Carrie Jernigan is an attorney who posts legal advice on TikTok. In a recent video she says "As a criminal defense attorney, I advise most people to steer clear of self-checkout". Why? Because stores are now going through video footage of checkout and arresting people. “Most of these are not getting charged day of. Rather, their predicament begins when someone in the asset protection department of a store starts counting inventory, perhaps days, weeks or months later, and “comes up short.”
“So they will begin watching hours of video to see the last person who checked out with the Mario Lego set because they’re two short or an Xbox game. And, for some reason, they pinpoint that they think you did it. The charges could land you up to a year in jail. You have to spend thousands of dollars hiring a lawyer and we have to go through grainy video footage to try to determine what all you bought that day.”
Some people mistakenly believe that retailers like Wal-Mart won't prosecute you if you take a small amount. Carrie says they aggressively prosecute everyone they catch or even believe has stolen from them.