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What happens when you're accused of shoplifting at a huge corporate chain like Target? Well, even if the evidence is thin, they don't let you off with a slap on the wrist. Nicola, an (innocent, she argues) shopper who was picked up at one of the retailer's Brooklyn outposts, was hauled handcuffed out of the store, thrown in the back of a police car and taken to a jail in Bed-Stuy, where she spent ten hours in a jail cell and was charged with Petty Larceny, a crime that could land her in the clink. Deciding to fight back, she's hired an attorney and is blogging about her plight.
Here's her account of the events that led to a night in a Brooklyn jail cell:
Nicola is shopping at Tar-gét, Brooklyn, using a reusable canvas Wholefoods bag. The items in the bag include a Jovovich-Hawk dress, a book by Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, and a twin sized inflatable mattress. She steps into the Customer Service area to check her messages, still in the store, by the trolleys and the 1 hour photo, never leaving the shop floor. She realizes that she hasn't looked at her phone since the night before and she has 4 missed calls and 1 text message. Pacing, with one finger in her ear, the other hand pressing her tin pot mobile pay-as-you-go phone to her ear, she strains to listen to the voicemails. Suddenly she feels a hand on her shoulder. "Come with me now" the average sized, red shirted man rushes her to a room forcefully, and Nicola protests "I have to listen to my messages" followed by "I'm not finished shopping - what is this about?". It transpired that she unknowingly crossed the "Point of Sale" and rather than look her in the eye or listen to what she has to say, they say they are going to press charges.If anything, this serves as a warning to be very careful whilst browsing at Target. But if you're interested in helping Nicola out, she's got a PayPal link on her blog.
· Free Nicola [Official Site]