Q. Let’s say you are at the Lighthouse Place and you try to steal something by hiding it in your pants, but the clerk that works there sees you, so you remove the item and put it back and leave. Can someone still get in trouble for this even though they did not get anything? (Asking for a friend.)

A: Tell your “friend” that, generally, attempting to commit a crime is as punishable as if you completed the crime itself. Based on your scenario, the only reason why the item was not stolen was the clerk saw you (oops your friend) take and conceal the item. Taking and concealing something was the intent to commit theft. Consider the person who runs into a liquor store to rob it. As he begins to demand money, the store clerk pulls out a gun and the robber flees. The robber was not successful, but he had intentions to rob the clerk. Therefore, the attempted robbery could be prosecuted.

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