The question was could the audio be admissabble.
And then your answer was 'more than likely'. You supported your answer with only one argument, i.e. that it was irrelevant whether wiretapping laws were broken, the evidence would be admitted.
I then cited a Federal Wiretapping Statute (18 2515) which apparently states otherwise.
You did not object directly to my citation. Instead you proceeded to ask a series of rhetorical questions aimed at ridiculing the actual enforcement of the statute violations based on your experience. But here you provided only moot examples which are clearly not in violation to begin with.
Have I mistated anything in my paraphrase above? I ask only because I am going to assume you wish to modify your argument from wiretap laws are irrelevant to no wiretap laws were broken as your reason for the admissibility of evidence. If so, that is fine by me.
To be clear though, "the question is could the audio be admissabble?" was not anyone's actual or implied question. The only reason I can see that you might think that is because I said:
And that's what would make the underlying case so comical, the ACLU might try arguing that the theif had a reasonable expectation of privacy when speaking (to anyone besides the attendant). Although I don't agree at all...
But even then I was just saying it was likely the ACLU would file a motion to suppress, not that it should and would prevail. The reason: Because the theif's privacy rights are not violated since he is cleary not trying to be private, since he is yelling!
So you see we now agree, the evidence is 'most likely admissible' , we just differed (at first) on the reason. :)
Returning now to Brian's question of "whether wiretapping took place here.", I offered my conditions above. And though I agree that the theif's rights were not violated by the setup, it is an open question whether the store's audio recording, if indeed covert, has ever violated patrons privacy. But now I would like to offer some up naive speculation that I would love for you tear down mercilessly, if at all possible:
Namely, if the theif were caught due in part to the audio, and if a casual inspection of the in-store recording setup were to indicate possible and potential wiretap violations, might a clever defense attorney cause the evidence to be withdrawn simply by the filing the motion to supress, since it would require sworn statements supporting the foundation and reliability of the evidence, which might be self-incriminating and therefore something the store owner would wish to avoid. And therefore the prosecution would withdraw, if the case doesn't hinge upon it?