Let me start off by saying, I was a shoplifter. I acknowledge that what I did was wrong, and I certainly do regret it.
I am a first offense shoplifter and I have no prior history of shoplifting. I went shopping with four other friends and another one had the idea to shoplift some groceries for a trip we were going on because our food was going to be so expensive. I decided, why not, let's give it a try. So, in total, three out of the five were going to shoplift some groceries and save some cash.
Upon leaving the store, we were apprehended by AP and brought to the back room to get our info for barring, etc. To begin with, our two other friends had nothing to do with our deed and were completely innocent. Secondly, they were quite rude to our innocent friends, even calling one of them pregnant. The total amount of what we had taken had added up to 123.46 and as Maryland state law, the amount of the penalty fine should be twice that amount along with the amount of the items unable to be resold (Meat cannot be resold if taken off store property).
Fine. That is understandable and I am completely willing to pay that fine. I know I was wrong and I would not repeat this mistake again. HOWEVER, they decided to bill this fine upon each of us.
That means a $317.99 payment from each of us. This is simply absurd. Especially the fact that our two innocent friends were also obligated to pay this fine. We were unable to leave until we had signed this form and filled out the remaining paperwork and since the last train would be leaving within an hour or so, we had just wanted to get out and go home at this point.
Upon further research, we had discovered that Maryland state law only allows up to a $1000 fine on items shoplifted. Seeing as there were five of us, the total amount we were paying was $1,589. That is correct, almost 13x the original amount we had taken. I understand paying for the crime, but that is just ridiculous in my opinion.
Especially since they were charging 2 innocent people at the same time. Also, in general, to charge nearly $1,600 in damages for $123.46 worth of merchandise is preposterous. I would not mind paying $317.99 or even $400 worth of fines to Wegman's, as they are a good company and while I do not fault their AP team for anything other than their rudeness, I find this ridiculous. Hopefully something can be done or worked out but this was just outrageous in my opinion.
In conclusion, I know I have made a mistake. It was a lesson learned and I am willing to pay my dues. However, when my dues add up to be a ridiculous amount, I start to get a little irked myself.
Perhaps this was a good lesson yes, but not at this cost. Especially not at the cost of two of my innocent friends.
Monetary Loss: $1272.