If you are wrongly accused of stealing, do not communicate with police or law enforcement without the presence of counsel. If you are being investigated for theft, do not speak to anybody, including the police, at your home, workplace, or other location unless counsel is present. Police officers are trained to manipulate you into making damning or conflicting statements that they can use against you in court.
The first thing you should do if you’re accused of theft–or any other crime is to Stop Speaking. Please do not speak to anyone about it, including the cops.
They may use anything you say to authorities (police, prosecutor, etc.) against you. However, if you say anything to someone else and the police pick up that comment, they may also be able to use it. Even if you believe you’re simply talking about things that benefit you–defenses, explanations, and so on–the authorities can use a subsequent contradiction to undermine your credibility.
It is your right under the Fifth Amendment not to incriminate oneself (your right against “self-incrimination”), sometimes known as the “right to quiet” or “taking the Fifth.” Make use of that privilege.
Second, you should get a lawyer. While the penalties you may face may vary depending on how much money or property you are suspected of stealing–the more valuable the goods, the longer the potential jail time–if you are charged with theft, prison, and fines are all possibilities. Follow your attorney’s advice once you’ve hired them; you’ve hired them for their knowledge.
You also want to make things as simple for your lawyer as possible. Collect, consolidate, and duplicate any material they might use to forgive you, such as evidence that you were not the perpetrator of the crime.
Would you mind making a list of any other evidence or testimony they may use to defend you so that your attorney may properly seek it? For instance, if you went to any stores with security cameras during the claimed crime, consult expert lawyers such as Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian. A specialist attorney might subpoena the video material. If you interacted with someone when the alleged theft occurred, your lawyer can meet with those prospective witnesses to determine if their testimony will aid you.