Extrajudicial Measures

Scenario

Comic Book Shoplifter
James has just turned 12 years old. He goes to Mr. Chin’s store with his friend, Max. While Max is distracting Mr. Chin, James steals a $40.00 collector comic book, hiding it under his shirt. Mr. Chin stops him outside the store and finds the comic book. The police are called and James is arrested. It is James first offence.

If you were the police officer how would you deal with James?
Select one of the answers below:

1. Warn the youth
2. Refer the youth to a community agency
3. Caution the youth
4. Charge the youth with a criminal offence

What did the officer do?
The police officer decided that since this is James’ first offence he would take James home to his parents. He told both boys that they could not go back to that store. The officer told James' parents about the theft. James was given a warning by the police officer.