Can a grocery store file theft charges against you for unreturned movies?

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Can a grocery store file theft charges against you for unreturned movies?

We rented movies from a store in our area, and they are currently 17 days over due. We recieved a phone call from the police dept letting us know that the store has filed theft charges against us and we will be arrested. I have never heard of such a thing and am wondering if this is legal?

Asked on October 27, 2010 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it does wound ludicrous but apparently the police department gave them an ear and let them file the charges.  So I am leaning toward legal here.  What does your rental contract state?  That the movies will be returned within a certain period of time?  Well not returning them is a form of theft so there is some validity to the claim.  I would call the movie store and give them a piece of my mind.  A simple reminder would have been more appropriate and I would let them know that this was not a good business decision.  Then return the movies as soon as you can.  Then find another movie store.  Good luck.  


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