Errors turn Snohomish shoplifters into felons

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- The Snohomish County sheriff's office says it sees about one shoplifting case a week that turns from a misdemeanor into a felony because the shoplifter scuffles with security guards or makes threats.

Spokesman Kevin Prentiss says it often happens impulsively when a shoplifter tries to flee. A Lynnwood man who fled a store with a ream of paper and a pair of scissors last week was arrested for robbery after he threatened a worker with the scissors.

A spokeswoman for the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, Barbara Staib, says shoplifters would be well-advised to take takes their lumps because most shoplifting cases don't result in much jail time.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com