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Bad stops. Unproductive Stops. Failed apprehensions.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Caedes View Post
    Exactly as Curtis has already stated, you can't. What you can be reasonably sure of, though, is if you follow the steps and you're comfortable that you followed the steps, you will have a shoplifting case. I'm willing to be that Curtis would agree with me when I suggest that it's much more difficult to win a "bad stop" suit when you've correctly been documented and stopped for theft.
    I've seen bad stops where the LP have followed the person on camera from the parking lot, into the store, established all the elements, waited until exit, stopped the person only for it to be that persons personal item. They tried suing and lost.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by capurato View Post
      I've seen bad stops where the LP have followed the person on camera from the parking lot, into the store, established all the elements, waited until exit, stopped the person only for it to be that persons personal item. They tried suing and lost.
      All the elements? Even selection of the store's merchandise?
      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
        All the elements? Even selection of the store's merchandise?
        That's the piece. How it went down is detailed below.

        Big Box Department store setting with full PTZ system (black and white). The store had just opened and the LP Detective was panning through the parking lot when he noticed a car pull to the curb, park and a the customer get out quickly. The LPD followed the person inside and the person went to the coat department. After looking around, the customer asked an associate a question and they began looking at the cash register area which was quite messy. The associate got called away by a manager and the customer continued to quickly look through the clothes piled at the register. The customer picked up a jacket from the register area. They then walked quickly towards the door and exit the store. The LPD stops the person and brings them back to the office. It turns out the customer left the jacket the night prior and when they called the store, they were told it was at the register area in the coat department. The LPD looked at the jacket and it was a brand the store sold, however it was obviously used. He was not able to see this via the B/W cameras.

        The customer sued but was not successful.

        Many people sue companies even when the stop was legitimate and they were stealing.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by capurato View Post
          That's the piece. How it went down is detailed below.

          Big Box Department store setting with full PTZ system (black and white). The store had just opened and the LP Detective was panning through the parking lot when he noticed a car pull to the curb, park and a the customer get out quickly. The LPD followed the person inside and the person went to the coat department. After looking around, the customer asked an associate a question and they began looking at the cash register area which was quite messy. The associate got called away by a manager and the customer continued to quickly look through the clothes piled at the register. The customer picked up a jacket from the register area. They then walked quickly towards the door and exit the store. The LPD stops the person and brings them back to the office. It turns out the customer left the jacket the night prior and when they called the store, they were told it was at the register area in the coat department. The LPD looked at the jacket and it was a brand the store sold, however it was obviously used. He was not able to see this via the B/W cameras.

          The customer sued but was not successful.

          Many people sue companies even when the stop was legitimate and they were stealing.
          OK so all the elements were not present. Was the customer taken to the LP office or was the mistake discovered on the sales floor and was resolved?
          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
          Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
            OK so all the elements were not present. Was the customer taken to the LP office or was the mistake discovered on the sales floor and was resolved?
            I'm confused...the LP Detective saw

            1 - entry to the store, entry to the department.
            2 - customer approached the area where the merchandise was and selection of the merchandise.
            3 - observed the customer take possession of the merchandise
            4 - maintained constant observation of the subject.
            5-subject passed all points of sale without payment
            6- exited the store

            The subject was brought back to the LP office.

            Comment


            • #21
              The issue is it was not the store's merchandise and that is the intention of the of step 2.

              I see a couple of issues here that led to the bad stop. 1) the register area was "messy" and 2) the employee from the night before had not followed the store's lost and found policy. This is a prime example of how a lack of housekeeping and follow through of store/company policy.

              If the person was stopped (detained) and brought back to the office; I can see why he sued. If he was never taken to the office and the matter was resolved right there on the sales floor I can see where his lawsuit was not successful. So, a lawsuit was filed and was not successful. Care to guess how much money that cost your company? If the "suspect" was stopped on the sales floor and he explained what happened and it was quickly determined that it was his coat and then he was immediately released - no harm no foul.

              You stated that the LPD was not able to see this via the B/W cameras. I suggest that color cameras would not have made a difference in this case.

              This example should be a learning tool for the store and LP.
              Last edited by Curtis Baillie; 01-04-2015, 10:11 AM.
              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
              Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
                The issue is it was not the store's merchandise and that is the intention of the of step 2.

                I see a couple of issues here that led to the bad stop. 1) the register area was "messy" and 2) the employee from the night before had not followed the store's lost and found policy. This is a prime example of how a lack of housekeeping and follow through of store/company policy.

                If the person was stopped (detained) and brought back to the office; I can see why he sued. If he was never taken to the office and the matter was resolved right there on the sales floor I can see where his lawsuit was not successful. So, a lawsuit was filed and was not successful. Care to guess how much money that cost your company? If the "suspect" was stopped on the sales floor and he explained what happened and it was quickly determined that it was his coat and then he was immediately released - no harm no foul.

                You stated that the LPD was not able to see this via the B/W cameras. I suggest that color cameras would not have made a difference in this case.

                This example should be a learning tool for the store and LP.
                I understand the stores merchandise piece.

                I have no idea how much it cost but I'm sure over $50,000.

                Mistakes happen, it's what the store/company does with the mistakes that is the real issue. I have seen sales managers refuse to take cash payments from minorities because of their perception that they have seen a lot of counterfeit money in the past. Stores get sued Frequently and mainly for non LP issues.

                Is it better to solve the issue in private or at the entrance for all to see? That has always been a question of mine. 3 minutes at the entrance for all to see or 5 minutes on a private office?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by capurato View Post
                  I understand the stores merchandise piece.

                  I have no idea how much it cost but I'm sure over $50,000.

                  Mistakes happen, it's what the store/company does with the mistakes that is the real issue. I have seen sales managers refuse to take cash payments from minorities because of their perception that they have seen a lot of counterfeit money in the past. Stores get sued Frequently and mainly for non LP issues.

                  Is it better to solve the issue in private or at the entrance for all to see? That has always been a question of mine. 3 minutes at the entrance for all to see or 5 minutes on a private office?
                  Let's take the stop you have outlined. I have to assume that the individual was escorted to the LP office. In this case the customer's claim of innocence and his "story" should have-could have been investigated on the sales floor.

                  Your estimate of $50,000 is probably on spot. Once the lawsuit is filed there is alot of background work that's goes on, including the retention of Expert(s). Here's what I think happened in this case. The suit was filed and evaluated and the company decided it would be less costly to agree to a settlement. It's more than likely this is what transpired and the company won't tell you the outcome. That's usually how these things take place.

                  This is should have been a teaching moment for the LP department.

                  I have a case very similar to this one you have described that includes the improper use of handcuffs. That's all about I can say about it until the case either settles or is finalized in the court system. When it is finalized, I will come back and talk about this case.

                  Here's something I wrote for SecurityInfoWatch: (credit to Chuck Sennewald)

                  Although not all-encompassing, here is a list of points retailers should consider regarding litigation avoidance:
                  - Never make a "bad" or questionable stop.
                  - Never make a false arrest.
                  - Never injure a customer.
                  - Never assault a customer.
                  - Never improperly search a customer.
                  - Never fail to investigate a suspect's claim of innocence.
                  - Never fail to document.
                  - Never fail to admit errors in dealing with shoplifters.
                  - Never fail to apologize when in the wrong.

                  This may sound like a long list of things not to do, but I have seen all of these points appear in security-related civil litigation cases against retailers.
                  Last edited by Curtis Baillie; 01-04-2015, 06:39 PM.
                  Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                  Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by capurato View Post
                    I understand the stores merchandise piece.

                    I have no idea how much it cost but I'm sure over $50,000.

                    Mistakes happen, it's what the store/company does with the mistakes that is the real issue. I have seen sales managers refuse to take cash payments from minorities because of their perception that they have seen a lot of counterfeit money in the past. Stores get sued Frequently and mainly for non LP issues.

                    Is it better to solve the issue in private or at the entrance for all to see? That has always been a question of mine. 3 minutes at the entrance for all to see or 5 minutes on a private office?
                    I don't mean to harp on you specifically, so accept the following comments as comments in general, and not necessarily comments directed at you.

                    Litigation is exactly within the loss prevention department's purview. Losses as a result of litigation are assets lost, and do actually fall into the department of loss prevention. An example of when litigation prevention affects a loss prevention officer is tripping and fire hazards. Of course that is also a safety issue, but greater, it's a major liability issue that it's within the loss prevention department's area of responsibility to address. In your particular case, loss prevention has obviously failed in the sense that your store's policies are clearly discriminatory and should never have been approved.

                    Stores that we primarily contract out loss prevention agents to are also encouraged to obtain our companies' subject matter and legal feedback on policies and procedures, and in-house loss prevention departments should be no different. We strive to prevent and control the loss of assets, and policies and procedures are a huge area where financial (asset) and reputational risk exists.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by capurato View Post
                      I think safety comes into play as well. It's safer to detain someone past the last point of sale as they are attempting to exit than in the middle of the parking lot.
                      Hence the curb rule.
                      Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."

                      THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

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                      • #26
                        ZM, your company has some exceptions which led to trouble in a major city and one of the company's flagship store. I wonder how much they have paid in lawsuits. Not sure who gets sued more, Wal Mart or them.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by capurato View Post
                          ZM, your company has some exceptions which led to trouble in a major city and one of the company's flagship store. I wonder how much they have paid in lawsuits. Not sure who gets sued more, Wal Mart or them.
                          Not anymore. We lost a guy who left the curb to assist PD while they were fighting with someone. The person did a hot and run and they let him go. PD onsited the incident and the guy got combative. The kids with a new retailer now and we still talk.
                          Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."

                          THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

                          Comment

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