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STOP & SEARCH: Lego Shoplifting Suspicions
This morning I took all my (mostly empty) Series 6 CMF bags with biro scribbled on the dots to Argos so I could work out what ones I needed. It was too much hassle to work out so I popped them back in my backpack, this the assistant saw. After my X4 CMF purchase I left only to be strictly stopped on the street by a plain clothes cop/security guy who searched and questioned me over 4 missing CMF bags from Argos!
It was amusing and of course embarrassing seeing him read all the packets I'd scribbled on: "Clockwork Robot, Space Girl..." etc. Whoops, next time I'll explain to the assistant what I'm up to or bring a receipt. My shoplifter style coat did not do any favours! (I really found no helpful series 6 dot code sheet out there).
Has anyone else been suspected of stealing Lego? Or been as dumb as me?!
Moved to Everything Else LEGO: YC 4-26-12
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Recent discussions •
I haven't been accused of stealing lego, but I did witness a shoplifting in Argos once. This guy brazenly walked into the display window and used a hacksaw to sever the security cable off a dvd player and then pushed past me saying in a cockney accent, "nicking it! nicking it! nicking it!"
What are the rules over there for being stopped by security? Here in the US, the rules for stopping someone suspected of shoplifting are quite strict:
You must see the shoplifter approach your merchandise
You must see the shoplifter select your merchandise
You must see the shoplifter conceal, carry away or convert your merchandise
You must maintain continuous observation the shoplifter
You must see the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise
You must approach the shoplifter outside of the store
Of course, all that being said, many stores won't try and physically detain someone due to the risk of liability for store employees getting hurt by a shoplifter who doesn't want to stop. What they will do is have someone follow them until they get into their car, with the police on the way, to get an ID or a number plate.
In short, a waitress at a restaurant had 4 people skip out on a $131 check. The waitress followed them out into the parking lot, only to be run over by them in their car, killing her.
The restaurant was sued by the family of the dead employee, which sure costs a lot more money than a $131 skipped check.
More details if you like... but in short, the risk is just not worth it.
During an interview hours after her arrest, Ms. Henson told Detective Johnson that she asked Ms. Foust why she kept driving after hitting the waitress.
According to the detective, Ms. Foust answered, “What the … [expletive] was I supposed to do, stop the car?”
Sad, that we have people like that in the world...
Ok, one more follow up...
Ms. Foust, the driver of the car that killed the waitress... was sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder...
Personally, I think that is what she deserved, what a senseless waste of life...
Yes, it is. Nothing quite comparable to it in the US. You'd go in, and write 6-digit catalogue numbers on a slip, hand them to the cashier, who'd have someone send out back for the stuff and they'd bring it out and you'd pay for it.
Sort of like it is if you order something from Walmart (online, say) and when it's in, you go to the back to pick it up ... but for Argos, this is on a walk-in, right now basis.
I've been out of the UK 16 years now, so maybe it's all different now!
Argos is the narnia of dreams for me with the laminated book to catch the tears of joy when I go in there.
Sits and waits for some one to get it....
Sadly no Index has gone. Its just Argos now and BHS they are still going.
For a policeman to stop/search some-one in the street, all they need is 'reasonable suspicion'. Seeing some-one put empty bags in their backpack like the OP did probably amounts to reasonable suspicion, at least in a policeman's eyes.
If it was a security guard, I'm pretty sure they shouldn't have stop/search powers. I think they have to accost the suspected shoplifter and wait for a policeman. Could be wrong about that though.
He was forceful though in tone (probably hates his job but maybe it pays well) and this town is scag central with loads of druggie shoplifters. They like to crack down on them. I really looked the part unfortunately with a beard growing and my choice of army surplus hooded jacket....
I'm going back next week to embarrass the assistant some more for mis-grassing me. Not her fault though. The guy was a little crazy to stop CMF theft.
As an alternative there is simply citizen's arrest. Generally speaking you can arrest anybody if you have witnessed them commit a crime.
Yes, in the United States, you can be found guilty of a crime, then sue the victim for it and win. Yea, we're weird... This term is used way too much...
Generally in the United States, a person may make a "citizen's arrest" if the commission of a felony is witnessed by the arresting citizen, or when a citizen is asked to assist in the apprehension of a suspect by police.
Since most shoplifting cases are misdemeanors, the average person can't do a thing. In addition, American Citizens do not carry the authority or enjoy the legal protections held by police officers, and can be liable in both civil and criminal law for their actions.
That is why so many larger companies hire off-duty police officers for security and other events, because they keep their "police officer" powers even when off-duty and can be in uniform and do everything they normally would do when on-duty, except now they work for the company instead of the city. This is, however, regulated and such assignments are controlled by the police dept, you can't just hire a cop off the street, you have to go through the dept.
We used to have that here. It was called Service Merchandise, but fell out of favor.. in the good old days of Toys R Us they would do that with high price items, video games and such, you would take a slip of paper on the shelf, go pay, then go to a room past the cashiers with the stamp on it and pick up your video game or whatnot... I dunno why, but I just have fond memories of that.
We also had a store called BEST (not BestBuy, this was general goods, pre-Walmart days). Got a lot of Transformers and such as a kid in that store...
Interestingly, a California police officer cannot arrest a person for committing a misdemeanor if the officer did not witness it, but can arrest that same person "under the authority" of a citizen who did.
(Using California as an example above because it is the most populous state).
I myself have had a police officer transport me to a person who was being detained, for the purposes of me personally placing them under citizens arrest, after which the police took them into custody and booked them (this happened in Nevada).
I'm surprised that Texas doesn't allow misdemeanor citizen's arrest given what I know about that state, but I'll defer to LFT's knowledge since he lives there.
And of course the law in Texas, I learned on the Internet, so it could be wrong too! :)
Keep in mind that in Texas, you'd be really foolish to be in plain-clothes and trying to physically detain someone outside of a store. And that is all I'll say about that... :)
Which reminds me. I walked past there one evening just in time to see a child throwing up multicoloured vomit.
Going along with the hijacking or shoplifting (lol) of the thread with the M&M's talk, I have to say that peanut butter chocolate (red bags) are my fave. I don't like mint. I've tried raspberry M&M's - I wasn't a fan.
Anyway - the best sweets/candy ever!!!
and just for the record, I'm after peanut BUTTER m&ms. not peanut. This is a very important distinction.
@caperberry "Which reminds me. I walked past there one evening just in time to see a child throwing up multicoloured vomit."
I'm just glad I was not alone in the CMF theft suspicion... glad I didn't ask about real theft!
My brother n law is a manager of a small camera store. A person walked in and asked to see an expensive camera. The person took off with the camera and my brother n law ran after him. After several blocks the guy gave up and gave back the camera. Because he works at a small shop he said $3,100 would come out of his paycheck. He wasn't letting that happen.
My mother works at a Walmart and theft happens every day. They are instructed not to pursue the offender. A big problem is employees helping other criminals commit the crimes. When this happens, Walmart let's the activity go on for awhile until they have enough evidence to press charges.
Walmart used to have a zero tolerance shop lifting policy. Now they only prosecute over $25 of theft and they focus more on the employees because they steal alot more than the average shoplifter.
Regarding Walmart, it wouldn't make sense to make an issue over a $1 stolen candy bar, kids put those in their pocket all the time, cost of doing business.
It isn't "fair", but "fair" often doesn't enter into business decisions.
To answer the original poster's question, I was at Walmart buying some 50% off sets after x-mas. They were big and didn't fit in a bag, so I just carried them. The door lady was busy with another customer or two, and I didn't feet like waiting, so I simply went around them through another door.
Next thing I know, I was being surrounded by at least four employees who demanded to see my receipt. In CA, there is no legal obligation to show a receipt (exception being membership-based stores). So I declined to show them becuase I felt it was quite rude of them to surround me like a was a shoplifter. I proceeded to walk out, and they were about to physically grab me- they were also physically blocking me from leaving. I warned that legally it is assault if they touched me, and that I would probably press charges if they did (wife is an attorney, so it would be no problem to initiate legal action and subpoena the in-store video if I really wanted to pursue the issue).
As it was, I had to get home to work (I work from home). So I really couldn't afford to waste a lot of my time dealing with this. I caved and showed my receipt and was on my way.
I know it sort of seems like I was the jerk here, and that could be true. However, it was quite offensive to have people surrounding and imprisoning me in the store (effectively accusing me of shoplifting, which I was not doing). I was simply reacting to their inappropriate actions.