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Non-5 step apprehensions

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  • Non-5 step apprehensions

    I know it could be risky but how many of you here apprehended shoplifters on criteria other than the standard five step protocol?

    Not working too much retail @ the moment but when I was, strictly abiding by the 'five steps' made it nearly impossible to catch/apprehend thieves. Especially so being in uniform.

    Example 1: Subject seen exiting with OBVIOUS bulges in his clothing @ the beginning of my shift. I wasn't even aware of his presence in the store until then. I approach to question him as he's walking out; he denies taking anything and begins to flee. I grab him by the jacket to try to bring him back into the store but then simply decide to rip off his t-shirt, which results in about 40$ or so of merchandise falling out. He was a filthy-looking bum so instead of tangling with him, I just let him walk away shirtless.

    Example 2: At the end of my shift this time, a female subject with a purse set off the EAS sensor. I follow her out of the store & ask what it could possibly be. She says 'my cell phone.' I politely ask to look in her purse. She says she'd rather not let me. I then force her purse open, causing her to claw her nails in2 my knuckles, and inside was steaks, pizzas, & salt shakers totaling about 30$. She kept fighting which resulted in her being taken to the ground, handcuffed & hit with robbery charges as well. The kicker: a friend was with her, whom she was telling to 'call the police.'

    These 2 I caught individually, but I have countless other examples where I assisted store managers in apprehensions without either one of us giving a second thought to any 'five steps.'

    I know I'll get flak 4 this but what's everybody's thoughts? Any similar experiences to share?

    Last edited by The Enforcer; 11-21-2018, 03:53 PM. Reason: Oversight

  • #2
    It's actually "7 steps. Take a look at the retail industry and court accepted "Detention of Shoplifting Suspects".


    For a proper detention for shoplifting, the

    store’s agent should meet the following

    six steps:

    1. Observe the customer approach

    the merchandise

    2. Observe the customer select the


    3. Observe the customer concealing

    the merchandise or otherwise carrying

    it away

    4. Keep the customer under constant

    and uninterrupted observation

    5. Observe the customer fail to pay for

    the merchandise

    6. Detain the customer outside the store

    (if required by state law) or after the

    customer passes the last point of sale
    Last edited by Curtis Baillie; 11-21-2018, 06:26 PM.
    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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


    • #3
      These steps would work for a plain-clothes store detective Curtis, yes, but the uniform is best for deterrence more than anything.

      However it often does not deter people. Not even the presence of a firearm, etc. to go with it. So u have 2 come up with different ways of stopping these crooks; rather than helplessly stand by and watch them stroll past, shirt stuffed, & a smug grin on their face.

      If u have ANY doubt, then it goes without saying: do no more than question the subject. If they don't cooperate, try 2 get them next time)

      A major sign of guilt however is the suspect fleeing upon contact, as mentioned in the post above.
      Last edited by The Enforcer; 11-21-2018, 07:30 PM. Reason: Crucial detail


      • #4
        IMO, you seriously need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

        While in practice many LEOs will be deaf to such perp's claims, in both cases you mentioned you'd likely be the one charged with fairly serious crimes, not to mention MASSIVE life changing Civil action.

        Dude, the job and pay are not worth the risks you are taking. I know its kinda fun to gank dirtbags but I see major regrets in your future.

        Security is a funny biz, with many funny people. AFAIK, you get about same pay sitting in car surfing WWW with laptop and eating a nice packed lunch (or having takeout delivered) as you do working on your feet in the trenches against literal armies of dirtbags, most with all sorts of diseases.

        Did interview for $21/hr retail job. Asks me "what would you do if you see a guy with armful of merchandise rushing the door and car waiting with open door". Well, I didn't say I'd tackle him, which was sorta what they wanted....not for $21/hr and probably not even for $100/hr in SF bay area.

        Next week got job for $25/hr sitting at desk in empty office, WiFi, fridge, full kitchen(cleaned by maid daily), $900 Herman Miller chair (of course they find me the right size of the S-M-L choices) , even gym, etc. Bonus, instead of harried store manager, my clients were world class scientists, and super cool. Place had about $60K sound system that (of course) I was given WiFi access to use.
        Last edited by Squid; 11-24-2018, 11:33 PM.