A former Target employee is revealing how the company lets people steal enough merchandise to be charged with grand theft larceny.
In a viral TikTok with almost 7 million views as of Saturday, content creator Kaitlynd (@reddnea) explains Target’s alleged systems for identifying, tracking, and eventually arresting people who repeatedly steal from their stores.
“If you’ve ’borrowed’ from Target and you think you got away with it, no you didn’t. You just opened a case on yourself,” Kaitlynd begins.
Kaitlynd details some of the tools Target uses, including hiring retired law enforcement, using facial recognition, having an asset protection team, and hiring secret shoppers.
“Their cameras are not fake,” she says. “They have their asset protection, those people that walk around with the security shirts, and they also have secret shoppers. So they look like customers, but they’re watching you.”
She continues, “They use facial recognition software, so they’ll get scans of your face and they’ll take different pictures and angles from different cameras in the store and kind of merge and blend them together to get a clear image of who you are.”
Once the store knows who you are, according to Kailtlynd, they’ll simply let you continue to steal merchandise until you’ve stolen enough to be charged with a felony.
“Then, they’re going to continue to let you ‘borrow’ things until you reach a certain dollar amount. I think it’s different in different states, but like $900 for example,” she continues. “They’ll let you take up to $900 worth of merchandise just so they can have you arrested for grand theft larceny. If you’re at $895, as soon as you walk out that door with $5 worth of merchandise, cops will be waiting for you.”
According to Cornell Law, grand larceny is the “larceny of property worth more than the given state’s statutory requirement.” As Kaitlynd mentioned, the statutory requirement differs per state, with New York’s being $1,000 and California’s being $950, for example.
Kaitlynd also shares that she witnessed Target’s policy in action.
“I worked at Target, I witnessed this happening. I worked in Style. There was always this lady who came in, went into the fitting rooms. And we would talk over the walkies and we would let everyone know she was there. Cops came. I’m not kidding,” she shares.
“Target literally runs one of the top-rated forensic labs,” she says. “They have the FBI working for them. They have retired law enforcement.”
As the video ends, Kailynd sends one final warning: “They will have you arrested on the spot when you reach that threshold. Grand theft larceny, you will go to jail.”
In the comments section, users responded with their own experiences of Target’s thorough asset protection processes.
“My brother is currently in jail on a grand larceny charge from Target she ain’t lying lol,” one user wrote.
“I discovered their asset protection was real when they used to follow me around while I was couponing. They have no chill,” another viewer shared.
“As a former Target employee I can confirm this is true. They won’t jump over and tackle you but they will build a case over time,” came a third response.
Others saw the $900 example Kaitlynd gave as a free “borrowing” limit.
“So what you are saying is I got up to a certain amount,” one viewer wrote.
The Daily Dot has previously reported on how huge retail stores like Walmart and Target use high-resolution cameras and microphones to keep tabs on those who repeatedly steal and arrest offenders on the spot once they’ve reached the state’s statutory limit.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Kaitlynd via Instagram message and Target via email for more information.