Arkansas attorney and TikTok influencer, Carrie Jernigan, has advised her followers to avoid the services of self exit (self-checkout machines) from Walmart stores, since mishandling the buyer It can cost you up to a year in prison.
“Imagine Walmart ruining your life for $10,” they commented in a video that has garnered more than 3 million views and where Jernigan explains it Some retailers use accidental theft to prevent loss, even in cases where nothing is stolen.
Jernigan, a criminal defense specialist and mother of three, says stores are cracking down on real thieves improving their tactics for stealing expensive items.
There are three categories in cases of people I’ve seen accused of retail theft, according to the attorney: The first two are split between those shoppers who intend to steal from a store and those who unintentionally do so.
“The first group of people accused of shoplifting using self exit They are the people who enter stores with the intent to steal,” says Jernigan. “The second group of people who catch this charge, I’ll call them. Wrongful theft These are the people who I really think forgot to scan an item. This thing is usually located on the bottom shelf of the wagon.”
Something tragic happens with the third group. Jernigan explains that these people have become the target of the retail chain After a long period of shoppingMostly when stock runs out.
“Let’s say Asset Protection does a quality check or the stock is running for a short time, weeks, days or months later, so they’re going to start watching hours of video to see the last person who signed up for a Mario Lego or Xbox One game, and for some reason they think you did.”
Because these are powerful companies, Jernigan points out, retailers don’t usually “need” to present hard evidence to sue a shopper for theft, so accused customers will have to spend a lot of time and money to prove their innocence.
“As usual, They have to provide a little evidence To sign an affidavit or court order.” “You are served charges that could lead to you being jailed for a year, and then you fight for your life trying to figure out what day you were at Walmart, and what you bought. You have to spend thousands of dollars on hiring a lawyer and we have to review the video footage to try to determine what I bought that day.”
Guilty until proven guilty?
He was asked on TikTok “So you are literally guilty until proven otherwise?” Jernigan concluded yes, adding that it could be difficult to prove innocence if the defendant paid in cash or did not have a receipt.
Once the attorney proves that his client didn’t steal anything, the charges are often dropped, but by then, “a lot of damage” has already been done. and then advised Use only self checkout for small purchasesPay with a card to get a record of your purchase.
“Keep receipts and be slow and deliberate when scanning items,” he stressed. “Currently there are a lot of devices with built-in cameras, so I will also show what I buy for the camera.”
Dozens of users were quick to share their personal experiences in self exit With Jernigan, who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok and over 40 million likes.
One person wrote: “My mom accidentally left a little $3 lemon oil in her cart after buying $300 worth of groceries.” She was charged with theft and had to do community service.”
“It took seven months and $6,000 to clear my name after being falsely accused; they wrote that evidence should exonerate me immediately. Another user said he forgot to scan an item, and now there’s a picture of him in the Walmart system: ‘No more self-examination for me'”, As promised.