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Can someone just buy everything, walk past a security grandma that requests your receipt, and proceed to your car? We keep bouncing back and forth between policy consent and "phantom" consequences. If there are essentially no consequences, then there is no policy.
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
. . . she said she was a police officer and asked for help.

She didn’t get any help, though.

The woman bit Bennett’s arm and grabbed her hair. A man grabbed Bennett by her hair. Another woman held her down.

“Several people in the crowd that had gathered then grabbed onto me by my hair, arms and clothing, pulled me off of [the woman] and allowed her to escape,†Bennett reported.

Todd said he called 911, but got a busy signal. He called a second time, and when he couldn’t get through, he then left the scene and continued shopping.

“At this time,†Bennett said, “my badge was in plain view on the ground next to where [the woman] and myself had been. Several Wal-Mart employees were yelling that I was a police officer and for them to let me go.â€
I am surprised nobody has commented on this part of the story.
Well the article did say that she was not in uniform. In a cat fight feeding frenzy maybe folks didn't notice her badge laying on the ground or even believe her claims of being a police officer. Just sayin...
 

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lsu_nonleg said:
Can someone just buy everything, walk past a security grandma that requests your receipt, and proceed to your car?
Absolutely.
 

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lsu_nonleg said:
I thought the racism came from the hair pulling and restraint of the cop. C'est la vie. You want to know racism, be one of two white guys in the Army ROTC battalion at Grambling.
Or the only white guy on the basketball court in a 75% black high school. :)
 

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Rammstein said:
lsu_nonleg said:
Can someone just buy everything, walk past a security grandma that requests your receipt, and proceed to your car?
Absolutely.
I was asking someone to *DO* it to test out how far they're willing to go to enforce policy. No points given if you're OC, though.
 

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Thorsen,

Tell me, what do you suggest they do? Hand out flowers while 100 patrons simply walk out the door with computers in their hands? I guess we just differ on this one and there is no middle ground. I have no problem with a store making certain that I've paid for THEIR goods before I leave with them.

If you're sitting in your office this afternoon and a scraggly looking character whom you've never seen before walks in and silently picks up your computer and proceeds to leave with it, what would you do? Might you ask him who he is and why he's taking your computer? Or would you simply assume he's a stand up computer technician sent to help? I've got $100 bucks says you'd ask him who he was and maybe even ask who sent him and to provide ID. That's simply not violating his rights.......it's protecting yours.
 

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lsu_nonleg said:
Rammstein said:
[quote="lsu_nonleg":1a0mmyg4] Can someone just buy everything, walk past a security grandma that requests your receipt, and proceed to your car?
Absolutely.
I was asking someone to *DO* it to test out how far they're willing to go to enforce policy. No points given if you're OC, though.[/quote:1a0mmyg4]
I'll do it.

But let's do it at Best Buy they have the most "security" at the door and they always ask to see a receipt and look in the bag.
 

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Rammstein said:
lsu_nonleg said:
Rammstein said:
[quote="lsu_nonleg":2e5k5o1q] Can someone just buy everything, walk past a security grandma that requests your receipt, and proceed to your car?
Absolutely.
I was asking someone to *DO* it to test out how far they're willing to go to enforce policy. No points given if you're OC, though.
I'll do it.

But let's do it at Best Buy they have the most "security" at the door and they always ask to see a receipt and look in the bag.[/quote:2e5k5o1q]

I've never been asked at a Best Buy, even when I bought my laptop. Of course I'm a damn good looking man, too. Giggity.
 

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Bulldawg182 said:
Tell me, what do you suggest they do?
He's already said he would PM you what they can and should do to prevent patron harassment at the door and still prevent theft.
 

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Bulldawg182 wrote:
I'm no lawyer, but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn last night. Wink

Budder wrote:
You can avoid all those hotel stays if you just buy your wife some jewelry every now and then Wink
What would she want with jewelry??? I just got her a new AR....what more could a girl want? I'm not gonna spoil her. :rotfl2:
 

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Keep in mind that a shopkeeper in Georgia has the right to detain someone if he reasonably believes he may have shoplifted. And he is immune from prosecution and civil suit if he has such a reasonable belief.
 

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Bulldawg182 said:
Thorsen,

Tell me, what do you suggest they do? Hand out flowers while 100 patrons simply walk out the door with computers in their hands? I guess we just differ on this one and there is no middle ground. I have no problem with a store making certain that I've paid for THEIR goods before I leave with them.

If you're sitting in your office this afternoon and a scraggly looking character whom you've never seen before walks in and silently picks up your computer and proceeds to leave with it, what would you do? Might you ask him who he is and why he's taking your computer? Or would you simply assume he's a stand up computer technician sent to help? I've got $100 bucks says you'd ask him who he was and maybe even ask who sent him and to provide ID. That's simply not violating his rights.......it's protecting yours.
It's not the same situation. There is a difference between a store open to the public and an office. The store should expect people to leave with items, while Thorsen has no reason to believe that the guy's behavior is authorized. If the store wants to make sure that I've paid for their goods, then they can assign me a shopping assistant. After I've paid for the items, the goods belong to me, regardless of whether or not I'm in the store.
 

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Good thing you're not trying to apply this to the government, budder :)

MP, that's why I drew out the young nothing-to-lose college student to run the first test!

You can tell them to run security tape of the register that shows your item being scanned and rung up, which will grant your detained release without a receipt.
 

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It's not the same situation. There is a difference between a store open to the public and an office. The store should expect people to leave with items, while Thorsen has no reason to believe that the guy's behavior is authorized. If the store wants to make sure that I've paid for their goods, then they can assign me a shopping assistant. After I've paid for the items, the goods belong to me, regardless of whether or not I'm in the store.
Who said his office isn't open to the public. I didn't mean to suggest he worked for the CIA. If it makes it easier, assume his office is in a retail store in the middle of the public section. It makes no difference what is expected. What matters is you have no right to take what's mine until you've paid for it and I have the right to hold on to it until I know that you did. The store should expect people to leave with items they've PAID for only and should have the right to ascertain that.....and they do.

What's the difference between "assigning you a shopping assistant" and paying one person to politely ask for your receipt? Why would one be ok and the other a violation of your rights? You're certainly correct that "after you've paid for the items they belong to you"...but that has no bearing on the store's ability or right to make certain that you did indeed pay for them.

Sometimes I really wonder where the battle for our rights conflicts with what is actually RIGHT. :?:
 

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lsu, what do you mean?

Bulldawg182 said:
Who said his office isn't open to the public. I didn't mean to suggest he worked for the CIA. If it makes it easier, assume his office is in a retail store in the middle of the public section. It makes no difference what is expected. What matters is you have no right to take what's mine until you've paid for it and I have the right to hold on to it until I know that you did. The store should expect people to leave with items they've PAID for only and should have the right to ascertain that.....and they do.
They can ascertain that at the register. Are you saying they should be allowed to pat me down before leaving? Does that mean that if you were to leave my house, where the laws about private property are even more in favor of me, I can have you cavity searched or thrown in a pool to see if you displace more water than when you came in?

What's the difference between "assigning you a shopping assistant" and paying one person to politely ask for your receipt? Why would one be ok and the other a violation of your rights?
Well, I would be able to leave at any time. In the case of the door checker, I would not be. Also I wouldn't have to push a cart around and I'd have someone that could answer questions. Both are services that are mutually beneficial, since I might buy more products.

You're certainly correct that "after you've paid for the items they belong to you"...but that has no bearing on the store's ability or right to make certain that you did indeed pay for them.
Can restaurants require a vomit sample and perform a chemical analysis to make sure you ate only the food on your plate? Of course, you can't leave the restaurant until the results get back from the lab in a couple of weeks. And you don't get notified of this policy until you leave.
 

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Well, the pre-emptive "we're taking your money until you prove to us that it's not yours" system used with taxation. Or the "receipt" you have to show even when you don't owe any taxes with states (ie, you still have to file if you earned income in that state.)

And you don't get notified of this policy until you leave
So, you should be preemptive about notifying the merchant you have no intent to let them detain you for any reason after you have purchased their items ...
 

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Since I am the proverbial pain in the :censored: on most of these topics, I'll walk away now. But don't let that convince you that I agree....cause I don't. I think your arguments are thin and your logic is questionable.....yet I acknowledge your right to have them both. Just rest assured that if I owned a retail store and you came in and were leaving with my property and I wasn't sure you paid for it or saw you coming from an area away from the registers or with an unwrapped or bagged piece of merchandise, I'd ask for your receipt.

Likewise, if any of you own a retail store, I'll smile as I'm leaving it with your property and wait to see what you do. 8) :lol:
 

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lsu_nonleg said:
Can someone just buy everything, walk past a security grandma that requests your receipt, and proceed to your car? We keep bouncing back and forth between policy consent and "phantom" consequences. If there are essentially no consequences, then there is no policy.
IANAL .. that being said.

Short answer, yes.

Long answer. According to the Georgia Shoplifter's Act, Georgia shopkeepers must show "that the person had so conducted himself or behaved in such a manner as to cause a man of reasonable prudence to believe that the person was committing the crime of shoplifting" in order to be protected from liability for the detention or arrest of a customer.

Well, what constitutes probable cause then that would cause a reasonable person to conclude shoplifting was occuring?

In Tomblin v. S.S. Kresge Company a woman was arrested based on store employees seeing her pick up an item and later put her hand in her pocket. She was taken to an office, forced to empty her pockets and later handed over to a police officer to be taken to jail. Her statement was that she had reached in her pocket for a kleenex (of which some were found) and that she still held the store's merchandise in her hands. She sued the company, but the company asked for and received a directed verdict from the trial judge based on the Georgia Shoplifter's Act's protection for shopkeepers if they show reasonable cause for detaining someone suspected of shoplifting. This directed verdict was appealed and the appellant court determined "We reverse for the sole reason that we find a factual issue to be resolved by the jury, viz., whether the defendant's servants or agents had reasonable cause to believe that the plaintiff had engaged in an act of shoplifting when they detained, questioned plaintiff and thereafter delivered her over to the police." So the court determined that merely putting your hand in your pocket while holding merchant property was not enough reasonable cause to give the merchant automatic protection under the shoplifting act and should have been left up to a jury to decide.

In a 1995 case, Robert and Annie Simmons filed suit against Kroger, the store manager, and the store's security guard for false imprisonment, false arrest, tortious misconduct and loss of consortium for an incident that occured at an Atlanta Kroger location. Evidently, the security guard, acting on information from an unnamed employee accosted Mr. Simmons because he said this employee had told him that Simmons was seen eating candy. The false arrest and tortious misconduct charges were dropped in summary judgement, but on the remaining counts the Simmons prevailed in court and were awarded $23,300. The Simmons appealed the summary judgement on the two charges the court did not let a jury hear and won a reversal of the judgement in appellate court. Again the courts declared that whether or not the merchant acted reasonably was a matter for a jury to decide.

So will you or the business prevail if it goes to court? I guess that depends on the jury decision as to whether or not the business had probable cause to detain you simply over your refusal to show a receipt. Juries in the past have refused to give this protection to retailers when they had actual statements or video concerning possible shoplifting, so I would say that the business is most likely going to lose.

This is why most large corporations have very strict guidelines concerning what their employees can and cannot do when it comes to shoplifters. In every company I have ever worked for only loss prevention or a member of store management could make the decision to detain a customer. And then they could only do so after the customer was clearly observed taking an item, concealing it, and had passed the last possible point in the store where they could pay for the item, all the while under constant surveillance to ensure that they did not drop the item in some other location of the store.

So, because of my experience with other retailers I seriously doubt that Walmart, Best Buy or Circuit City have other policies that allow their door employees to decide on their own to detain a customer, or even for the manager to detain a customer based solely on them not cooperating with a door checker. The risk is far too great for them to allow such an internal policy.

One little nugget to keep in mind though, the shoplifter's act does give the retailer a statutory protection on detaining you if their door sensor goes off. So if that cashier forgets to swipe the sensor over their magnetic plate at the register and you walk through the door causing the door alarm to go off, you can be detained and the business will face absolutely no liability for doing so.
 
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