Self-checkout machines, often seen as a convenience, pose a hidden risk of accidental shoplifting, warns criminal defense attorney Carrie Jernigan in her TikTok videos. Jernigan explains that shoppers can face arrest for not scanning an item, treated as intentional theft by authorities. “These are the people that I genuinely think just forgot to scan an item,” she remarks, noting incidents often involve overlooked items in the cart.
Previously, stores were lenient, allowing customers to scan forgotten items. However, policies have hardened, treating any oversight as shoplifting. Jernigan notes a shift in store attitudes: “They have lost all sympathy, and they are just taking a ‘Tell it to the judge’s approach,” indicating a no-tolerance policy.
Jernigan’s concern is for innocent shoppers at risk of criminal charges for simple mistakes. She highlights asset protection teams meticulously reviewing footage for unscanned items. Her TikTok campaign aims to raise awareness among self-checkout users about this serious, yet often unnoticed, risk.