Short answer: You won’t!
Stores are cracking down on the practice of “skip scanning,” which is where a shopper uses the self-checkout to bag their items while only pretending to scan and pay for some or all of them.
Many stores have increased their self-checkout capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic and skip scanning has become much more prevalent as a result. Loss prevention specialists have noticed this trend and are working harder than ever to stop this practice. For example, loss prevention teams use multiple store cameras (some of them invisible to the shopper) to view the checkout lanes from multiple angles when they suspect someone of skip scanning items. Some stores will even pause the register if they notice a person skip scanning and give the person a chance to ring up all the items properly. If the shopper does not take this opportunity to correctly scan and pay for their items, the person will get stopped on the way out of the store, and police will be called for the theft of the items.
Skip scanning is considered just as serious as any other theft. In Minnesota, you can be charged with misdemeanor theft for skip scanning items worth up to $500, and the charge becomes a gross misdemeanor if the value of the items goes over $500 but remains under $1,000. A theft in excess of $1,000 in value is a felony. Misdemeanor sentences carry a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine, and gross misdemeanors can result in up to 1 year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Skip scanning items to avoid paying for each will cost you a lot more in the long run. If you are charged with theft from skip scanning, one of our experienced attorneys can help you navigate your charges.