U.S. retailers have the ability under state laws to request statutory civil damages from those apprehended for theft. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal matter, if there is one, or even if no criminal charges were ever filed, the retailer may still make a statutory civil damages request from the alleged theft offender or other legally responsible party. Statutory civil damages may be requested by the retailer and settled before a civil lawsuit is filed by the retailer against the alleged theft offender in the appropriate civil court. The National Retail Security Survey reported that retailers sustained a loss of $34.5 billion dollars in 2011, which arose from various forms of theft. Of these losses, it is estimated that over $12 billion were directly attributed to shoplifting. [i] During a recent survey conducted by Jack Hayes, it was reported that approximately 600,000-800,000 shoplifting incidents occur on a daily basis within the United States. It is also estimated that retailers lose $30 to $41 million on a daily basis due to shoplifting incidents. [ii]
While part of the purpose for the civil recovery statutes is to compensate the retailer for the specific act of theft and allow for recovery of restitution, the statutes often also have a general deterrent purpose and allow for additional civil damages on top of or apart from any restitution that may be owed by the theft offender.
The Law Offices of Palmer, Reifler & Associates, P.A. has successfully represented its clients in matters related to civil recovery for over 20 years. As a law firm, we offer many advantages and protections that standard civil recovery “companies” cannot provide. We invite you to contact our law offices at (866) 875-6565 to learn more about civil recovery and how your company can combat theft and begin to recover the losses resulting from theft.
[ii] Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey. June 2013.