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There has been a lot of criminal defense lawyers coming out and warning Americans not to use “self checkouts” at the grocery store. But why? They seem so harmless, right? Well, apparently, that’s wrong. According to these professionals, perfectly innocent people are falling into a trap with these self checkouts and are winding up spending thousands to defend themselves against theft charges – even if they legit, simply forgot to pay for something.

And it’s happening most often at Walmart.

The Sun reported that sometimes it’s not a mistake from the shopper, but an error with the self-checkout machine itself that can cause a customer to get charged, criminal defense attorney Lindsey Granados said in a TikTok video.

“If you somehow didn’t scan something appropriately or the machine didn’t pick it up accidentally when you scanned it, you could potentially be charged with misdemeanor larceny or felony larceny, depending on how big the item was,” Granados warned.

“Those machines are faulty in a lot of ways and they are not particularity sensitive and they will unfortunately not scan items from time to time.”

Granados has seen this happen first-hand at the expense of her clients.

“I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve talked with that have been charged with larceny because one of those machines didn’t scan appropriately,” she said.

Instacart shoppers – who make money by shopping for other people’s groceries with a company debit card – are particularly at risk, Granados said.

They are in such a hurry, trying to fill their orders, that they forget to scan something and get pinned with larceny, she explained.

Granados said charging these shoppers is “utterly nonsensical.”

She asked: “Why would you steal with someone else’s money who’s paying for it?”

Another expert has warned against using self-checkout, specifically at stores such as Walmart.

Sandra Barger, a counselor from Arizona, exclusively told The U.S. Sun: “there was one particular Walmart here in Tucson that I was getting a lot of clients [from] … it’s averaging two to three a week.”

She said it’s always the same story – “they forgot to scan something very small.”

Her clients end up paying thousands in legal fees.

If convicted, shoppers may pay fines or take hours-long courses.

Granados warned about Walmart’s approach to shoplifting.

She said: “Walmart aggressively prosecutes people that are charged with larceny.”

They have high-quality video cameras that they will check against self-checkout receipts.

“And they will come back and they will prosecute you for other events that may have occurred in the past as well because they keep that video and they keep those register receipts,” Granados said.

But it’s not just this lawyer saying it. Many are telling Americans to steer clear of Walmart self checkouts. This is a new one on TikTok:

@global_freedom_movement♬ original sound – 2freescott

At this point, I’d just use the regular checkout everywhere, and avoid the hassle. Besides, that way you’re helping a human save their job.

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