion. Walk away as nothing happened (still not encouraging you to do something illegal). Even if you get caught, and the store staff is planning to stop you, do not hurry and make a fool of yourself by trying to run. You can lose your reputation or worse; get hurt by running.

Avoid Greed

If you are stealing something like the food your lawyer can defend you by stretching the judge’s emotional side for you. But don’t get all greedy and steal a bunch of electronics or beauty products that you don’t even need.


Don’t steal from one shop every day. Use different shops from different neighborhoods. Otherwise, the store manager/staff can get suspicious if it is possible to use blind spots of the CCTV cameras.

How Shoplifters Get Caught?

We discussed before; it can take a maximum of 2 years for you to get caught with the help of footage. But if the staff notices you on the spot, they will let you leave the door first o that they can accuse you. Then any guard will approach you and calmly ask you if you have paid for the good you are carrying.

If you agree peacefully, they may not press charges against you. But in most cases, the securities will rudely threaten you and make the whole place a small drama stage. They may also try to check your body and bags, but it doesn’t their duty to perform. There comes the necessity of police.

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What Rights do a Shoplifter has Legally?

As you are accused of committing the crime, you have some rights in your hand. No matter what they ask you, be it the police or the shop security guard, you have every right to stay silent. You have every right to stay silent in front of the police, but you need to give personal information to them. If the matter goes up to arrest, you can also inform your lawyer. After that, the lawyer will do the talking with the management and try to settle it without going to court.

Consequences after Getting Caught

Shoplifting may seem a smaller crime is comparing to burglary or murder, but it is still a crime. Unfortunately, it will get recorded in the process. If you are a non-adult accused of shoplifting and got recorded in the police database, it may not put an effect on your future career. But if an adult gets into these problems, he/ she might sabotage their reputation and career.

Sadly, it will stay on the record forever if you are caught more than once. To remove the charges, you need to wait for a certain time to pass or fulfill other requirements. The charges can be removed, and you can lead a normal life.

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Final Word

The shoplifters should take note that sooner or later they will get caught. It may be out of need or fulfilling a bet, or even it could be an unhealthy habit. But the truth is, it bad nobody will get through it without defamation. According to a study, about 87% of shoplifters get caught, and the rest 13% could be lucky or professional. So, don’t engage yourself in something which is not worth it.