Very likely. With many retailers, there is a common policy/practice against prosecuting first time shoplifters, due to the burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt), and the time commitment vis a vis the loss (i.e.--having to arrange for employees to testify at trial, give multiple statements, possibly depos, etc. over a an item or few, less than $50). IOW, they often have a defendant on tape at least a couple of times, before forwarding the matter to the police. That way, when they try to raise this "oops, forgot to pay" BS, or "golly gee, I didn't realize the most expensive item in my cart was conveniently on the bottom rack" stuff---they get to answer the much tougher question: What about the other times? ...and 'beyond a reasonable doubt' suddenly becomes a much more manageable burden for both the prosecutor, and the retailer. Just a guess here, but I'd venture that not only were they already clued in to his intentions before or upon seeing him enter the store--they were probably already rather familiar with his M.O.