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Toronto Shoplifting and Theft Under $5000 Charges Lawyer

Indian/South Asian Immigrant Shoplifting in Ontario, Canada

Immigrants from India, Sri Lanka, and other South Asian countries are often unaware of Canadian store security methods

Toronto (including Brampton and Mississauga) is filled with new immigrants from all over the world. For some, they encounter significant differences in retail stores from what they are used to in their home country. Sometimes these differences lead to incidents of shoplifting and arrests. This is particularly true for immigrants from India, Sri Lanka, and other South Asian countries.

For a new immigrant in Canada, being criminally charged with theft shortly after arriving is a shocking and scary experience as it may result in a criminal record and impact both their employment and immigration status.

Unlike in India, Canadian stores watch their customers surreptitiously (secretly)

Part of the problem for shoplifting immigrants is that in their home country they are used to being directly watched by the shopkeeper (particularly in smaller stores). Stores in India are often arranged so that the store owner can see the customer at all times. This is substantially different than in Canada where customers are left to roam around in the store aisles on their own. This is particularly true in large department stores such as The Bay, Winners, Sears, Home Depot, Target and Wal-Mart.

For people from India and other South Asian countries, who are used to seeing the shopkeeper’s eyes on them at all times, being seemingly alone in a store leaves them with the false impression that they aren’t being watched and that taking something would be easy. Like any other criminal offence, a perception that you can “get away with it” increases the likelihood a person will make an attempt.

Immigrants shoplift for the same reasons as anyone else does, including:
  1. To experience the thrill of breaking the law/getting something for free;
  2. For financial reasons: The desire to save money or get something they can't afford;
  3. Out of curiosity: The false perception that it is easy to steal leads some to try to see if it’s possible.
Regardless of their motivation, getting caught and charged with theft is a serious and shocking experience for most immigrants.

How Canadian retail stores watch customers

New immigrants, who are not familiar with Canadian retail experiences, think they aren’t being watched in the stores. Of course they are being watched, just in a less obvious and largely surreptitious way.

Canadian retail stores primarily rely on plain clothes (unmarked) security guards/private investigators and CCTV video to watch customers and catch/prevent theft. Many of the “shoppers” you see in department stores are really just pretending to be shopping. Their job is to observe, follow, and ultimately catch and arrest would-be shoplifters (many of whom are then charged by the police with theft under $5000).

For immigrants caught shoplifting and charged with theft under $5000, their primary concerns are the possibilities of:
  1. Going to jail;
  2. Getting a criminal record;
  3. Losing their job;
  4. Immigration problems: risks to student visas, work permits, permanent residency (PR), or citizenship applications;
  5. The shame and embarrassment of their family finding out back home;
  6. The possibility that their husband or wife will become aware of the charge causing relationship problems;
  7. Not being able to travel or immigrate to the US, UK, Australia and other countries in the future.
We understand your fear and concerns and can help you. Having handled over 2000 shoplifting related cases, our lawyer knows exactly what steps to take to reduce all the potential problems related to theft under $5000 charges (including issues related to immigration, police computer database records, employer checks, and more).

There is a lot of inaccurate information written online about shoplifting charges. Don’t put your future at risk, call us today for a free consultation.

Call us today for a free assessment

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with all forms of theft and fraud related offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on theft and fraud related charges protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record.

Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with U.S. travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed. We also only take calls/emails relating to Ontario, Canada area cases.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a theft or fraud related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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  Law and Consequences

  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel