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  • Opening sealed boxes at the cash

    I bought a Christmas gift this afternoon at my local Canadian Tire store. It was a small kitchen applicance. It came in a box wrapped in shrink wrap. When I got to the cash the cashier took out a knife & sliced open the sealed box, looked inside & closed it back up with a piece of tape.

    I complained that it made the gift look cheap & asked why it was done. I was told it's a security measure. apparently people unseal boxes in the store & hide items in the boxes & reseal them.

    Is this an industry wide problem?
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

  • #2
    Yes, absolutely it is.
    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

    Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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    • #3
      Opening Sealed Boxes At The Cash

      There are lots of variants on that, of course. I remember many years ago when I was a very young patrol officer, I got a call to the local K-Mart on a Theft By Shoplifting Call. Usually, you would go there and they had some juvenile in custody that stuck candy in his pocket and walked out without paying. This time, however, was a bit different. It turned some guy had a girlfriend that was a cashier. He tells her that he is doing some shopping and would come through her checkout. He picks up a car top carrier, buts it in a cart, and then goes around the store filling the carrier with all sorts of items. Then, when he is ready to checkout, he simply has the girlfriend ring up the carrier and disregard the contents inside. The loss prevention folks had been watching him load the carrier and apprehends him outside.

      In my area, you have to leave the store for the act of theft to be committed. My understanding is that may vary in other places. I have heard, but I don't know if it true, that if you are walking around a store, conceal something in a pocket, that you may have committed a crime in some states even though you haven't left the store yet. Can anybody comment on this?

      As a side note, when I first worked retail, the first time I saw someone put a candy bar in their pocket, I thought they had committed a shoplifting, even though they were inside the store. Then, a few minutes later, they walk up to the clerk, pull stuff out of their pockets, and pay for it. I sort of wonder if that would earn them a citation for theft in some parts of this country.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jim1348 View Post
        There are lots of variants on that, of course. I remember many years ago when I was a very young patrol officer, I got a call to the local K-Mart on a Theft By Shoplifting Call. Usually, you would go there and they had some juvenile in custody that stuck candy in his pocket and walked out without paying. This time, however, was a bit different. It turned some guy had a girlfriend that was a cashier. He tells her that he is doing some shopping and would come through her checkout. He picks up a car top carrier, buts it in a cart, and then goes around the store filling the carrier with all sorts of items. Then, when he is ready to checkout, he simply has the girlfriend ring up the carrier and disregard the contents inside. The loss prevention folks had been watching him load the carrier and apprehends him outside.

        In my area, you have to leave the store for the act of theft to be committed. My understanding is that may vary in other places. I have heard, but I don't know if it true, that if you are walking around a store, conceal something in a pocket, that you may have committed a crime in some states even though you haven't left the store yet. Can anybody comment on this?

        As a side note, when I first worked retail, the first time I saw someone put a candy bar in their pocket, I thought they had committed a shoplifting, even though they were inside the store. Then, a few minutes later, they walk up to the clerk, pull stuff out of their pockets, and pay for it. I sort of wonder if that would earn them a citation for theft in some parts of this country.
        I've regularly had cashiers open containers to check that othing else is inside but this is the first time I have ever seen one slice ope a sealed cardboard box to see what was inside. Good thing the store didn't sell food!
        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jim1348 View Post

          In my area, you have to leave the store for the act of theft to be committed. My understanding is that may vary in other places. I have heard, but I don't know if it true, that if you are walking around a store, conceal something in a pocket, that you may have committed a crime in some states even though you haven't left the store yet. Can anybody comment on this?
          There are many-many states in the USA that have conceilment laws. In those states the moment you hide the merchandise on you it fulfills the intent requirement.
          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
          Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

          Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

          Comment

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