Walmart or "any store" Scenario

Walmart or "any store" Scenario

This is a discussion on Walmart or "any store" Scenario within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Something that I saw today made me start to wonder about a scenario that I haven't seen discussed on this website. First the story, then ...

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Thread: Walmart or "any store" Scenario

  1. #1
    Member Array jvteach77's Avatar
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    Walmart or "any store" Scenario

    Something that I saw today made me start to wonder about a scenario that I haven't seen discussed on this website. First the story, then the question. As I was leaving my local Walmart this afternoon I saw 2 students of mine also leaving right behind me. I was out the first set of door and nearly to the outermost set (our Walmart has 2 sets of doors as you enter with some small kids rides, candy machines, benches, etc in that area) of doors. The students said hello and I stopped before going outside to say hello back. About that time, the loss prevention officer of the store caught up to them. He moved between them and me since we were standing about 10 feet apart and never really paid any attention to me, but kept his focus only on them...i.e. He had his back to me. He said that they needed to come back into the store regarding some items "they had forgotten to pay for." They started back into the store and I turned and continued out of the store and on my way.

    The question this got me thinking about was what if the loss prevention officer had asked me to come back in the store along with them, since we were talking to each other when he walked up? What if they had wanted me to empty my pockets, if they thought I had taken something. I was carrying a Kahr P380 in a pocket holster. It doesn't look like I have a pistol in my pocket through my jeans, but it does bulge a little and look like I'm carrying a small notebook or something. If I had been called back into the store, I would have went, but what should I have done if asked to empty my pockets? Should I refuse or tell them no, because I'm CCWing.

    What do you think?
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  2. #2
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    Big "ifs"- but you politely decline the "invitation." If they insist, and you've done nothing wrong, then you call 911 right now and inform dispatch that you are being detained for no reason. You have NO obligation to empty your pockets, but as a courtesy to them you may show them what's in the store bags you carried out, and your receipt.
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  3. #3
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    Typical if LP stops a "customer", they already know what was taken and where it is. So, the scenario is slightly far fetched, although I'm sure it does happen from time to time.
    I'm with gasmitty, though.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  4. #4
    Member Array gunsite's Avatar
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    I don't know the policy of all stores, each stores has their own guide lines from my experience. From a security point of view, they don't stop people at random to check customers leaving the store, i would think they had probable cause... or spotted them taking something by video cameras, stores don't need to harass customers

    Perfect time for a ankle/shoulder holster :)

  5. #5
    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Know your state laws.

    For example the current Virginia laws are:


    18.2-105.1. Detention of suspected shoplifter.

    A merchant, agent or employee of the merchant, who has probable cause to believe that a person has shoplifted in violation of 18.2-95 or 18.2-96 or 18.2-103, on the premises of the merchant, may detain such person for a period not to exceed one hour pending arrival of a law-enforcement officer.

    (1976, c. 515.)
    and

    8.01-226.9. Exemption from civil liability in connection with arrest or detention of person suspected of shoplifting.

    A merchant, agent or employee of the merchant, who causes the arrest or detention of any person pursuant to the provisions of 18.2-95, 18.2-96 or 18.2-103, shall not be held civilly liable for unlawful detention, if such detention does not exceed one hour, slander, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, false arrest, or assault and battery of the person so arrested or detained, whether such arrest or detention takes place on the premises of the merchant, or after close pursuit from such premises by such merchant, his agent or employee, provided that, in causing the arrest or detention of such person, the merchant, agent or employee of the merchant, had at the time of such arrest or detention probable cause to believe that the person had shoplifted or committed willful concealment of goods or merchandise. The activation of an electronic article surveillance device as a result of a person exiting the premises or an area within the premises of a merchant where an electronic article surveillance device is located shall constitute probable cause for the detention of such person by such merchant, his agent or employee, provided such person is detained only in a reasonable manner and only for such time as is necessary for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the activation of the device, and provided that clear and visible notice is posted at each exit and location within the premises where such a device is located indicating the presence of an antishoplifting or inventory control device. For purposes of this section, "electronic article surveillance device" means an electronic device designed and operated for the purpose of detecting the removal from the premises, or a protected area within such premises, of specially marked or tagged merchandise.
    If I were carrying unlawfully, I would not allow myself to be detained if I have not shoplifted anything.

  6. #6
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    What you do is totally your decision. They cannot forcefully detain you, nor can the search your person. As for the gun, if your legally carrying it, there is nothing they can say or do about it (legally).
    Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.

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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    18.2-105.1. Detention of suspected shoplifter.

    A merchant, agent or employee of the merchant, who has probable cause to believe that a person has shoplifted in violation of 18.2-95 or 18.2-96 or 18.2-103, on the premises of the merchant, may detain such person for a period not to exceed one hour pending arrival of a law-enforcement officer.

    (1976, c. 515.)
    Hm. Says, "...may detain...", and the next quote says I can't sue him if he uses force and holds me:

    ...shall not be held civilly liable for unlawful detention, ...false imprisonment, false arrest, or assault and battery...
    But it doesn't appear to say I have to comply, does it? I mean, I'll bet there are laws that say I have to do what a cop says ("Stay here", for instance), but this almost suggests that if they can't/don't tackle me and drag me back into the store, I'm home free.

    Thoughts?
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  8. #8
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    This has been hashed over in many threads here and answers always seem to be both state specific and situation specific.

    Bottom line: Don't go to a back-room. It is never safe to do that.

    Stand where you are, phone 911, and wait for LEO.

    Cooperate with LEO, inform you are carrying so there won't be misunderstandings of the lethal kind.

    Your choice, but I would let LEO search since you have taken nothing and done nothing wrong.

    You will leave in one piece, store security will survive the day, and if you are still unhappy with what happened your lawyer can deal with the rest after the fact.

    If necessary, tell security you will peacefully stay right where you are until a real officer arrives. Having said that (and make sure witnesses hear it) stand your ground. Judging from the many discussions here in some states you might have to comply with store security, and if the security is an LEO working a second job, things might be different. Otherwise if they touch rather than fight start yelling FIRE. Physical resistance and armed resistance should be reserved for out of control and clearly illegal actions amounting to assault with intent to harm.

    Since no one can know all the laws, the relevant case law, and since these situations are highly variable as well, the best think is to be cool, be cooperative to a reasonable degree, but stay put until LE arrives.

    FWIW, I think this scenario tends to fall in the "What IF" category that is a bit too far out there. It is worth thinking about it, and these incidents do happen, but are relatively rare. Stores seem to prefer to lose a few bucks on an item then to face a long and costly legal confrontation over their actions.

    Never thought about it before, but Gunsite's comment, "Perfect time for a ankle/shoulder holster :)" makes good sense. I may start to rethink my negative view on them.

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array maddyfish's Avatar
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    Well, when my wife and I were 16, we were leaving Walgreens as a store employee stopped us after exiting the front door. He wanted to "take us to the back and search us" We were kids, I was from waaaaaaay out in the country and had no idea what to do. Luckily for us, and older man was walking past and told us not to go to the back. He then asked the store employee what the problem was. The employee said my wife (then girlfriend) had put something into her purse. (SHe had not). SO the older man said to look in her purse right here. The employee did, nothing was there and we left.

    Thanks to the old man from 25 years ago.

    Here's what I'd do-no store employee is going to search me. If he wants to search me, 1. I will continue to leave 2. If he is very persistant,we can call the cops, if he tries anything physical I will stop him. I will not be taken to the back.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Der Alte's Avatar
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    Over 90% of the stops at a Wal Mart are triggered by clerk failure to swipe the RFID chip. The remainder are due to observations by store security. Usually they check your bag and receipt and then have the rfid chip neutralized.
    Its a shame that youth is wasted on the young.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the others, I will not go to the back with them. Either willingly or forcefully. I would call the cops if it got to that point,

  12. #12
    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyII View Post
    I have to agree with the others, I will not go to the back with them. Either willingly or forcefully. I would call the cops if it got to that point,
    If I were packing unlawfully (say passing through a state like Md.) or had drugs on me (although I personally don't, some people do get high), I would not be calling the police. I would be leaving. Period.

  13. #13
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    ^^^^^^I think Hopyard and maddyfish are on right track^^^^^^^^

    I don't think going to the back is a good Idea; call the police and wait

    "Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is doing it. Right is right, even if nobody is doing it."
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  14. #14
    Member Array cc9mm's Avatar
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    Forgive my ignorance but why is going to the back such a terrible idea? I agree that they should not search you forcefully but is not going to the back out of fear of personal injury or does it have to do with liability/lack of witnesses?
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  15. #15
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    Lack of impartial witnesses would be my thinking.
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