Self-checkout lines at stores can be a great time-saver for shoppers who only have a few items. But is it always a good idea to use them? Criminal defense attorney Carrie Jernigan took to TikTok recently to warn her followers about the potential risks of using self-checkout machines.

Jernigan, who spends her time defending innocent people who stand accused of crimes, claims that people who use self-checkout machines are putting themselves at risk of being charged with shoplifting, even if it’s unintentional. Stores have started cracking down on these “offenders” and treating them as criminals, even if they genuinely forgot to scan an item.

In the past, stores would alert shoppers when they accidentally forgot to scan an item, and the customer would be allowed to go back and pay for it. But now, stores are more likely to treat every person who takes an item without paying for it as a shoplifter, throwing the book at them even if the “shoplifting” occurred completely by mistake.

“These are the people that I genuinely think just forgot to scan an item,” Jernigan said. “It is usually something that was on the bottom rack of the cart … and when they are walking out, asset protection stops them. They let almost all of these people either scan and pay for the item, or just let them go, but took the item they did not pay for.”

Jernigan hopes her TikTok video reaches millions of would-be self-checkout shoppers to prevent them from being thrown in jail for accidentally forgetting to scan an item. She also wants to remind people that stores are treating everyone who takes an item without paying for it as a shoplifter, rather than giving self-checkout customers the benefit of the doubt.

“It is something that [happens when] asset protection is doing a quality-control check, or inventory that weeks, days, months later comes up short,” she said. “So they will begin watching hours of video.”

While self-checkout machines can be convenient for shoppers who only have a few items, Jernigan’s warning serves as a reminder to be extra vigilant and to double-check that all items have been scanned before leaving the store. Otherwise, shoppers could find themselves facing criminal charges for an innocent mistake.

Source: AWM

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