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  • Scenario about a call to a retail store for receipt check

    I've read 2 of these stories on digg the past week. Someone goes to a large store, purchases some goods and on the way out is asked by an employee, to check their receipt. Customer says no and continues on the way out, this causes loss prevention to get involved. Just a note, neither person had stolen anything.

    In the first case loss prevention\security stood between the customer and the exit preventing him from leaving the store. In response, the customer called 911.

    In the second case, loss prevention\security prevented the person from leaving in their car by blocking the car door with their foot.

    I was reading how lots of people are angry that they called 911 because it wasn't an emergency, but it seems like if a big dude is trying to prevent you from leaving then you have a damn good reason to dial 911...

  • #2
    Also its the point that if the person had just shown the receipt then none of this would have happened.

    You have to realize that because someone says they went to the check out, does not mean they did. Or the Store has a Policy that they have to verify what the customer is leaving with is what he/she went to the cashier with.

    SAM"S club and BJ's wholesale foods do this. A person goes throught the checkout, and before he she leaves the person at the door, checks and matches the receipt with what is in the cart, and then marks the receipt.
    Happens no big deal, just show the receipt and be done with it.
    IGNORE LIST - Banastretarlton AKA "banana boy"

    "In the fields of observation chance favors only prepared mind"
    -----Louis Pasteur

    "Sweat in training saves blood on the battlefield."

    -------Col. David "Hack" Hackworth

    On my 7 year old 2nd Grade Class wall

    ------------YOU are RESPONSIBLE for YOUR OWN ACTIONS

    Comment


    • #3
      If I don't want to show my receipt, you're going to detain me? I don't think so.

      Comment


      • #4
        As was already stated, both Costco and Sams Club require you have your merchandise and receipt checked. Fry's electronics as well.

        Most places it makes sense to check the receipt since they merchandise things all the way to the door.

        However, if it is not a standard practice and you single me out, you better have a strong justification for the 'search' since it is not something you ordinarily do.

        I certainly would have a big issue with you detaining me or blocking me from getting to my car, once I am already out of the store.

        scrubb
        “You sleep safe in your beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do you harm.”

        Comment


        • #5
          Most also have policies that state the door greeters are not to stop people who refuse to show receipt. I worked retail before LE and that was the policy. If the guy said No and kept walking, per policy, you let 'em go.
          "Do not be deceived:Bad company corrupts good morals."
          1 Corinthians 15:

          You are the weapon, everything else is just a tool

          Comment


          • #6
            +1, those guys have no legal authority at all to detain you and look at your receipt. If they try to detain you all they have the right to do is get punched in the face!

            Originally posted by S.O.444 View Post
            If I don't want to show my receipt, you're going to detain me? I don't think so.
            Perseverate In Pugna

            Comment


            • #7
              490.5. (a) Upon a first conviction for petty theft involving
              merchandise taken from a merchant's premises or a book or other
              library materials taken from a library facility, a person shall be
              punished by a mandatory fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) and
              not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each such violation;
              and may also be punished by imprisonment in the county jail, not
              exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
              (b) When an unemancipated minor's willful conduct would constitute
              petty theft involving merchandise taken from a merchant's premises
              or a book or other library materials taken from a library facility,
              any merchant or library facility who has been injured by that conduct
              may bring a civil action against the parent or legal guardian having
              control and custody of the minor. For the purposes of those actions
              the misconduct of the unemancipated minor shall be imputed to the
              parent or legal guardian having control and custody of the minor.
              The parent or legal guardian having control or custody of an
              unemancipated minor whose conduct violates this subdivision shall be
              jointly and severally liable with the minor to a merchant or to a
              library facility for damages of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor
              more than five hundred dollars ($500), plus costs. In addition to
              the foregoing damages, the parent or legal guardian shall be jointly
              and severally liable with the minor to the merchant for the retail
              value of the merchandise if it is not recovered in a merchantable
              condition, or to a library facility for the fair market value of its
              book or other library materials. Recovery of these damages may be
              had in addition to, and is not limited by, any other provision of law
              which limits the liability of a parent or legal guardian for the
              tortious conduct of a minor. An action for recovery of damages,
              pursuant to this subdivision, may be brought in small claims court if
              the total damages do not exceed the jurisdictional limit of that
              court, or in any other appropriate court; however, total damages,
              including the value of the merchandise or book or other library
              materials, shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each
              action brought under this section.
              The provisions of this subdivision are in addition to other civil
              remedies and do not limit merchants or other persons to elect to
              pursue other civil remedies, except that the provisions of Section
              1714.1 of the Civil Code shall not apply herein.
              (c) When an adult or emancipated minor has unlawfully taken
              merchandise from a merchant's premises, or a book or other library
              materials from a library facility, the adult or emancipated minor
              shall be liable to the merchant or library facility for damages of
              not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than five hundred dollars
              ($500), plus costs. In addition to the foregoing damages, the adult
              or emancipated minor shall be liable to the merchant for the retail
              value of the merchandise if it is not recovered in merchantable
              condition, or to a library facility for the fair market value of its
              book or other library materials. An action for recovery of damages,
              pursuant to this subdivision, may be brought in small claims court if
              the total damages do not exceed the jurisdictional limit of such
              court, or in any other appropriate court. The provisions of this
              subdivision are in addition to other civil remedies and do not limit
              merchants or other persons to elect to pursue other civil remedies.
              (d) In lieu of the fines prescribed by subdivision (a), any person
              may be required to perform public services designated by the court,
              provided that in no event shall any such person be required to
              perform less than the number of hours of such public service
              necessary to satisfy the fine assessed by the court as provided by
              subdivision (a) at the minimum wage prevailing in the state at the
              time of sentencing.
              (e) All fines collected under this section shall be collected and
              distributed in accordance with Sections 1463 and 1463.1 of the Penal
              Code; provided, however, that a county may, by a majority vote of the
              members of its board of supervisors, allocate any amount up to, but
              not exceeding 50 percent of such fines to the county superintendent
              of schools for allocation to local school districts. The fines
              allocated shall be administered by the county superintendent of
              schools to finance public school programs, which provide counseling
              or other educational services designed to discourage shoplifting,
              theft, and burglary. Subject to rules and regulations as may be
              adopted by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, each county
              superintendent of schools shall allocate such funds to school
              districts within the county which submit project applications
              designed to further the educational purposes of this section. The
              costs of administration of this section by each county superintendent
              of schools shall be paid from the funds allocated to the county
              superintendent of schools.
              (f) (1) A merchant may detain a person for a reasonable time for
              the purpose of conducting an investigation in a reasonable manner
              whenever the merchant has probable cause to believe the person to be
              detained is attempting to unlawfully take or has unlawfully taken
              merchandise from the merchant's premises.
              A theater owner may detain a person for a reasonable time for the
              purpose of conducting an investigation in a reasonable manner
              whenever the theater owner has probable cause to believe the person
              to be detained is attempting to operate a video recording device
              within the premises of a motion picture theater without the authority
              of the owner of the theater.
              A person employed by a library facility may detain a person for a
              reasonable time for the purpose of conducting an investigation in a
              reasonable manner whenever the person employed by a library facility
              has probable cause to believe the person to be detained is attempting
              to unlawfully remove or has unlawfully removed books or library
              materials from the premises of the library facility.
              (2) In making the detention a merchant, theater owner, or a person
              employed by a library facility may use a reasonable amount of
              nondeadly force necessary to protect himself or herself and to
              prevent escape of the person detained or the loss of tangible or
              intangible property.
              (3) During the period of detention any items which a merchant or
              theater owner, or any items which a person employed by a library
              facility has probable cause to believe are unlawfully taken from the
              premises of the merchant or library facility, or recorded on theater
              premises, and which are in plain view may be examined by the
              merchant, theater owner, or person employed by a library facility for
              the purposes of ascertaining the ownership thereof.
              (4) A merchant, theater owner, a person employed by a library
              facility, or an agent thereof, having probable cause to believe the
              person detained was attempting to unlawfully take or has taken any
              item from the premises, or was attempting to operate a video
              recording device within the premises of a motion picture theater
              without the authority of the owner of the theater, may request the
              person detained to voluntarily surrender the item or recording.
              Should the person detained refuse to surrender the recording or item
              of which there is probable cause to believe has been recorded on or
              unlawfully taken from the premises, or attempted to be recorded or
              unlawfully taken from the premises, a limited and reasonable search
              may be conducted by those authorized to make the detention in order
              to recover the item. Only packages, shopping bags, handbags or other
              property in the immediate possession of the person detained, but not
              including any clothing worn by the person, may be searched pursuant
              to this subdivision. Upon surrender or discovery of the item, the
              person detained may also be requested, but may not be required, to
              provide adequate proof of his or her true identity.
              (5) If any person admitted to a theater in which a motion picture
              is to be or is being exhibited, refuses or fails to give or surrender
              possession or to cease operation of any video recording device that
              the person has brought into or attempts to bring into that theater,
              then a theater owner shall have the right to refuse admission to that
              person or request that the person leave the premises and shall
              thereupon offer to refund and, unless that offer is refused, refund
              to that person the price paid by that person for admission to that
              theater. If the person thereafter refuses to leave the theater or
              cease operation of the video recording device, then the person shall
              be deemed to be intentionally interfering with and obstructing those
              attempting to carry on a lawful business within the meaning of
              Section 602.1.
              (6) A peace officer who accepts custody of a person arrested for
              an offense contained in this section may, subsequent to the arrest,
              search the person arrested and his or her immediate possessions for
              any item or items alleged to have been taken.
              (7) In any civil action brought by any person resulting from a
              detention or arrest by a merchant, it shall be a defense to such
              action that the merchant detaining or arresting such person had
              probable cause to believe that the person had stolen or attempted to
              steal merchandise and that the merchant acted reasonably under all
              the circumstances.
              In any civil action brought by any person resulting from a
              detention or arrest by a theater owner or person employed by a
              library facility, it shall be a defense to that action that the
              theater owner or person employed by a library facility detaining or
              arresting that person had probable cause to believe that the person
              was attempting to operate a video recording device within the
              premises of a motion picture theater without the authority of the
              owner of the theater or had stolen or attempted to steal books or
              library materials and that the person employed by a library facility
              acted reasonably under all the circumstances.
              (g) As used in this section:
              (1) "Merchandise" means any personal property, capable of manual
              delivery, displayed, held or offered for retail sale by a merchant.
              (2) "Merchant" means an owner or operator, and the agent,
              consignee, employee, lessee, or officer of an owner or operator, of
              any premises used for the retail purchase or sale of any personal
              property capable of manual delivery.
              Today's Quote:

              "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
              Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Now this still leaves me questioning Fry's? Are you saying Fry's has PC to search everyone?

                As far as Sam's and Costco go, you sign up for that with your membership so no biggie.

                Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
                [B] (f) (1) A merchant may detain a person for a reasonable time for
                the purpose of conducting an investigation in a reasonable manner
                whenever the merchant has probable cause to believe the person to be
                detained is attempting to unlawfully take or has unlawfully taken
                merchandise from the merchant's premises.
                "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
                  (f) (1) A merchant may detain a person for a reasonable time for
                  the purpose of conducting an investigation in a reasonable manner
                  whenever the merchant has probable cause to believe the person to be
                  detained is attempting to unlawfully take or has unlawfully taken
                  merchandise from the merchant's premises.
                  Me refusing to show my recipt is NOT PC for arrest or detention. A store employee preventing a customer from leaving without PC could be charged with Criminal Confinement (Felony) under Indiana Law. Furthermore if the Citizen used force to Defend themselves or to escape the situation the employee could be charged with Battery and the store could be liable for any damages to the Citizen.

                  Any way you dice it. If you attempt to make a Citizens Arrest (what loss prevention does) you still must have PC. If you don't then it is an ILLEGAL ARREST and the Citizen has a duty to resist.

                  I understand the problems that Loss Prevention faces, but come on now. We all know "those guys" who work loss prevention who think they are God of the World and would tackle grandma if you gave them the chance.

                  I dare store security to attempt to restrain me without PC. The lawsuit would probably pay for an early retirement.
                  "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                  8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I did the whole check the receipt gig before getting a LE job. It sucked and as mentioned above, there is no real right to check. However, its really not that serious to show the guy your receipt... I've saved people money doing it(They were charged wrong, charged for a higher priced item, double charged, etc.) so it might pay off to take the extra 10 seconds. Not to mention you are helping someone do their job and making it less of a hassle.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've seen several similar stories posted here and there on the web. One involved a security officer physically restraining a CompUSA customer who refused to show him a receipt. Worse yet, the police officer that responded didn't seem to know what the store could and couldn't do. I'm sympathetic with the store not wanting to be victimized by thieves, but they have often hamstrung themselves with "open" checkstand areas that make it easy to walk past the point-of-sale area and out the door without paying. That's a war that the sales managers and the loss prevention folks are constantly fighting.

                      I don't especially care if they check my receipt of not, as long as they're consistent. I expect it at Costco, so I keep it in my hand. But I usually fold the receipt into my money clip, and if they want to see it at the door, it's a PITA to get it out again.
                      Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Interesting thread. Great posts. I'm a Sam's Club member, and have no problem showing my receipt at the door. That's me. From a legal perspective, in Alabama, as in most states, Shoplifting does not occur untill the subject actually leaves the premises. By premises I mean the actual store itself. As Tim noted, the merchant, and sometimes responding Officers don't always know the legal considerations which are operative in these situations.To my knowledge, there is no legal requirement in Alabama to show a receipt at the door prior to leaving the premises. To show the receipt is a case of voluntary compliance. Once you have checked out, as in payed for the merchandise in your cart, you're good to go. Unless the loss prevention agent, or other store employee,is prepared to make a case of theft against you, he/she has no right to block your exit from the store, or from the parking lot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Some LP's do take their job way too serious and do call 911, however being a customer, you have a right to call 911 and also to keep walking. However, if they do attempt to detain you and you have not done anything wrong...yes there can be a lawsuit against that company, but in the end they are attempting and I emphasize "attempt" to deter theft. Look at Wal-mart, 99% it's an elderly person checking your receipt, etc. That's their job. However when LP gets invloved, lawfully ( in some states) they do have a right to detain, and per the store policy they can, however you as a citizen have the right to keep walking. If you assault them, well good luck, but if they attempt to physically restrain you, again law suit. This is a touchy topic as some store LP associates do take the job too seriously. As others have stated, I don't mind, however if I feel I am being targeted, well I will deal with them the correct way, no punches thrown.
                          "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One thing to think about and it's something we in law enforcement deal with every day. In Ca LP can detain you if they have PC to do so. If you resist them by violence the charge goes from simple petty theft to robbery. If LP does not have PC then you have the right to sue. But remember you don't know what they know and PC is based on there beliefs
                            Today's Quote:

                            "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                            Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Why be an ***....? Just show them your receipt and be done with it.... Is that such a hard thing to do....??

                              If I was a store manager or LP person....and someone was being an *** like that just to be an ***....I would bar you from the store....and get you arrested for tresspass the next time you come in.....

                              My brother manages a large Super Target....and bars folks all the time.......including a few LEOs......

                              Comment

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