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  • shoplifters

    I work at a pretty big Hardware/sporting goods store. We have a heavy shoplifting problem, and have the store merchandise equipted with "hard tags', and soft tags hidden in most the items. If we don't demagnatize or take the tags off the items, it sets the exit door alarm off. We have to stop the person and have them come back in ,and find out what got missed etc... Most the time they have lifted something, whereas we take them in back, call our local enforcement, file charges, I'm sure you know the drill. My question, we had one man that ran out of our store, set the alarm off, and the cashier called over the radio for help up front. A male customer, and I took after him, and caught him at the back of an alley. The customer left, and I walked the guy back to the store, he was raising #@%^ all the way, telling me i couldn't make him. He said the reason he ran is that he had just bought pot in the parking lot next to our store, and didn't want the cops to find it on him. Officers later found the pot, and the shoes that he tossed in the bushes. My question finally, my manager expects us to stop the shoplifters. The officer told him that we, the staff, are allowed to use reasonable force to bring them back to the store. I told my boss that I was not comfortable doing this, and he was not pleased. ( My husband was a Deputy and was PO'ed at me for chasing the man), but he also knows that I do not like thieves either. How would you handle this if you were in my shoes? Some of the shoplifters are career, and really get nasty with us. Any input would be appreciated......Kim

  • #2
    My advice to you is to do whatever you feel comfortable with on that day.Do you really think its worth the risk catching these people?If so, great, but i understant why your husband is worried.

    Just do what you feel comfortable with, forget your boss, he clearly is an @$$hole

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    • #3
      Understand that your husband will always want to be protective of you and doesn't see the value in you getting hurt over a pair of "Tennie's", a Genuine NFL branded Ball cap or a Whiffel Ball bat.

      I'm with him.

      It's not like these are crimes that will kill people. How does your manager feel about Armed Robbers taking money from clerks? Are they required to actively resist or to give it up?

      I'd say if your suspect will comply, fine. On the hard core grab and runners you should get a good description of them or their vehicle and file the report. If they really gave a rats, they would have good video on the doorways.

      In all reality, these stores will write more off at tax time than they actually lose through active theft anyway, then congratulate themselves when they are surplus in inventory.
      Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos?
      --------------------------------------------------
      Common sense... the LEAST COMMON of all of the senses.
      --------------------------------------------------
      Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "assteroids"?

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      • #4
        I used to be an LPO for a department store in one of Gwinnett's numerous Malls. I hope you found the merchandise on him and got him to admit taking it, otherwise you don't have much of a case to begin with, and you could look at your store getting sued for false arrest.

        If you're looking for input into chasing the guy- our rule was always "use what force you need to affect an arrest, but be safe". Looking back on it I was young and foolish and probably wasn't as safe as I should have been. But car was always "base". If they made it to their car, usually, the could have it.

        You don't have a gun. You don't have a vest. And nothing in that store is worth you dying over. Not at what your getting paid- whatever that may be. Let your manager worry about the employees, inventory, and upcoming sales events. Your the one putting your neck on the line. So until your manager is willing to pull the same weight, tell him to get off your back and let you do your job. You have the same first rule as us cops: When your shift is over, go home.
        You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

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        • #5
          Is it still true that most retail "shrinkage" is from employee theft?

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          • #6
            Yes. From either employee theft or just employee incompitance.
            You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

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            • #7
              Do not risk getting yourself hurt for you a-hole boss and his profits. If you feel the need to follow shoplifters out, get a good description of them and their vehicle, including plate number and such. If you ask them to come back into the store and they refuse, its not worth it to try to force them.
              I see a big lawsuit for that store and the manager the first time an employee gets hurt trying to catch a shoplifter because "Its their job."
              "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

              -Lao Tzu

              "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

              -Reinhold Niebuhr

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