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!!Shoplifter Tackle!!

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  • !!Shoplifter Tackle!!

    I was working my real job at the local super market tonight (Tuesday, February 24, 2009) and I made some humerus announcement about how we would be closing in five minutes, and to please finalize all purchases and make your way to the register where I was working. Then, a slightly over weight mister Joe Blow comes from now where with a basket of groceries, ready to be checked out. The store bookkeeper, comes over to ring him out for me and I would bag, we had no baggers only ourselves, and she doesn't bag. LOL. As I start joking with this guy about my goofy announcement he starts laughing and saying how funny it was. Then, he grabs his hat, assumes a dead serious face, and runs for the door, basket of remaining groceries in hand. I think, this guy is playing, he's about to turn around and start joking about the economy and how groceries should be free etc. . When he keeps going. I look at my manager, start chasing this "suspect", and my manager starts following me, passes me, contains the guy briefly, and looses the man from his grip. At this point, I was hands on with the suspect telling him to stop an relax, when he swings on my manager, my manager ducks, I drop knee level with the suspect and tackle him. He and I, the suspect, are now on the ground with the manager regaining his footing coming towards us when the suspect starts fighting with me trying to get away, and then I realized, I don't have his hands. I start flipping out telling this guy to "let me see your hands!" . I know I have to get this guys hands . I see both of them instantly, cause he quite resisting and says "i give up", I held him down, until my manager said get up. I tell the guy cross your legs, and interlace your fingers on the back of your head. He sits there, through the fight his pants came down and his shirt tore so hes begging me to let him pull his pants up etc. I say " no you cannot, sit still", my manager felt sorry and said pull them up its ok. Whatever, he gets his pants up he stays there until the deputies get there, they laugh, i get a high five, he went to jail. Man i felt great, all my training kicked in without me even thinking about it! I love it.

  • #2
    On the one hand, you're pretty clearly proud of your "collar".

    On the other hand, this could have gone very, very, very bad for you. Worst case, when you went hands-on, this guy could've whooped you bare-handed, pulled out a knife and gutted you, or pulled out a gun and started blasting. $8-10 dollars per hour at a grocery store is not remotely worth being physically injured or killed...especially over a basket of groceries.

    Additionally, you may have exposed your store to substantial civil liability, should your "shoplifter" decide to hire the law firm of Dewey, Scruem, and Howe. While most states -do- allow loss-prevention staff to physically detain suspected shoplifters, simply having merchandise and going toward the door isn't necessarily enough to call it a "shoplift." Many dedicated loss-prevention programs will require that someone conceal merchandise on their person or in a "booster bag", if they're to be detained in the store. You didn't say if this guy made it out the door, but if he hires a sharp attorney, he can make a reasonable case that he was gang-tackled for no good reason, when in fact he was only going to the front door to check the posted hours for the store (or some-such other BS).

    Lest you think that I'm trying to rain on your parade...

    Law enforcement is a business of action-reaction....that is, everything you do, will have a consequence of some kind. Some of these consequences can be very, very good...and some can be career or life-ending. There's a reason that most cops don't get really worked up about minor property crimes...but yet they'll willingly rush into a building with an active shooter inside.

    Going hands-on is a part of the job (although not of -your- job)...but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Many officers can tell you stories about the times they've been laid-up on light duty, had broken bones or surgery, and even sustained career-ending injuries, all from fighting suspects. It's a part of the job...but we try to be fairly smart about it, especially when it can jeopardize our livelihood.

    You may think that I'm being a big downer by raising the possibilities of you being injured, or your store being sued to kingdom-come. In some jurisdictions, you may have even faced some pointed questions as a part of an assault/unlawful detention investigation, if it wasn't painfully clear that this was a cut-and-dry shoplifting case (concealed merchandise, made it off the premises, brought in a booster-bag, etc).

    If you're looking to become a cop, get used to dealing with the "down-side" of every decision you make, and every action you take. It doesn't mean you don't take action...but it should mean that you try to take actions where the up-side outweighs the down-side...or at least is -worth- the potential down-side.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice catch.

      I did a very similar thing before I was a cop, but now I would agree with everything AzPilot said.

      Your adrenaline was pumping and you took care of business. But you're going to have similar situations as a police officer when you're going to need to overcome the instinct to chase, or to fight, and stay calm and withdrawn for your own sake or for the sake of others.

      Cops consider this choice when they carry off-duty. If I'm in a bank and someone comes in to rob it, but seems calm and isn't shooting anyone, I probably won't engage him. I'd be a very good witness, but I'm not gonna start bullets flying just because I can. (It would be a different situation if he came in swinging his gun around, shooting it, etc...)

      And AzPilot is also correct in saying it could have been VERY bad for you. I've known shoplifters to pull out boxcutters when LP tries to apprehend them.

      Your ideal response would have been to be a good witness, get a description, and a license plate number.

      Like AzPilot, I'm not trying to rain on your parade. As someone who will one day be a cop, it's just never too early to start considering tactics and consequences.

      I'm glad you caught him and I'm glad you've got that enthusiasm. Just be careful, and take a step back next time and consider whether that bag of groceries is worth the possibility of serious physical harm to anyone.
      "Well I'd lock him up for what we know he did, and then throw in a few extra years for what he probably did." ~Hank Hill

      "Why do you need to carry a gun? There aren't any bad people in this town..."

      Comment


      • #4
        I see you haven't learned from a couple previous posts and threads that you're not a police officer.

        In this situation you should've been a good witness, observe, and then relay critical information to the POLICE, and STOP there.

        If I were LE, and I'd been one of the responding officers, I would've gave you a major a** chewing and told you exactly why what you did was a bad idea... oh, and to next time leave all physical encounters to the real police.

        Try that stunt again and if a shoplifter sticks a knife in you or pulls a firearm, don't act surprised. At that, or the coming newspaper headlines: "Overeager Police Wannabe Injured At Local Grocery Store" Or even worse "Killed".
        Last edited by Till; 02-25-2009, 10:44 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AzPilot View Post
          On the one hand, you're pretty clearly proud of your "collar".

          On the other hand, this could have gone very, very, very bad for you. Worst case, when you went hands-on, this guy could've whooped you bare-handed, pulled out a knife and gutted you, or pulled out a gun and started blasting. $8-10 dollars per hour at a grocery store is not remotely worth being physically injured or killed...especially over a basket of groceries.

          Additionally, you may have exposed your store to substantial civil liability, should your "shoplifter" decide to hire the law firm of Dewey, Scruem, and Howe. While most states -do- allow loss-prevention staff to physically detain suspected shoplifters, simply having merchandise and going toward the door isn't necessarily enough to call it a "shoplift." Many dedicated loss-prevention programs will require that someone conceal merchandise on their person or in a "booster bag", if they're to be detained in the store. You didn't say if this guy made it out the door, but if he hires a sharp attorney, he can make a reasonable case that he was gang-tackled for no good reason, when in fact he was only going to the front door to check the posted hours for the store (or some-such other BS).

          Lest you think that I'm trying to rain on your parade...

          Law enforcement is a business of action-reaction....that is, everything you do, will have a consequence of some kind. Some of these consequences can be very, very good...and some can be career or life-ending. There's a reason that most cops don't get really worked up about minor property crimes...but yet they'll willingly rush into a building with an active shooter inside.

          Going hands-on is a part of the job (although not of -your- job)...but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Many officers can tell you stories about the times they've been laid-up on light duty, had broken bones or surgery, and even sustained career-ending injuries, all from fighting suspects. It's a part of the job...but we try to be fairly smart about it, especially when it can jeopardize our livelihood.

          You may think that I'm being a big downer by raising the possibilities of you being injured, or your store being sued to kingdom-come. In some jurisdictions, you may have even faced some pointed questions as a part of an assault/unlawful detention investigation, if it wasn't painfully clear that this was a cut-and-dry shoplifting case (concealed merchandise, made it off the premises, brought in a booster-bag, etc).

          If you're looking to become a cop, get used to dealing with the "down-side" of every decision you make, and every action you take. It doesn't mean you don't take action...but it should mean that you try to take actions where the up-side outweighs the down-side...or at least is -worth- the potential down-side.
          Originally posted by Ten-32 View Post
          Nice catch.

          I did a very similar thing before I was a cop, but now I would agree with everything AzPilot said.

          Your adrenaline was pumping and you took care of business. But you're going to have similar situations as a police officer when you're going to need to overcome the instinct to chase, or to fight, and stay calm and withdrawn for your own sake or for the sake of others.

          Cops consider this choice when they carry off-duty. If I'm in a bank and someone comes in to rob it, but seems calm and isn't shooting anyone, I probably won't engage him. I'd be a very good witness, but I'm not gonna start bullets flying just because I can. (It would be a different situation if he came in swinging his gun around, shooting it, etc...)

          And AzPilot is also correct in saying it could have been VERY bad for you. I've known shoplifters to pull out boxcutters when LP tries to apprehend them.

          Your ideal response would have been to be a good witness, get a description, and a license plate number.

          Like AzPilot, I'm not trying to rain on your parade. As someone who will one day be a cop, it's just never too early to start considering tactics and consequences.

          I'm glad you caught him and I'm glad you've got that enthusiasm. Just be careful, and take a step back next time and consider whether that bag of groceries is worth the possibility of serious physical harm to anyone.


          nuff said....... 100% agree
          sigpicMy statements do not represent my agency.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not saying what i did was completely correct, however neither is anything any of us will do in life. Give someone enough time and they can find fault in just the simplest thing like why blue is better than black. Yeah I got all your points, thanks for the advice. Also, I really don't blog a lot in this forum Till , make sure you not thinking about c-14 or c-4, when referencing "previous post"..

            Comment


            • #7
              here is a video

              http://www.break.com/index/fat-shopl...d-tackled.html
              Originally Posted by VegasMetro
              maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

              Comment


              • #8
                I do not intend to be hard on you, but this was probably not the wisest decision on your part.

                One, the guy could have been armed. Its unlikely; but possible. It would have been best to get a good description of the event and suspect, and forward that to deputies.

                Two, you expose yourself to great liability. He could have sued you, your department, and the store for assault, unlawful imprisonment, and numerous other violations of the law. It would have been best to do what I described above.

                In closing, I know you were doing what you thought was best, but it would have been wiser to get a solid description of the events, and the vehicle and clothing the gentleman was wearing. If nothing else, make this a learning experience.

                But keep at it, and be safe.
                Explorer A.S.

                Comment


                • #9
                  More citizens should react this way when they see a crime. It might reduce the costs for all of us law abiders who pay for shoplifters free goods.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mcross371 View Post
                    More citizens should react this way when they see a crime. It might reduce the costs for all of us law abiders who pay for shoplifters free goods.
                    I agree in principle, but the fact of the matter is that it frequently causes more trouble than it's worth.
                    "Well I'd lock him up for what we know he did, and then throw in a few extra years for what he probably did." ~Hank Hill

                    "Why do you need to carry a gun? There aren't any bad people in this town..."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If the store that you work for has a policy that no employee, without specific training, can apprehend a shoplifter than you could lose your job. Worse than that, the shoplifter, if he was smart, could turn around and sue the store you work for and you yourself. You have to be very careful when apprehending a shoplifter. I did it for 3 years and its a very touchy subject, especially if there are cameras that video tape your apprehensions.

                      My suggestion to you, regardless of how good it feels, is to just let the guy go. I've had fights, i've had people threaten my life, try to run me over in their cars. I was all gung-ho too. Then I got married and realized I had someone else to watch out for in my life and decided its not worth being a cowboy anymore. Especially at 16.00 an hour.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        lol when i was 16 working at a grocery store i did the same thing except out in a parking lot and i tackled the guy into the street. Back then i thought i was hot s#it now a days i think "wtf that could have went wrong" basically law enforcement came, and the manager who assisted in tackling this guy got fired and i just got a slap on the wrist.

                        In ohio its not shop lifting until they exit the doors. Even then using force to stop a 10$ theft..... you can get sued so quick through civil lawsuits if he would have been hurt. Just be careful!
                        sigpic

                        No, maybe I can't win, maybe the only thing I can do is just take everything he's got. But to beat me, he's gonna have to kill me, and to kill me, he's gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me, and to do that, he's gotta be willing to die himself and I don't know if he's ready to do that. I don't know, I don't know.
                        Rocky Balboa
                        Rocky IV (1985)

                        Id rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm lost. Are you just a normal clerk or in Loss Prevention or something?

                          This could of gone really bad but I'm glad youre okay.
                          RIP Sgt. Joe Bergeron, We will surely miss you.

                          - EOW 5/1/2010 -

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is why explorers get a bad name, because it usually doesnt turn out good.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MaineSqueeze View Post
                              This is why explorers get a bad name
                              Exactly.

                              Thanks, C-11.

                              Comment

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