A Nike Factory Store in Mountain Grove has reported multiple thefts to authorities. A customer caught the latest incident on video and said that a group of five or more men pulled merchandise off shelves and took armfuls of it out the front door. The customer who took a video of the crime said that the men appeared to have a coordinated plan.
Detection equipment at the front doors sounded alarms, but witnesses told investigators that the theft was finished within minutes. Witnesses told the media that the thieves had an SUV waiting outside. They departed quickly with the merchandise before law enforcement arrived.
Employees at the store said that company policy prohibits them from taking action against thieves. They are only allowed to call the police when something happens. Authorities have responded to multiple thefts at the store, but investigators cannot determine if the same people are responsible for the string of robberies.
Penalties for people convicted of theft crimes depend on many factors, like the value of the stolen merchandise. A person accused of stealing has a right to legal counsel when interacting with the criminal justice system. Without legal guidance, a person might have no access to unbiased information about how to respond to criminal charges. Information about legal rights might prevent a person from entering a plea in court without fully understanding the consequences.
An attorney may begin by evaluating the evidence to see how strongly it implicates a person in an alleged crime. Issues like an uncertain eyewitness or information about an alibi might enable an attorney to challenge the basis for a prosecutor's case. In some situations, a defendant's willingness to make restitution might inspire a plea deal that reduces charges or allows for a lenient sentence.