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If I enter a store and a friend steals something without my knowledge and gets caught, am I guilty by association?

A couple of friends and myself walked into the local store a couple of days ago to pick up some gear for an upcoming camping trip. We split up to cover more ground and get what we needed more quickly. We all met back at the front registers to complete our purchases. The next thing I know, several store employees are coming up to us, first grabbing one of my friends, then escorting the rest of us to a back office. The Manager said they had my friend on tape stealing some items. He said that we came in together and must have split up to seem less suspicious and to distract from the theft. We all said we had no idea that he was stealing and my friend even said that we had nothing to do with his actions. Now a couple days later, I'm being asked to come into court by authorities, stating I'm being strung into this mess because I'm "guilty by association". Can I fight this and is this going to cause me a lot of trouble?

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    William R. Pelger | Pelger Law
    2108 West Street
    Munhall, PA 15120
    (412) 461-1900
    If what you say is true, get a lawyer, as that case sounds like you can win it.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania - Replied: 4/24/2013
    James Falk | Bush Law Group
    1 Broad Street
    Charleston, SC 29401
    (843) 300-1047
    The State would have to prove that you were a willing participant in the theft.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina - Replied: 4/24/2013
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