In a recent series of videos, a lawyer is shown pleading with consumers of grocery stores and other retail establishments to avoid using self-service checkout lanes.
Customers should avoid utilising self-service checkouts “unless you’re ready and willing to go to jail,” advised Carrie Jernigan, a US criminal defence attorney on TikTok. Jernigan made her recommendation in response to a question posed by a customer.
Jernigan has released several videos, each of which has received millions of views, in which she discusses the reasons why she avoids using self-serving checkouts.
She asserts that shoplifters frequently target self-service checkouts, which causes shops to be apprehensive of law-abiding customers who are also using these checkouts.
According to Jernigan, “as a criminal defence attorney, I urge the majority of people to keep clear of the self-checkout lanes.”
The attorney claims that those who use the self-checkout lanes are being investigated and prosecuted for three different types of shoplifting.
People who steal stuff by accident fall into the second category, while shoplifters who do it professionally fall into the first type.
People who, in her words, “genuinely seem to have forgotten to scan an item” are included in this group (such as misplacing an item at the bottom of a trolley).
According to Kernigan, if retailers do not invest their time and money trying to ascertain if they did it on purpose, these customers could still be charged even though it was not intentional.
She went on to say that she saw very few of these customers at the time.
Instead, according to Kernigan, they will be charged with a different felony when the store’s security department runs an inventory check and later learns that you haven’t paid for something you originally purchased.
In addition, she urged that customers pay for their purchases using credit cards at self-service checkouts and retain a record of what they purchased.