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  • #16
    Every State and Province has there own laws regarding liability and law for the original posters statement.

    Many are similar, some are not.

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    • #17
      here in AZ i am doing security at a convienence store chain and our shoplifting law here has many provisions, I can either arrest inside the store if they conceal the item on their person or I can wait until they exit the store with the items. If they entered the store with no money and shoplift it gets bumped up to 3rd degree burglary which is a felony. If they resist my arrest it turns into robbery which is also a felony. I work in direct contrast of their employee guidelines which states do not chase, confront, stop anyone shoplifting. Also since I am contracted in as an agent of management I decide to prosocute or not.

      Also I do not have to see the actual act of item concealment to stop the person. Shoplifting is the only crime in AZ where any normal person, which a security guard is in AZ, that I can detain someone for. So if someone tells me they saw someone shoplift or I am pretty damn sure the person stole I can hook them up while I do an investigation. Then I can either get them to admit they have something on them, go look over the camera footage, or if I was told where it is on their person I will just take it out myself

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      • #18
        Stopping when they haven't left the store

        I would caution against stopping at the point of concealment and not letting them exit the store, or at least point of sale. In Arizona, while I was the Director of LP for a large grocery chain, we had two cases in rapid succession where the suspects pocketed a pack of cigarettes - even looked around while doing so. Both were stopped inside the store. Both had jury trials and were found not guilty. Both juries bought the "defense" - "my client just forgot he had put the item in his pocket - he never intended to leave the store without paying for it.

        Yes, the law allows you to make the stop in the store, but there's no telling what a jury will do. I quickly changed the apprehension policy.
        Last edited by Curtis Baillie; 01-09-2007, 12:12 PM. Reason: content
        Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
        Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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

        Comment


        • #19
          I've won in a case where I did not recover stolen items. We were having a problem at one of our hotels where 5 days a week 2 pieces of precut steak were disappearing from a walk-in refridgerator. I staked it out & every time someone entered & left I would go inside & count the meat. A dishwasher entered & came out. I counted the meat & found 2 missing. I went to soeak to him I could see the outline of the frozen steak in his back pocket. I ordered him to give it to me. He ran, He came back a few minutes later with nothing in his pocket. I called the police anyway. I convinenced the police that there had been reasonable & probable grounds that a theft had taken place. I also convinced the judge!
          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Security Consultant
            I would caution against stopping at the point of concealment and not letting them exit the store, or at least point of sale. In Arizona, while I was the Director of LP for a large grocery chain, we had two cases in rapid succession where the suspects pocketed a pack of cigarettes - even looked around while doing so. Both were stopped inside the store. Both had jury trials and were found not guilty. Both juries bought the "defense" - "my client just forgot he had put the item in his pocket - he never intended to leave the store without paying for it.

            Yes, the law allows you to make the stop in the store, but there's no telling what a jury will do. I quickly changed the apprehension policy.
            I agree. Otherwise it will be difficult to convict beyond a shadow of a doubt because the individual can make excuses that may seem plausible to a jury. I know that I would be willing to give an individual the benefit of the doubt.

            Another tricky area is "drive-offs" at gas stations. The motorist simply claims to have "forgotten" to pay. There is a motorist in this area that has done that several times and the police haven't been able to make an arrest yet because it's a very difficult to prove intent.
            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Mr. Security
              I agree. Otherwise it will be difficult to convict beyond a shadow of a doubt because the individual can make excuses that may seem plausible to a jury. I know that I would be willing to give an individual the benefit of the doubt.

              Another tricky area is "drive-offs" at gas stations. The motorist simply claims to have "forgotten" to pay. There is a motorist in this area that has done that several times and the police haven't been able to make an arrest yet because it's a very difficult to prove intent.
              I agree with this agreement, but... How many states make intent part of the crime? I know in Florida that concealment is prima fiscae (spell that, someone...) evidence of intent to commit retail theft (It bounces on and off every few years on if its admissible or not, too...)

              You can conduct the stop in the store, but I was always taught that the case is tighter if you stop them past the last point of sale. This way, they have exausted all opportunity to pay.
              Some Kind of Commando Leader

              "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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              • #22
                Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                I agree with this agreement, but... How many states make intent part of the crime? I know in Florida that concealment is prima fiscae (spell that, someone...) evidence of intent to commit retail theft (It bounces on and off every few years on if its admissible or not, too...)

                You can conduct the stop in the store, but I was always taught that the case is tighter if you stop them past the last point of sale. This way, they have exausted all opportunity to pay.
                Nathan:
                Prima facie evidence based in English Common Law "... sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption of fact unless rebutted...". I too was taught the case was near "air tight" if the person was always allowed to pass the last point of sale with the item hidden in such a fashion a reasonably prudent man presumed the suspect was leaving the controlled area with no intention of rendering payment. The presumed suspect did not give the custodian of the property for sale an opportunity to "dicker."
                Took awhile for me to dig that one up. You would never believe the amount of dust that seldom used texts and notebooks gather.
                Enjoy the day,
                Bill
                Last edited by Bill Warnock; 01-10-2007, 12:57 AM. Reason: Spelling

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                • #23
                  Yes, but shoplifting defined as:

                  "Shoplift" means any one or more of the following acts committed by a person without the consent of the merchant and with the purpose or intent of appropriating merchandise to that person's own or another's use without payment"

                  Concealment is EVIDENCE of INTENT. Without INTENT, there cannot be shoplifting. So if you conceal without the intent (you have your own canvas sachel to carry groceries around in and you place steaks in the sachel) there is no shoplifting.

                  Take in mind that concealment is only one piece of evidence towards intent, leaving the store without payment is another and with both, you have a pretty slam dunk case.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by security steve
                    Yes, but shoplifting defined as:

                    "Shoplift" means any one or more of the following acts committed by a person without the consent of the merchant and with the purpose or intent of appropriating merchandise to that person's own or another's use without payment"

                    Concealment is EVIDENCE of INTENT. Without INTENT, there cannot be shoplifting. So if you conceal without the intent (you have your own canvas sachel to carry groceries around in and you place steaks in the sachel) there is no shoplifting.

                    Take in mind that concealment is only one piece of evidence towards intent, leaving the store without payment is another and with both, you have a pretty slam dunk case.
                    In your jurisdiction. Some states consider concealment as prima ficae evidence of intent. Its enough for a retail theft charge. Will it go through? Maybe, maybe not.

                    This is the important thing. There is an old urban legend in Florida that you can sample fresh produce and derivatives and it not be retail theft (depriving a merchant of their product by consuming it without intent to pay). In other words, you get to take a bite of the farmer's orange, or a sample of the orange juice at the market.

                    I have not seen an actual case of "beating retail theft" due to this, but I've heard quite a few cases. If someone is inclined to research it, it would be amusing. And a good way to show that not every jurisdiction's "shoplifting" laws are the same.
                    Some Kind of Commando Leader

                    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      State Shoplifting Laws

                      Here's a link to the 50 State shoplifting laws. Courtesy of my friends at PCG Solutions:

                      http://www.pcgsolutions.com/Articles...utes_Index.htm
                      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Security Consultant
                        Here's a link to the 50 State shoplifting laws. Courtesy of my friends at PCG Solutions:

                        http://www.pcgsolutions.com/Articles...utes_Index.htm
                        Security Consultant:
                        Thank you very much. This is very interesting reading. I will ask them for permission to add their url to my security guide.
                        Again, thanks.
                        Nathan, as you have written for all of us to read, state laws do indeed represent a "crazy quilt."
                        Enjoy the day,
                        Bill

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Yea that sounds familiar

                          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                          That's going to be everywhere, actually. The security company enters into a contract with the mall's management company. Whatever the mall management company has ownership of, the security force has "agent of the owner" powers.

                          Now, depending on the state, if someone commits a criminal offense that you can make a citizen's arrest for... That power is inherent in all citizens, and there are no "jurisdictional boundries" that the citizen's arrest power magically stops. So, if someone walks off property, you can still arrest them in fresh pursuit... (since you made an immediate arrest and the person began to resist by flight)

                          As far as police, they do not enter into the "authority" of mall vs. store security, their jurisdiction is the entire city/state/county/etc. Mall security has a "jurisdictional boundry" only because their agent of the owner status works on the owner's property. If they have contracts in place with the tenant stores, then their "jurisdictional boundry" includes those tenant stores as permission to act as agent of the store is given.

                          A good example of this is homeowner associations. Security personnel have no agent of the owner status on the public street, but do on every lawn and common element, including private drives throughout the association's property. The homeowner owns the lawn, but through the association's covenant of documents gives the security company the authority to act as his agent for the purposes of protecting his property.
                          The site I work has an owners association...so I understand what you are saying here. In my case its a large condominium complex complete with parking structure and amenities building. We even have to write parking violations and conduct tows(only when it is justified to tow) and to protect their property.

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                          • #28
                            I got to agree to

                            Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                            I agree with this agreement, but... How many states make intent part of the crime? I know in Florida that concealment is prima fiscae (spell that, someone...) evidence of intent to commit retail theft (It bounces on and off every few years on if its admissible or not, too...)

                            You can conduct the stop in the store, but I was always taught that the case is tighter if you stop them past the last point of sale. This way, they have exausted all opportunity to pay.
                            Both of have excellent points here. Like I read in a few other posts they can simply say they were not done shopping or they were going to pay...be best to wait till they left the store.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              At my mall, we have no jurisdiction per se in the store unless requested. If someone shoplifts at a store, it is up to the store to make the stop, even if it is in the common area of the mall. They just need to call us and we will assist to make sure there is no fighting, put a camera on the situation and ban the individual if necessary. We will also have our dispatcher call the police if the store requests. Its sad that once you are out the door of some stores, their stuff is yours. Stores need to hammer shoplifters. I know of a couple in my mall that will prosecute you for a $0.99 pair of earrings. Kudos to them.
                              "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

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                              • #30
                                At the mall where I work part-time we as Security Officers (Agents Of The Property) can not stop shoplifters. The store employees have to make the stop. Usually what happens we recieve the call and respond to the store to assist with the detaining of the subject until local authorities arrive. We also issue a year suspension from the mall. If the person shows back up to the property they are arrested for Criminal Tresspass during their suspension. We really have nothing to do with stopping or arresting the subjects.
                                "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
                                - General George Patton Jr

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