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Corner store owner with some questions

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  • Corner store owner with some questions

    so like the title states, my family owns a corner store in a shady neighborhood and i have a few questions.

    1. If you KNOW a person has been shoplifting, but you did not see them put it in their pockets can you force them to empty their pockets?

    2. if a person who was caught shoplifting and tried to run for it and i caught him, would it be against the law if i roughed him up a little bit?

    3. do i really need signs of store policy around? or does it not really matter?

  • #2
    1. If you KNOW a person has been shoplifting, but you did not see them put it in their pockets can you force them to empty their pockets?
    Begs the question - how do you know if you did not see it? I don't know what you mean by force, either. As the store owner, you shouldn't put hands on someone, you should call us. Definitely try to restrain them verbally.

    2. if a person who was caught shoplifting and tried to run for it and i caught him, would it be against the law if i roughed him up a little bit?
    Again, don't put hands on someone if you don't have to. It's not like he stole your life, but he might if you get in an altercation.

    3. do i really need signs of store policy around? or does it not really matter?
    Do you mean signs that say "WE PROSECUTE SHOPLIFTERS," like Wal-Mart does. No; everyone knows stealing is illegal. However, if you mean something like a sign that says no handguns are allowed on the premises, or no alcohol consumed on premises, I think you are required to post them.
    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

    ---Jack Handey

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    • #3
      [QUOTE]
      Originally posted by beat
      so like the title states, my family owns a corner store in a shady neighborhood and i have a few questions.

      1. If you KNOW a person has been shoplifting, but you did not see them put it in their pockets can you force them to empty their pockets?
      QUOTE]
      Also, if you have problems with specific kids over and over, have them banned from your place. Some of our local kids have criminal trespass notices against them at every store in town.
      If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

      ---Jack Handey

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      • #4
        I would advise you against placing your hands on anyone. This could open you up for a lawsuit. You might end up losing your business. Any and everything can happen with lawsuits nowadays. We had a guy break into a home to burglarize it. While climbing thru the window, he fell and broke his arm. He subsequently sued the homeowner and WON. So keep yourself out of that realm. My suggestion would be to have the local PD issue a tresspass notice to your regular troublemakers. I dont know that they will issue one if you have never seen the person steal anything. Hopefully you have more than suspicion of shoplifting, like loiterning, harrassing customers for money,ect. Another suggestion would be to enlist the assistance of the beat officer(s). They are the officers who regularly patrol the area where your store is located. They will have suggestions on how to address the problem. Depending on how busy things are in your location, they may be able to devote some time to plainclothes details in your store. Many business owners in my area pay off duty officers to work security, surveillance, ect., in order to address the problem. This is due to the amount of crime taking priority over crimes of a less priority in this area. Your issue is not unimportant, there just may be more serious crimes taking place in your area keeping on-duty police from addressing shoplifting. Good luck.
        John 3:16

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redbird07
          We had a guy break into a home to burglarize it. While climbing thru the window, he fell and broke his arm. He subsequently sued the homeowner and WON. .

          I don't believe it.

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          • #6
            so like the title states, my family owns a corner store in a shady neighborhood and i have a few questions.
            If you family has been there very long, they know the drill. Let them take what they want and write it off as a business loss at tax time. You'll be in better financial shape this way than if you start making arrests and roughing up your customers.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by beat
              1. If you KNOW a person has been shoplifting, but you did not see them put it in their pockets can you force them to empty their pockets?
              If you detain them and find out your wrong, its lawsuit city. I would also ask, how do you KNOW they're shoplifting if you didn't see it. You'd better be able to articulate exactly how you KNOW.

              2. if a person who was caught shoplifting and tried to run for it and i caught him, would it be against the law if i roughed him up a little bit?
              Yes, it would be against the law to "rough him up a bit". One can only use the necessary force to effect a citizen's arrest and nothing more. The additional "rough up" would be a battery and you'd end up getting in more trouble then the shoplifter.

              3. do i really need signs of store policy around? or does it not really matter?
              Depends. You don't need to tell people not to do illegal things. But if your store has specific policies that may not be obvious, you may want to post them. This is the sort of question best asked of a lawyer.
              Originally posted by kontemplerande
              Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by beat
                so like the title states, my family owns a corner store in a shady neighborhood and i have a few questions.

                1. If you KNOW a person has been shoplifting, but you did not see them put it in their pockets can you force them to empty their pockets?

                2. if a person who was caught shoplifting and tried to run for it and i caught him, would it be against the law if i roughed him up a little bit?

                3. do i really need signs of store policy around? or does it not really matter?

                1. Just like we cant arrest people we know are criminals without proof(proable cause) you shouldnt be trying to force people to do things without proof.

                2. Yes it would be illegal.

                3. It doesnt really matter...... you as the store owner legally have the right to refuse service(within reason). If these particular customers are causing problems then tell them they are not welcome. If they refuse call the police. If it continues look into trespassing charges/restraining orders.

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