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Woman Jailed on 22-Year-Old Shoplifting Warrant

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on January 24, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A warrant was issued for Robin Hall's arrest back in 1991 after she was caught shoplifting cigarettes and failed to pay some court fees. She gave police the slip for 22 years, but her past finally caught up with her -- and totally ruined her vacation.

To be fair, it's not like Hall was living a life of crime. In all these years, she earned her degree, got married, had children, and now designs jet engines for an aerospace manufacturer. She's not exactly a dangerous element.

Even more bizarre, police found Hall last Thursday when she was disembarking from a Disney Dream cruise with her family. Their tip-off shows how hard it is for criminals to hide.

For national security reasons, police checked the records of all passengers on the cruise ship before it docked in Port Canaveral, Florida. They were looking for terror suspects potentially entering the country, reports NBC News.

But as part of that search, officers could also see if any passengers had a criminal record. When they got to Hall, they noticed that she had an outstanding warrant.

When she and her family got off the boat, police pulled Hall aside, said they had a warrant for her arrest, and took her to jail.

What's perhaps more surprising is that Hall hasn't been found before. These days, it's much easier for police to catch people with outstanding warrants.

There's of course the possibility that when you enter or exit the country, a now-routine background check of passengers will reveal the warrant. Being pulled over for a traffic violation could also tip police off to the fact that you've been avoiding justice.

Even if you don't do anything wrong, you may still get caught. Many jobs require employees to go through some form of background check before being hired.

Some states, like Massachusetts, even mandate that all public or private employees who work with children, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations undergo a criminal background check. Some hospitals also conduct background checks on certain visitors.

All Robin Hall did was fail to pay $85 in court fees 22 years ago, leading to her cigarette-shoplifting arrest warrant, Orlando's WESH-TV reports. But because of her tardiness, she had to spend a long weekend in jail while her case was transferred.

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