What Happens if You Get Caught Stealing at Walmart?

Did you just get caught stealing at Walmart, but they simply took your information and let you go?

This is the standard procedure for first-time shoplifters at Walmart.

In this article, we’ll tell you what happens after you’ve given them your information.

What Happens if You Get Caught Stealing at Walmart?

If you get caught stealing at Walmart, the manager will add your information to a database and could ban you for anywhere from 24 hours to the rest of your life. If you steal high-value items or habitually steal, Walmart can and likely will press charges with the local authorities.


  • If you get caught stealing from Walmart, they will add your personal information and photo to a regional database.
  • Walmart can and will ban you from their stores if you do not cooperate.
  • You could face criminal charges if you attempt to steal high-value items or continue to steal after getting caught.

If you want to understand exactly what will happen when you get caught stealing at Walmart, keep reading!

We have all the information you need right here.

1. Walmart Has Registered Your Information

The first thing that happens when you get caught stealing from Walmart is that they will take you into an office and collect your personal information.

If you do not resist, the process will go much smoother. If you do, Walmart will likely contact the local police. Now, you won’t only be a registered shoplifter, but you could also face criminal charges.

Now, it’s essential to understand that if it’s your first offense, the manager will take your photo and register your information in a nationwide online system known as APIS.

This means that even if Walmart lets you go, you are in the system, and if you are a habitual offender, Walmart will know.

2. Walmart’s Legal Team Will Contact You to Request Restitution

The next part of the process is that Walmart’s legal team will contact you to request restitution.

This is a crucial part of the procedures, as how you respond to this request will change what happens next.

So, you should pay immediately when you get contacted to pay restitution.

Walmart can and will take you to court, and you could face a higher fine or even criminal charges if you don’t cooperate!

However, if you pay the fine, Walmart will move on, and so can you. While you still will be in the APIS system, if you don’t attempt to steal from Walmart again, you won’t have any more issues with the company or the law.

Does Walmart Ban First-Time Shoplifters?

Now, you should understand that while this is the most likely sequence of events, Walmart reserves the right to ban first-time shoplifters.

Whether or not you get banned for a day, a year or the rest of your life depends on 3 things:

  • The value of the items you were attempting to steal.
  • How you respond when you get caught.
  • The manager or employee who caught you.

Because it is at the manager’s discretion, if you try to run away, are disrespectful, unapologetic, and unhelpful when entering your personal information into the system, Walmart can ban you even if you only shoplift once.

However, if you do follow the procedure and let them know it will never happen again, it’s likely that you won’t actually be banned from Walmart.

Does Walmart Prosecute First-Time Shoplifters?

Walmart can and does prosecute first-time shoplifters. However, usually, this only occurs after attempts to steal high-value items.

Usually, if the item you attempted to steal costs less than $25, you will not be prosecuted. However, items with a price tag higher than $25 can and might be.

Typically, items that cost between $25 and $1000 will not lead to criminal charges unless you are a repeat offender.

However, for items between $1000 and $2000, you may be charged with a class 6 felony. In this case, the fine would be $2500, and you could face 5 years in jail.

If you attempt to shoplift an item that costs more than $2000, it is a class 5 felony. For which you could spend up to 10 years in jail.

The bottom line is that even if it’s your first time getting caught, you will still have to pay restitution. And the fine increases depending on the value of the item you attempted to steal.

And if the price tag is high enough, you will be prosecuted in court.


You will be added to a region-wide platform with your photo and personal information if you get caught stealing from Walmart.

Walmart reserves the right to ban or prosecute anyone who shoplifts at their stores. Whether it is the first offense or not.

If you get caught shoplifting at Walmart, the best thing to do is corporate. Pay the restitution fine and never attempt to steal again.