Detained by security guard
This is a discussion on Detained by security guard within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A recent thread gave me the Idea for a couple of threads so here goes the first one.
Lets say you are in a large ...
May 8th, 2005 09:13 AM
Detained by security guard
A recent thread gave me the Idea for a couple of threads so here goes the first one.
Lets say you are in a large department store, Sears/Wal Mart/ etc etc.
As you start to leave a guard approaches you and demands that hand over your bad, and follow him into the office. You are carrying in an area where it is legal, but there are still those who are very unfriendly towards it. You are pretty sure that the guard is going to accuse you of shoplifting.
What do you do?
I work on equipment for a lot of stores in my area, and I see this from time to time. Everything from asking people to check their bag, and letting them go, to a manager, and two teenage cart boys chasing a guy through the parking lot grabbing at the guys shirt. LOL
Personally I don't want to put myself in a situation where there are no witnesses, so that they could lie to cover their butts and land me in jail in the process. All they would have to do is grab an item off the shelf and tell the cops that it was stolen, or else accuse me of threatening them with my weapon.
It isn't very likely, but then again it is always best to be prepared.
I have given this some thought, and have something that might work but I will see what your responses are first.
May 8th, 2005 09:13 AM
May 8th, 2005 09:42 AM
I'd tell him to call the police if he wants me detained and that he has no legal authority to detain me. Any attempts for him to do so will be taken by me as an assault, and I will respond accordingly.
May 8th, 2005 10:48 AM
Relax ~ Stuff Happens
Ask the security guard or the store manager to call for a police officer before you allow yourself to be searched by mall or store security.
It avoids any possible problems.
Be polite ~ Be on your best behavior. Sometimes it is just not their fault.
That has actually happened to me when I was X~mas shopping.
It was a long time ago...the winter of my first year that I was legal to carry in Pennsylvania.
I was putting the shopping list that my wife had given me and my wallet back into my coat pocket at the exact time the store mgr. was 'rounding that aisle corner. I was picking out AA and AAA batteries at the time.
Had I been him...I probably would have also assumed that I was stealing something.
It was an unnatural action (on my part) for that particular place and moment in time.
It was just one of those odd things that happened.
The mgr. called for security & I requested the presence of a city police officer.
I sat down and we waited about 10 minutes in a back store office.
Two officers showed up and not one.
I handed my LTC & my drivers license to one Officer & then just emptied my coat pockets - The only objects in my coat pockets were my wallet(already out), keys, the list, and a "half spent" pak of chewing gum - then I took off my leather coat (My SIG220 was very visible at that time in my shoulder holster)
Then...I locked my hands on top of my head and the store security guard token "quick searched" me. It was almost funny by that time.
It all went like a "Box Of Birds" (very smooth and easy) and I got more than one apology AND...3 sips of the worst cup of coffee in a Styrofoam cup that I ever tasted in my life...out of the deal.
Sometimes things can happen that are out of our control.
If you are innocent then you are innocent...but always be "Chilled" ~ A store is private property ~ sometimes they goof ~ it is not the time to get hot headed or bent out of shape. That accomplishes absolutely nothing.
Just get the immediate problem resolved and then - later on you can decide if you ever want to shop in there again.
I apologized to the 2 Officers for asking that they be present but said that I wanted to avoid a possible problem.
The second officer said: (who had not said one word up until that point) said: "No problem...we're glad you called." they left & then I paid for my stuff & went home.
The whole thing took 15...maybe 20 minutes. It was actually a good experience for me & I don't regret that it happened.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
May 8th, 2005 11:14 AM
First things first.
Is it in a Mall? or just a strip mall type area? Second, did you purchase anything from that particular store that the Guard is attempting to detain you? Third, and most importantly, is there ANY posted signs at any of the entrances or at the front desk stating "ALL bags must be checked at the Customer Service desk upon entering this Establishment" Personally, I believe the Guard has a right to question you, and I'd stay cool and collective I would think, at that point in time, he would specifically ask you for a reciept, which I would produce. If he/she wanted me to come insode, I'd specifially ask for a manager and to call the PD, and stand in full view at the front customer service desk, and NOT the back room area.
The following is a bit long-winded and I appologize if so but it deserves thought. This involved me during the Christmas Season of 2003. It is as follows:
I was at Walmart last Christmas, and watched two females from the Boston area purchase 508.00 in clothing. They also had two Sony DVD recorder/players in their posession. One female put the Sonys on the counter..BTW this purchase was in the Electronics Dept. After she placed the clothing on the register, and after seeing the large total on the bill,she said ."naaaa I don't think I'll take these" and handed them over to the other female, who said "I'll put them away".. Mind you now, I was directly behind the first woman, and watched her hand the recorders over to the other..The second woman placed the recorders IN THE CARRIAGE.and proceeded to walk away in front of myself and several customers. The first female PAID BY CHECK for 508.00 and showed an address in Mattapan Ma. (BTW we're in NH at this time of the purchase) After bagging the items and paying for the clothing, he TWO then proceeded to the front area of the store. I then mentioned to the Clerk, "those two are going to steal the Sonys" the Clerk looked at me and paid no attention. (BTW, I'm very observant as I'm a Private Investigator) I then took my items, and briskly walked to the front area of the store, where they STILL had the Sonys AND the clothing (they has placed the Sonys UNDER the clothing to hide them) When I got there, they were walking out, after showing the "guard" their purchase. I identified myself as being behind them when they made the purchase and told the "guard" what transpired.. They were at their car, when the "guard" stopped them. I was there to verify what happened and they were detained, but not without being called "racist and other choice words <they were African Americans> They were brought in the store, and the PD called. I gave a report to all involved, but was told to "next time, let the Wlmart people handle it, as they're the Merchant"
I agreed that they should have handled it themselves <walmart managers involved> To this day, the "guard", and cashier are STILL there. The cashier who did the transaction is NOW A SUPERVISOR..Personally, after knowing about the incident, if I were managment, I would have handed her the timecard and released her of her duties.
So much for being observant and honest.
May 8th, 2005 11:53 AM
I agree that coolness is better than hotheadedness. I hope my original post was not take that way.
I am not going to submit to any search unless a duly sworn police officer is presenting me with a signed and valid warrant for a search of my person, and valid means the warrant must specifically list the items to be searched for as this is a requirement for a warrant to be valid. Most folks don't know that. With that being said, I am not going to fight with an officer, but he had better be ready to justify his actions in court and to his supervisors.
If approached by a security guard, I will be polite but firm and tell them that they do not have any authority to detain me. If they do so, I will file charges of false imprisonment against them (forgot that one in the original post), and that any attempts to detain me will also be responded to with force.
May 8th, 2005 12:17 PM
May 8th, 2005 12:39 PM
I gotta agree with QKShooter on this....best to keep your cool, don't go questioning anybody's authority, ask for a LEO, just plain be polite...yes, it's an inconvenience, but since shoplifters cost us all, I think I can put myself in their shoes.....of course, after all is said and done, if they are a bunch of jerks and beligerent during the episode you can always stand out from and picket the place.
"Endeavor To Persevere"
Chief Dan George
May 8th, 2005 12:46 PM
I completely agree with CombatEffective.(both of his posts) I couldn't have said it better. I am one of the good guys and I will resent anybody trying to make me out as anything but. We ALL are inocent untill someone(in the proper manner) proves us guilty. I hate lawyers and courts but i will not hesitate to use them if I am wronged.----
May 8th, 2005 01:01 PM
May 8th, 2005 05:09 PM
I would also not allow a store security guard search me while I was armed and would insist that local police be called. In fact I would probably call the police myself from my cell phone and inform the dispatcher that I had a concealed carry permit, was armed and was being detained in a store as a shoplifting suspect. That should provide you some quality entertainment watching the store manager and security fidget while they sit in a room with a man that has just stated he is armed to police.
Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.
May 8th, 2005 06:04 PM
I agree with 99% of the above posts, depending on conditions. The two exceptions are: Going to the back room before the police get there, and in any way tipping my accusers off to the fact that I have a weapon. You never know what kind of liberal nutjobs there might be in the bunch.
First of all, I make it a point never to carry a bag into another store, if I can at all help it. If I have to, I tie the thing in a knot, and make sure I have the receipt.
Unless the guard does something stupid like trying to tackle me, or grab hold of my collar and start dragging me to the back room I will be the perfect gentleman.
Here is what I have planned out in my mind with a few variations.
#1 Level headed manager and guard.
I will politely, but firmly tell them (just loud enough that other customers are able to hear) that I am perfectly willing to stand right where I am and wait with them for the police. When they arrive I will gladly hand them my CCW card and I.D.(enjoying the stunned looks on the guard, and managers face when the police ask if I have a weapon and I tell them “yes), surrender my weapon if asked, and empty my pockets for them. I am not a thief, and I have nothing to fear. Besides there is no point causing more work for the police, it isn’t their fault. I don’t like the idea of being searched, but I think it is the simplest and by far the most graceful way to handle what is most likely an honest mistake. It will leave the manager and the policemen involved with a favorable impression of CCW holders.
#2 Not so level headed manager and guard.
If they become loud or insist that I get out of sight of their customers, I will stand my ground, demand that they not touch me, and remain polite, but very firm. I will however be loud enough that customers will hear me for some distance away. If need be, I will mention that they really have no authority to detain, me but that I will be happy to wait on the police.
If they make an honest mistake and apologize I can understand that. However I personally witnessed one guard curse a (former) customer who he mistakenly thought was shoplifting and told the poor guy “ I’ll bust your $%#$, if I ever catch you in here again”, after the customer was shown to be innocent. Needless to say when I went to get my service ticket signed by the manager. I appraised him of the guards words. He said he would deal with it, but I don’t know whether he did or not. Needless to say, I wouldn’t want to shop there. If I had been the customer in question, I would have been writing tons of letters, making calls and posting my story all over the web.
May 8th, 2005 08:54 PM
I have to agree with Good Samaritan. I would stay around but I would not move to a private area until the police arrived. If they wanted to search me in any way the police would be summoned. It would not matter if I was carrying or not.
I tend to reflect the attitude that is directed towards me. So if they are professional towards me, I will give them the same in return. If they are rude or abusive towards me, then I will clam up and stand there until the police arrive. If they try go to hands on, then they will regret that decision. I prefer lawyers who would sell their own children to win.
May 8th, 2005 08:58 PM
i agree i would be calling the police also and not let some numbnut wanna be cop search me
May 8th, 2005 10:35 PM
In this state, the scenario is thankfully unlikely - they have to (a) personally witness you pick up the item in question and (b) watch you set foot outside of the premise.
Not surprisingly, the stores don't bother in most cases.
Last time I set off an alarm with an item I purchased at a big box store, the greeter guy asked if he could look in my bag or see a receipt. I told him no, and kept on going.
If someone attempts to detain me, I ask if they're making an arrest - which also in this state must be for a felony.
Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.
May 13th, 2005 08:12 PM
Just a note: In some state, Security Guards are actually considered to have the same authority as a Police Officer, as long as they are on the property they secure. Also, sometimes store security is actually an off-duty cop working an extra job or a "detail". A Security Guard is not always "just a security guard". Just something to consider.
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