Autozone Shoplifting Policy? (What’S Covered + More)

Autozone Shoplifting Policy

Understanding a place’s shoplifting policy can be important for a number of reasons, especially if you have taken something from that shop, or you are considering doing so. Shoplifting is a dangerous thing to do and can have long-term repercussions.

AutoZone does not publish a specific shoplifting policy online, but it is very likely that you will be pursued and prosecuted if you steal items from an AutoZone store. This is true even if nobody tries to prevent you from leaving or commenting on anything as you walk out of the store.

Let’s learn more about this!

What Is AutoZone’s Shoplifting Policy?

AutoZone does not have a publicly available policy on shoplifting and does not say whether it will prosecute individuals who shoplift. However, if you steal from a store, you are always at risk of prosecution, because theft is a crime regardless of the company’s policies.

It’s crucial to be aware of this if you are thinking of taking something from an AutoZone, or if you have done so. The store can pursue you for the goods or can require the police to step in.

Depending on what you stole and how much it was worth, this can result in an arrest, a fine, community service, or even prison time.

Note that AutoZone doesn’t have any obligation to publish a shoplifting policy online, and can pursue thieves just as easily as if it had a published policy.

Read also >> Does Autozone Buy Old Batteries? (Recycling + More)

Can You Go To Prison For Stealing From AutoZone?

The penalty for shoplifting will depend on your state and the value of the goods you stole, but you might be at risk of going to prison, yes.

If you stole a large amount or if the goods were high-value, you are at a higher risk of being arrested and tried for theft.

You should therefore be very cautious about stealing from any store, whether that’s AutoZone or any other. Even low value goods can trigger a fine and possible jail time, especially for repeat offences. You can be imprisoned for a first-time offence too.

For higher amounts, you could be facing felony charges, as high-value theft is a felony. This can come with years or even decades in prison, so be very aware of this before you consider taking anything from any store, regardless of their policies. You are taking a very high risk.

What If Nobody Tried To Stop You?

You might think that if nobody noticed you walking out with the goods, you’re safe, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

You can be tried and prosecuted for shoplifting later if the store attendants noticed but didn’t approach you, or if you are identified from camera footage.

You might think that the chances of this happening are low, but many stores do stock checks throughout the day and will review the camera footage if there’s a discrepancy. If you are seen on camera stealing and they can identify you, you may be contacted by the police.

How long they have to pursue you for the theft will depend on the value of the goods you took and the state you are in. Some states have longer statutes of limitations than others. In many states, companies have between 6 months and a year to pursue individuals for petty theft, but much longer for major theft.

Even if you think you have gotten away with it in the moment, you may be contacted at a later date. Be aware of this if you are thinking of taking anything from AutoZone or any other store.

A lot of stores do not request that their staff attempt to stop shoplifters, because there is a risk of an altercation and negative publicity. They don’t want to cause a scene that may disturb other shoppers and discourage them from shopping there in the future.

Additionally, employees are not usually trained to deal with thieves, and asking them to do so may cause insurance problems and other complications.

Big stores like AutoZone therefore often prefer to take note of customers who are stealing and follow up with them later if necessary. This is a low-risk strategy that reduces the fuss.

Can You Be Banned From Shoplifting?

Yes, AutoZone can ban individuals who shoplift from their stores and cancel their accounts even if they choose not to pursue the individuals legally.

If the store decides that you present a nuisance or a threat, they may ask you not to come back. They are allowed to do this, because stores are private property, and they have the right to refuse customers entry.

The AutoZone “Rules and Regulations” document says that it reserves the right to refuse service, cancel orders, and terminate customer accounts at its discretion. It also specifies that this may be done if it believes that the customer is breaking the law or acting in a way that is harmful to AutoZone.

They can ban you even if they cannot prove that you are guilty of any crime. AutoZone does not need physical evidence of shoplifting to ban somebody, so they may do this if they suspect you of stealing but have no proof.

If a staff member thinks they saw you taking something or if they have noticed items going missing after your visit but they don’t have camera footage, they may simply tell you not to come back. This is often easier than pursuing individuals, especially if the goods being taken are low value and not worth recovering.

Getting banned for shoplifting is common, and it’s important to be aware that this is a risk, even if you are good enough to avoid being directly caught.

If the store suspects you, they may either ban you outright, or might make greater efforts to catch you in the act.

What Should You Do If You Have Taken Something From AutoZone?

If you have shoplifted an item, it is best to get in touch with an attorney for advice on how to deal with it. You can do this even if you have not been contacted by the police.

They will be able to offer you the best legal advice on how to handle the situation and minimize the problems that may arise from it.

It is also advisable not to return to the AutoZone that you took something from, or to other nearby stores. The AutoZone may have circulated your picture or description and may pursue you if you enter the store, even if you don’t take anything.

You should instead shop online or find a completely different location, where you are unlikely to be recognized.

Avoiding AutoZones entirely may be wise, at least until the statute of limitations has run out. Find out what this is in your state and remember that it is likely to depend on the value of the items you stole.


Although AutoZone doesn’t have a public shoplifting policy, they will still take action against shoplifters, and may choose to ban you or involve the police if you steal from them.

Shoplifting comes with fines and possible jail sentences even for low-value theft; be aware of this before you decide to take something from a store.

Reference Sources

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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