Self-checkout theft or “skip scanning” has become a common basis to allege shoplifting in Texas. This occurs when a customer doesn’t scan all the items that make it into their bags at self-checkout. You may also see this charge if a person scans a bar code of an item of similar weight and then places a more expensive, similarly-weighted item in the bag to avoid detection by the scales under the bagging area. This form of shoplifting has become increasingly more common in Fort Worth and Texas, and retailers are cracking down. Here’s a look at the skip scanning charges, the consequences, and real-life examples of people arrested for self checkout theft.
Skip scanning is a self-checkout theft technique that has gained in popularity in recent years. It occurs when a customer pretends to scan an item before putting it in a bag or basket or uses a bar code from an item of lesser value and quickly bags the more expensive item. The crime is considered shoplifting/theft, which can be a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the amount of the theft.
Self-checkout theft is so common that there are actually terms for this kind of shoplifting. Not scanning an item is called “the pass around.” Scanning something expensive using the code for a cheap product is the “banana trick.” Peeling off the sticker on something cheap and putting it on a more expensive item is referred to as the “switcheroo.”
The punishment for skip scanning in Texas depends upon the value of the property stolen and how the scheme was carried out. For example, if the accused failed to scan items, then the punishment will be based on the total value of the stolen property. In other words, the value of all the items can be added together or aggregated to determine the level or charge and penalty you face:
If the scheme was carried out by scanning something expensive by using the code for a less expensive product, or by putting a cheaper sticker on a more expensive item, then the punishment depends on the difference between the price marked and the price paid. For example:
If you are a loved one is facing skip scanning charges in Fort Worth or North Texas, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We can help. Our team has decades of experience and has successfully defended all kinds of theft accusations in North Texas.
From time to time, we see people charged with skip scanning when it truly was a mistake. Prosecutors must prove that the accused intended to deprive the store owner of the stolen item, which we can challenge in certain cases. We also often see young, first-time offenders charged with self checkout theft, and we have been successful getting them into diversion programs that have resulted in a dismissal. Every case is unique. Call today for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.