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  1. #1
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    Question on store loss prevention and shoplifting

    Ok after reading another post by a loss prevention officer.

    Not knowing anything on the subject. Why as a shoplifter who just got caught would I co-operate with store security and not just run away getting lost in the croud mixing in with civilization?

    I am sure there are laws involved in dis-obeying a police officer and resisting arrest if fleeing a crime if, but how about dis-obeying a store security officer?

    If they can solve the crime and figure out who I am and get me arrested and convicted after the fact for the crime, what additional punishment could there be that would be a downside for me escaping rather than complying at the time of the crime?

  2. #2
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    There is actually a law against it here, ive seen people charged with it, let me see if i can find the statute, and ill post it. Retail loss prevention has the right to pursue and forsibly detain a fleeing suspect.
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  3. #3
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    What other crimes would you like advice on about evading capture?
    Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.

  4. #4
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    I'll say this, the idea of the security I'm familiar with doing any sort or real policing scares me.

    I work in relatively high end retail and the security guards in our complex found out I want to be a cop. Needless to say I'm now a walking bulletin board for their LEO complaints...

    Heard this the other day

    "Ya man, dam offica cam and ran my plates and said I had I wawant, but Iz knows he can't take me to da jail whys I'm at work, so I just laughed"

    Me: There's no law saying he can't arrest you at work...

    "Really?"

    Guys, he carries a gun.

  5. #5
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    Well, I'll hazard a guess. Running proves intent, so if you are caught you'd be charged with burglary, not shoplifting. Felony vs misdemeanor.
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  6. #6
    Molon Labe
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    No extra charges here for running....unless you fight with the LP guys....then its considered strong arm robbery......
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hineline View Post
    Ok after reading another post by a loss prevention officer.

    Not knowing anything on the subject. Why as a shoplifter who just got caught would I co-operate with store security and not just run away getting lost in the croud mixing in with civilization?

    I am sure there are laws involved in dis-obeying a police officer and resisting arrest if fleeing a crime if, but how about dis-obeying a store security officer?
    As far as I know there aren't any additional charges for someone fleeing after shoplifting in Texas, unless they cause bodily injury or put someone in fear of bodily injury. One of the stores for the company I work for in a neighboring city attempted an apprehension on a woman, and her boyfriend/husband got involved and started fighting with the employees and reaching into his waistband like he was going for a weapon. The loss prevention employees let them go and now they're wanted for robbery as opposed to theft.

    From what I've seen, usually the "boosters" (the ones who regularly shoplift for income) will resist because they know there's a chance the loss prevention employee will disengage for their safety, and the opportunists will comply - maybe out of ignorance of the law and store policies, or hoping that their cooperation will help them in their coming criminal and civil suits.

  8. #8
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    Years ago when I worked retail for a short time we got a seminar talking about being realy sure of the attempted theft, because if we detained the perp and prevented them from leaving the person who did it for the store could be charged with kidnapping if the person was not stealing. The biggest crime I have commited is to keep walking away from the 90yr old receipt checking lady at Walmart when the theft alarms go off. I was just wondering why many if many do comply and wait for the police to respond.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by insomniac View Post
    I wish my lawn was emo so it would cut itself.
    Ahahahahahahahaha
    --I work Security--

    Question: "Why Don't they give you guys guns?"
    Answer: "Because i would shoot people who ask stupid questions"

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hineline View Post
    Years ago when I worked retail for a short time we got a seminar talking about being realy sure of the attempted theft, because if we detained the perp and prevented them from leaving the person who did it for the store could be charged with kidnapping if the person was not stealing. The biggest crime I have commited is to keep walking away from the 90yr old receipt checking lady at Walmart when the theft alarms go off. I was just wondering why many if many do comply and wait for the police to respond.
    We have specific steps we must following to ensure we don't make any bad stops. The first time you make a bad stop you get a write up and put on probation for a period of time. If you make another bad stop during that probation period you're let go I believe.

    Where I work, once someone is detained for shoplifting they're taken to a specific room and kept there until the police arive. If they resisted and were placed into cuffs, they'll remain in cuffs until the police arrive. If they're particularly fiesty they are cuffed to the bench. Whether the shoplifter is in cuffs or not, someone is standing in front of the only exit to prevent them from running out of the door. That doesn't always deter everyone, of course. I saw video of a guy who attempted to flee after the police removed the loss prevention employee's cuffs to place their own on the guy. He didn't make it very far.

    I'm always told that those alarms help deter theft, but I pretty much think they're a waste. There's almost never anybody at the door to respond to them, and even if they were there is no obligation for someone to stop and show a receipt if they go off. Most shoplifters get around the system in various ways, or just walk out with the merchandise while the alarm is going off. The majority of the time it's a false alarm anyways. The cashier either fails to deactivate the tags, or the device to deactivate the tag isn't working. Just about everybody who walks in wearing old navy clothing will set off the alarm.

  11. #11
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    While we're quoting signatures here

    Question: "Why Don't they give you guys guns?"
    Answer: "Because i would shoot people who ask stupid questions"
    I love it! I'd try that line on someone but I'm half afraid they would complain to my manager that I threatened to shoot them.

  12. #12
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    Well, at least in Ohio, it's totally legal for loss prevention to physically detain someone for theft. If you were to fight with loss prevention to escape, then you're looking at a potential robbery charge.
    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
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  13. #13
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    There's no other charge in NC for running from Security or Loss Prevention. However, if you're caught in the store it's shoplifting. As soon as you step outside the business you've committed larceny. I'd say that about 75% of people caught around my area comply with LP because I don't think they realize they don't have to, to be honest with you.


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  14. #14
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    Ok in Texas I don't believe there is a charge for running from a security guard. However if the guard issues a lawful arrest they may use force 'with in reason' to detain said person.

  15. #15
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    Here's the statute in Florida. I used it the other day. My guy punched a Wal-Mart asset protection exployee after they confronted him, ran into the parking lot where he got tackled. Also charged him with battery.

    812.015(6):An individual who, while committing
    or after committing theft of property, transit
    fare evasion, or trespass, resists the reasonable
    effort of a law enforcement officer, merchant,
    merchant’s employee, farmer, or a transit agency’s
    employee or agent to recover the property
    or cause the individual to pay the proper
    transit fare or vacate the transit facility which
    the law enforcement officer, merchant, merchant’s
    employee, farmer, or a transit agency’s
    employee or agent had probable cause to
    believe the individual had concealed or removed
    from its place of display or elsewhere or perpetrated
    a transit fare evasion or trespass commits
    a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable
    as provided in §775.082 or §775.083, unless the
    individual did not know, or did not have reason
    to know, that the person seeking to recover the
    property was a law enforcement officer, merchant,
    merchant’s employee, farmer, or a transit
    agency’s employee or agent. For purposes of
    this section the charge of theft and the charge
    of resisting may be tried concurrently.
    Last edited by JustTooBig; 01-06-2009 at 08:23 AM.

  16. #16
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    The last guy beat me to it. It's an extra charge in Florida.

  17. #17
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    In PA You are charged with robbery if you fight the security. They can chase you. They can handcuff you.
    Chances are you might be let go and banned from the store if it was a smaller amount ($10.00 and under). If you fight or run those chances go out the window.
    If you run you could be considered a flight risk when it comes time for your bail. So keep that in mind as well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bing_Oh View Post
    Well, at least in Ohio, it's totally legal for loss prevention to physically detain someone for theft. If you were to fight with loss prevention to escape, then you're looking at a potential robbery charge.
    It would not be robbery if it was an error on the loss prevention persons part, and if they used violence first it would not go well for them in court. Also I am armed and they are not, and I do not have to advise them of that, and in fact I have no way to REALLY know they are loss prevention people now do I ? I suppose their use of a tactical forward roll does sort of indicate they have mall ninja training :-).

    Bill

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by insomniac View Post
    We have specific steps we must following to ensure we don't make any bad stops.
    The same with me. My partner and I attempted and apprehension on a guy that had stuffed portable dvd players in his waistband, but when he tried to bolt we lost our footing on the wet pavement. Needless to say a struggle ensued and we had to let him go, but not before we had his jacket and shoe, and of course, the portable dvd players. We got his plates, and he'll be charged with robbery.
    Last edited by DTM_87; 01-06-2009 at 10:51 AM.

  20. #20
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    Aside from theft charges, anyone that fights with security/LP in TN gets hit with an assault charge (at minimum). Robbery charges could possibly apply if the circumstances are right.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

  21. #21
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    Dont forget florida also has resisting a merchant charge
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hineline View Post
    Years ago when I worked retail for a short time we got a seminar talking about being realy sure of the attempted theft, because if we detained the perp and prevented them from leaving the person who did it for the store could be charged with kidnapping if the person was not stealing. The biggest crime I have commited is to keep walking away from the 90yr old receipt checking lady at Walmart when the theft alarms go off. I was just wondering why many if many do comply and wait for the police to respond.
    Walking away from the reciept lady at Wal-Mart is not a crime. You've already paid for your merchandise. I'm not certain about a retail outlet being charged with Kidnapping/False Imprisonment, but they can certainly be sued if the elements of the shoplifting(theft) are not present.

  23. #23
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    In KY, if loss prevention stops you it is almost always outside of the store doors. If you return to the store peacefully you are charged with Theft By Unlawful Taking (TBUT) over or under $300, with $300 being felony amount. If someone decideds to fight with the LP they are charged with Robbery.

    Once a female stole slightly under $300 but when stopped, she had a list of items that she intended to steal. When officer's searched her bag, she also had a pair of wire cutters, which she used to cut off ink tags so she was also charged with poss. of burglary tools.

  24. #24
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    We had some meth-head make a run for it with several walkie-talkies he had stolen. We had a couple guys take off after him into the lot, and tackle the guy. Most likely a no-no according to company policy, but chances are he isnt gonna try it again. We dont take $%#@ from thieves!

    In IN, if you willfully and knowingly conceal merchandise with intent to steal it, you can be busted for shoplifting. However, what most stores do is wait till they pass the registers and stop em at the doors, or just get their plate # and face and pass the word around town. (Local PD actually has a monthly meeting with several large businesses in town to trade info/pictures and habits, etc)
    Our store tries to "discourage" shoplifters. We'll be very blatant and stay in the aisle they are in, or walk up to em and ask if they need help. Actually just yesterday my manager asked a guy if he needed help, as the guy was trying to steal a very nice drill. Guy declined, put the drill (out of its secure packaging) back in his cart, and headed up to the registers, where he left the cart and drill and headed out. Ive followed and watched a girl who was gonna hide a smaller drill under her coat and walk out the front doors (no registers there), but I was in plain sight and very obvious, so she just left it on the floor, pretending to forget it. We dont really have an AP person, we all just confront everyone to make sure they understand that they can and will be seen. Works pretty well for us.

    From what Ive heard and seen, its rare for anyone to NOT comply with AP/security around here. My gf works in a local supermarket that sees lots of shoplifting, and Ive only heard one or two stories about folks running. Usually they figure theyre caught either way.
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  25. #25
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    I used to work loss prevention and it was a pretty fun job. We had se the person remove the merchandise from the shelf, ID is as the stores, and watch them leave the store without paying for it.

    Now as a Deputy, I respond after the fact usually after the store already detained the person. My only complaint and what makes the store clerks/loss prevention upset with me when I decide not to charge the subject, is when the store clerk/witness who say they "witnessed" the theft actually didnt see the person remove the merchandise from the shelf and conceal it. They either saw the person walk out the store with a buldge under their clothes or the security buzzer goes off and the clerk detains the person and recovers some merchandise he believes belongs to the store and 'detains' them. If the "subject" admits he took the items after being read miranda Ill make the arrest. But if he doesnt admit I will not arrest. I will do a report if the store insists for documentation but thats all it would be good for. I got complained on for it twice by the same store. One of the supposed "subject" also filed a law suit against the store for accusing him of stealing. I was there when the guys attorney came to request a copy of the report the store manager requested I do. I dont know what ever happend with it.
    Last edited by DeputySC; 01-06-2009 at 07:50 PM.

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