Unlawful Restraint?

Unlawful Restraint?

This is a discussion on Unlawful Restraint? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I went to Wally World last night to get some milk for breakfast. As I was checking out two men walked up behind someone in ...

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    Distinguished Member Array RedSafety's Avatar
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    Unlawful Restraint?

    I went to Wally World last night to get some milk for breakfast. As I was checking out two men walked up behind someone in a motorized cart. They confronted the man. It looked like a couple of punks harassing an easy victim. The two guys picked up the front of the cart and pushed him back into the store. Turns out these two guys were undercover security and the guy was a shoplifter. These two guys were extremely belligerent, in keeping with the security company's reputation at another Wally World (pedestrians and drivers beware, they WILL run you down, and have caused a few accidents by their aggressive and abusive driving). They came just short of laying hands on the man, holding him in place over three small items, preventing him from walking away.

    As I understand it, this is unlawful restraint, false imprisonment. Security does not have the authority to hold people. As I understnad it, they can observe and take pictures, but not prevent someone from leaving the store. I had places to go so I couldn't stay to give my statement to the police. I couldn't even get pictures as my hands were full.
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    Not sure about Missouri law, but: Generally a security guard can detain you at least until the police arrive. But there must be probable cause (witnessing the theft, etc.) and you don't have to answer to the security guard. I believe the security guard can also use reasonable force (think about it - if a thief at a jewelry store attempts to walk out with a $30,000 tennis bracelet, the guard should be allowed to restrain the thief).

    Some stores will limit what the guard can do to avoid liability. The last thing a store owner wants is a security guard putting a 16 year old kid in a choke hold for suspected theft of a blo-pop.
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    They must pay their rent a cops well for them to actually put hands on some of their customers.
    Have you seen pictures of WalMart customers lately?
    I wouldn't touch them in a full hazmat suit.

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    I don't know the law about any of that but if a shoplifter got stopped, I'm glad. On the other hand if the security people represent an unwarranted hazard to customers in general, the store ( corporation ) should take action to change that before it ends badly. JMO.
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    Go to YouTube and type in the search field "man detained for receipt".

    It will give you plenty of videos to watch about these types of incidents.

    I would embed the videos but many include some "language"

    This is one of my favorite ones though. (Language)
    Type in "Undercover cop falsely accuses us of stealing from HEB And then gets owned" in You Tube
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    Havenít shopped Walmart in decades. They have nothing worth the price.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSafety View Post
    I went to Wally World last night to get some milk for breakfast. As I was checking out two men walked up behind someone in a motorized cart. They confronted the man. It looked like a couple of punks harassing an easy victim. The two guys picked up the front of the cart and pushed him back into the store. Turns out these two guys were undercover security and the guy was a shoplifter. These two guys were extremely belligerent, in keeping with the security company's reputation at another Wally World (pedestrians and drivers beware, they WILL run you down, and have caused a few accidents by their aggressive and abusive driving). They came just short of laying hands on the man, holding him in place over three small items, preventing him from walking away.

    As I understand it, this is unlawful restraint, false imprisonment. Security does not have the authority to hold people. As I understnad it, they can observe and take pictures, but not prevent someone from leaving the store. I had places to go so I couldn't stay to give my statement to the police. I couldn't even get pictures as my hands were full.
    It's called citizens arrest.

    Most states if you use force during a theft it becomes robbery.
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    It depends on the jurisdiction and the licensing of the security guard. I worked retail security in St. Louis, many years ago, but I just checked and the laws haven't changed. Licensed "Watchmen" have to go through training with the SLPD and are issued Watchman badges. The law says they have the power of arrest based on probable cause, on the premises of the business they work for. I will share that I averaged making about an arrest a week during the couple of years I had that job, and we did the whole thing with cuffs and taking the suspect to the office. Then we called police and waited for them to show up. Some of those arrests involved serious resisting, which we dealt with accordingly.

    Most states have state-wide regulation of security guards. Also, a lot of retail security guards are off duty police and they keep their police powers even when they are moonlighting.

    In Virginia where I live now, licensed security guards have the power to make arrests on the property of the business they are assigned to based on probable cause. VA security guards do have to go through a fair amount of training before they can be certified and they have to be working for an accredited security company. Resisting a lawful arrest by a licensed security guard is a criminal charge, the same as resisting arrest by a LEO.
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    Canít remember the last time I went to Walmart, everything there is from China , thatís why all 4 family members Billionaires.
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    Distinguished Member Array RedSafety's Avatar
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    It looked like the undercover security guy was about to deck the guy. They got him to unload his stash, 3 items, and then continued to cause quite a scene. At a minimum, these rent-a-cops are rather over the edge. The other store is worse.
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    Walmart is becoming a magnet for criminal activity inside and outside of the store. My wife used enjoy going to Walmart. Now, she avoids Walmart if possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
    Go to YouTube and type in the search field "man detained for receipt".

    It will give you plenty of videos to watch about these types of incidents.

    I would embed the videos but many include some "language"

    This is one of my favorite ones though. (Language)
    Type in "Undercover cop falsely accuses us of stealing from HEB And then gets owned" in You Tube
    The guy is both wrong and right. Wrong in that he willfully joined a membership business and as such, agrees to abide by their policies. Where he is right is filming without the subjects' knowledge or permission, although I don't know the laws of California and how they address this. In my state, only one person has to know that a recording is being made, be it known or not known by the subject(s).

    This begs a question, if you don't mind. Suppose you leave a store and set off their alarm. Do you have to stop for one of their employees who questions you or follows you out to the parking lot? Reason I ask is that in a few stores in my area (BJ's is one), I always set off their alarm when entering or exiting the store because of metal in my body. I have never been stopped so I am just curious about this.
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    Member Array Osprey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoyVA View Post
    The guy is both wrong and right. Wrong in that he willfully joined a membership business and as such, agrees to abide by their policies. Where he is right is filming without the subjects' knowledge or permission, although I don't know the laws of California and how they address this. In my state, only one person has to know that a recording is being made, be it known or not known by the subject(s).

    This begs a question, if you don't mind. Suppose you leave a store and set off their alarm. Do you have to stop for one of their employees who questions you or follows you out to the parking lot? Reason I ask is that in a few stores in my area (BJ's is one), I always set off their alarm when entering or exiting the store because of metal in my body. I have never been stopped so I am just curious about this.
    Are we talking about the vid I was talking about? I thought he was coming out of an HEB LOL. I might need to look at it again.

    If I am walking out of a store and the alarm goes off. That is up to the store to prove something and get the police involved. They can follow me if they want to. If anyone thinks I am going to subject myself to a search they are out of their minds unless I am legally detained by LE and they want to do a Terry search. The only way that I will allow for a search of me or my belongins is if they actually arrest me for something.
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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    The laws vary hugely by state. Texas revamped their entire security guard licensing / regulation system after an armed security guard shot and killed a customer for cutting in the checkout line.

    Again, in Texas, law enforcement can search for weapons by detaining an actor without arrest, but if they find any contraband other than a weapon, (like drugs), during such a search, it is probably not going to hold up in court. After arrest, a more thorough search prevents fruit of the poisoned tree.

    A security guard in Texas may attempt what used to be known as a "Citizens Arrest" by verbal restraint methods only. If he uses physical force to detain the actor, it usually doesn't go well. Many departments arrest security guards who attempt to do this and get physical. I remember one incident where we arrested a security guard who cuffed a woman and dragged her (literally) to a back room for "questioning." He drew an aggravated assault felony. The woman was released with the profuse apologies of the store manager.

    Again here in Texas, the largest restraining force on security guards is litigation. A number of chain stores paid out millions before reigning in their "loss prevention" people. My understanding, based on reports from our community policing officers' investigations, is that the huge majority of "loss prevention" ought to be aimed at employees rather than customers as employees rob some places blind.

    I'm a few years behind on this and some of it may have changed.
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSafety View Post
    I went to Wally World last night to get some milk for breakfast. As I was checking out two men walked up behind someone in a motorized cart. They confronted the man. It looked like a couple of punks harassing an easy victim. The two guys picked up the front of the cart and pushed him back into the store. Turns out these two guys were undercover security and the guy was a shoplifter. These two guys were extremely belligerent, in keeping with the security company's reputation at another Wally World (pedestrians and drivers beware, they WILL run you down, and have caused a few accidents by their aggressive and abusive driving). They came just short of laying hands on the man, holding him in place over three small items, preventing him from walking away.

    As I understand it, this is unlawful restraint, false imprisonment. Security does not have the authority to hold people. As I understnad it, they can observe and take pictures, but not prevent someone from leaving the store. I had places to go so I couldn't stay to give my statement to the police. I couldn't even get pictures as my hands were full.
    If he was a thief that got caught who cares if his feelings are hurt! If he resists and got a few lumps I won't loose any sleep over it. DR
    wmhawth likes this.

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