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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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. :frown:
 

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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.
 

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CombatEffective

Your comments were not taken any wrong way (by me).
To each cat...his own rat...I always say.
Smart idea having a qualified P.O. on the scene.
In my case...I'm always extremely "easy going" ~ I always have been.
I actually like those little "fickle fingers" that FATE points at me sometimes. It's the "spice" of life that makes for a less boring day. :biggrin:
I never steal anything so...I figure that if somebody wants to make themselves look foolish and "red faced" by searching me in their store then they can "knock themselves out" & go right on ahead.
It has only ever happened to me once & I can understand how my wallet could have been visually taken for a bulk~pak of batteries going into my pocket.
 

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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. :tongue:
 

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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.----
 

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I agree with all of you :biggrin: Better to be cool and collective, than hot and hostil. My story was just attempting to provide how poorly trained some of the people we trust with having some authority in aprehending potential thieves is. I'd want the PD there, and have myself in full view to everybody, especially if I was not doing anything wrong, and carrying in a lawful manner. :biggrin:
 

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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. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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.
 

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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.

-Scott-
 

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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.
 

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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.
Gonzo
 

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A few years ago the mall had some rule that anyone under the age of 14 or 15 had to have adult supervision. Well, first off, not too many people under 15 carry ID (learner's permit), even then a lot of 15yos dont have it.

One day, as I was walking into the mall, I got carded. Carded again around the corner. Carded again coming out of the store, which was around that corner. Said the hell with it, decided to leave, got carded again, by the same guy that carded me on the way in. After pointing out that he had carded me 15 or 20 minutes ago, he got an attitude. So I got an attitude. Then his got worse. Then mine got worse. Then I had the two others that carded me over there, and they brought their attitudes. Thats a lot of testosterone... By the time I was saying "F YOU! F YOU! and F YOU TOO!" a uniformed (OD?) APD officer stepped in, and got the testosterone level down. I was 17 or 18 at the time. Unlike most guys that are 14, I had a full beard, which is why I think one reason the officer took my side, getting carded four times in about 20 minutes, twice by the same guy, certainly didnt hurt.

Thats not the only run-in I had with the rentacops at the mall, but it was the worst. Maybe thats why I'm so uncooperative.

Someting like a TV or car battery that wont fit in the bag, sure, I dont mind handing over my receipt so they can make sure I'm not stealing it. Assuming its not a membership store (like Sam's), I'm not gonna let them check my bag unless I set the alarm off. They can yell all they want, I'm just gonna keep walking. If they have PC to detain me, they can call the police, I'll wait by the front door depending on their attitude. If someone puts a hand on me, it will be removed.

Sorry fellas, but I have little respect for department store rentacops. You can thank the guys at the Asheville Mall.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Before this thread goes any farther, I would like to point out that we have at least one person on this site whose job involves "loss prevention". (aka busting shoplifters)

I just want to say that I have no problem with 99% of security guards. But like the stories on here I have seen them go to far. I have no trouble at all with someone who is professionsal, and acts like it. It is the rookie with an attitude that scares me.
 

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I've got to say something here.

I worked retail for 4 years. I have seen so much scum sucking human crap steal thousands of dollars worth of stuff. On one occassion I ran out into a fenced in yard and asked two gentlemen what the hell they thought they were doing throwing merchandise over the fence.

But we didn't fight with security or brute force. We fought with superior intelligence. Our weapons were a state of the art surveillance system and a team of employees trained to be wide awake.

I personally never touched a customer. I did have occassion however to stand in a doorway and demand a receipt. I offered to check bags as a courtesy to keep the customer from having to present each item on the list to me.

You do it like this: "Good evening sir. Did you find everything you needed today? That's great. Could I just verify that receipt super quick so you can be on your way? I'll even check the bag for you to speed this up. After I'm done will you need assistance loading this up?"

You're doing three things here. #1. You're slowing them down so the LP guy can do his job better #2. You're giving service #3. You make it sound like they're getting some kind of VIP treatment.

Then if they object:

"Oh I know it sir. Isn't it terrible we have to be treated like this in a public place because a few bad apples ruin it for everybody?"

This is classic verbal judo. You're displacing the anger. They're not mad at you or the store any more they're mad at shoplifters.

I did have a couple of hard sells. You aren't going to show me a receipt? I'm not moving then. Want to lay a hand on me? Okay genius I'm surrounded by 200 pound guys and we're all wearing the same color uniform and we're recording the whole thing too. We're a bunch of roughnecks and the nearest police car is never more than 400 feet away. Your move.

They caved, and got help loading their stuff too.

This shoplifting crap costs you more than you know. Don't make some poor college kid making $6.50 an hour get his blood pressure up because you're too stubborn to do a simple thing.
 

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i had a rentacop building security 'officer' try to stop me last summer when i was leaving my office building. he followed me out well past the property lines to catch up to me. apparently he thought i had no business being in the building.

he demanded to see ID. i refused. he then told me "you may as well show your ID, as the police are already on their way". which only made me more adamant. why would he call police because he saw someone leaving a building? so i pressed him on the issue. then he did radio in to his headquarters to call the police. i laughed. he was lying. so i told him i was going on my way and when police showed up tell them i went that way.

it would have been great if he had tried to physically stop me.


as far as retail mall rentacops are concerned, i'm kind of torn on that issue. for starters, i've never seen any of them hassle anyone that didnt deserve it, so i'm pretty safe on that front. but considering that over half the rentacops are armed (from the malls to the theaters) i'm not sure how much trouble i would give them if they did hassle me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bravo Euclidean.
You just confirmed my point. I only have one problem with your statement.

You aren't going to show me a receipt? I'm not moving then. Want to lay a hand on me? Okay genius I'm surrounded by 200 pound guys and we're all wearing the same color uniform and we're recording the whole thing too.
I don't know why but that rubs me the wrong way. I understand that you need to be able to detain a BG. However I still think I would be peeved off if that happened to me. Then again I usually have no problem showing someone what is in my bag if the alarm goes off either. If they refused to let me by after that, I might have to demand that they call that cop sitting 400ft away and lets do this whole thing in front of their customers.
 
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