I didn’t read the details so this may not apply.
Picking up something and not paying for it before exiting does happen by accident for a number of reasons. A shoplifting charge has to be looked at in detail to have any real confidence that it was on purpose or not. If it is clear it was on purpose then I have no sympathy for the thief.
And no, I’ve never been suspected (that I know of) or charged for shoplifting... I have nearly walked out of a store with something in hand that I didn’t pay for but fortunately caught myself before it was too late...
I met w/someone in a local store - both of us in a hurry - stopped a moment to chat - I proceeded to line, she started walking towards the door with stuff in her hand - and then heard a big yelp from her - she caught herself before walking out the door.
So I agree - was she walking out the door w/item in her hand or was it hidden?
I was shopping at a mall one afternoon, and I was talking to someone who was standing on one side of the entrance to the store and I was standing in the store. As we were talking I was not paying attention and stepped forward placing one foot through the store’s security system and set off the alarm, because I was holding merchandise in my hand. It was never my intention to steal anything. I stepped back through the threshold and said I was sorry.
The staff at the store had seen what had happened. They could tell I was not trying to leave the store, nor was I trying to steal. I just had a momentary lapse in concentration.
I went to the counter and paid for the item. And never thought much of it, again.
He stopped us as soon as we stepped out. This kid was really gun ho to call the cops but I said to him”Why would I shop lift one item, which was the least expensive item and pay for all the others?” With that reasoning he took the soap and let us go.