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Shoplifting Defenant Arrested Based on her Own Admission


The appellant of the case is Alma Davis. The appellee in the case is McCrory Corporation. The case is being heard in the second district of the District Court of Appeals in the State of Florida.


A New York Criminal Lawyer said Alma Davis, the appellant, was accused and then arrested for shoplifting in one of the McCrory Corporation’s stores. She was acquitted of this crime. She then brought a lawsuit into action claiming malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and false arrest. She is appealing the decision by the district court that granted a summary judgment in favor of the defendant that dismissed the case.

Case History

In this case there are two very different versions of what happened while the plaintiff was in the store. According to the appellant, Alma Davis, she entered the store and was shopping. She picked out a pair of panty hose, which she placed in the outer pocket of her overcoat. She states that the panty hose remained visible throughout her time in the store. She claims that before she had a chance to go to the cash register to pay for items, she was apprehended and accused of shoplifting (petit larceny).

The version told by the employees of the store is very different. Testimony is given by two employees of the store as well as the manager. Each of them state that the appellant had put panties and/or panty hose into the pocket of the dress she was wearing under her coat and not in the pocket of her coat as she states. They all three state that she had a small paper bag that she had placed panties in as well. When Davis was confronted by the managers, the employees state that she denied pocketing the merchandise. However, when the threat of police involvement was given she produced the items from their hiding places. The employees and managers also state that she admitted to try stealing the items because she knew of other people who had gotten away with doing it. She bemoaned the fact that she was caught during her first attempt. It was the admissions that were given by Davis that caused the manager to have her arrested right then, rather than waiting for her to leave the store.

Previous Court Findings

The previous court determined that the plaintiff was observed by two employees and the manager taking items from the shelf and depositing them in a pocket or paper bag. The plaintiff also stated that she had intended to steal the items and was upset she got caught during her first attempt. An NYC Criminal Lawyer said the court found that the constraints used against Davis were not unreasonable and therefore ruled in favor of the summary judgment.


The difficulty in this case comes with the fact that two very different versions of the story are given. While the store has three witnesses to the fact that Davis admitted to trying to steal the items, this does not mean that her testimony and claims can simply be dismissed.

For these reasons, we feel that the district court’s ruling for summary judgment was unjust. We are reversing the original order for summary judgment as we feel that there are further proceedings necessary in order to fully prove probable cause in this particular case.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates we offer free legal consultations to anyone who needs one. Whether you have been charged with shoplifting, sex crimes or drug possession, we will ensure that your rights are protected. We have offices located in the metropolitan area of Manhattan to make it easy to come in and discuss your case at any time. You may call us to set up a time for your free consultation at any time, we are happy to help.

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