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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, 04:53 PM. Reason: Oversight

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


    PROPER DETENTION STEPS

    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

    merchandise

    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, 07:26 PM.
    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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

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    • #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, 08:30 PM. Reason: Crucial detail

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      • #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; 11-25-2018, 12:33 AM.

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        • #5
          The trouble is jurisdictions in my neck of the woods aren't prosecuting for shoplifiting anymore except for crimes over $1000 or chronic repeat offenders. What I've seen lately is the LP asking for the merchandise back, but if it is just @ $100 or less they let the person go. (Or, if they can, grab it back but no attempt to detain.) If we (shopping center security) are there, we will either verbally ban them or give them a trespass letter if they are a repeat offender or have stolen from other stores in the complex.

          Just setting off the sensor on your way out isn't enough - the merchants here use cheap equipment and false triggers do happen (although not as often as these dirtbags claim). Going in, if we see you with a "booster bag" (large foil lined bag to fool the sensor) we have reasonable suspicion to hang out and assist LP if needed.

          High end merchants here (except for jewelers) are really allergic to LP and Security, because of image. I would so like to explain to the wealthy women that come in our center that when their favorite bottle of $300 perfume is now $400, they can blame the homeless junkie they handed their spare change to, because the poor soul was probably in earlier ripping off the store for his habit.
          Last edited by Condo Guard; 11-04-2019, 04:30 PM.

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          • #6
            Right, just setting the sensor off is indeed not enough. Once it activates, 1 needs 2 conduct a proper investigation; can't just up & tackle the guy, lol.

            Overwhelmingly, most people r more than cooperative & have no unpaid product from the store on their person. More frequently, it's due 2 cashier oversight. [failure 2 deactivate tag during checkout]

            I was back @ it again there 4 a while & the last 1 I got had:

            A. Set off the EAS sensor

            B. Had visible lumps in his t-shirt

            C. Refused 2 explain both factors

            D. Result = another day, another shirt ripped up

            This over a $9 bottle of wine & 6 packs of krazy glue, of all things 😂

            Manager chose neither 2 detain nor prosecute
            Last edited by The Enforcer; 11-05-2019, 08:37 AM.

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            • #7
              You ripped up a persons shirt? With no action taken? You are a huge liability.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Soper View Post
                You ripped up a persons shirt? With no action taken? You are a huge liability.
                Well the manager didn't want 2 pursue so it was out of my hands @ that point

                He seemed content with getting the product back & getting the guy out of our hair

                I asked him whether to detain, he said no, so that was that

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                • #9
                  I think what Enforcer means is the shirt got ripped in the scuffle. (I hope that's what he means.) I've seen it happen - we were assisting an LP who was struggling with a female suspect, and she deliberately wiggled out of her torn shirt to escape. LP (correctly) decided that chasing a half naked suspect through the parking lot wasn't the best optics; we just got the merchandise back, got the plate of the getaway car, and called it a day...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Enforcer View Post

                    Well the manager didn't want 2 pursue so it was out of my hands @ that point

                    He seemed content with getting the product back & getting the guy out of our hair

                    I asked him whether to detain, he said no, so that was that

                    You DO realize that you are a hair way from a lawsuit, right?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
                      I think what Enforcer means is the shirt got ripped in the scuffle. (I hope that's what he means.) I've seen it happen - we were assisting an LP who was struggling with a female suspect, and she deliberately wiggled out of her torn shirt to escape. LP (correctly) decided that chasing a half naked suspect through the parking lot wasn't the best optics; we just got the merchandise back, got the plate of the getaway car, and called it a day...
                      No - I meant I deliberately ripped the shirt in order to retrieve the concealed merchandise; on both occasions.

                      Goddamn bastards weren't cooperating - so them's the breaks

                      Soper, if it's any consolation, they rarely send me 2 that store anymore due 2 my aggressive, heavy handed, eye-4-eye tendencies

                      Also, if you don't mind me asking - what potential lawsuit r u referring 2? When both subjects had store product on their person

                      I mean there r plenty of sleazebag attorneys out there, but even if it went 2 court, it wouldn't get very far: therefore no counsel with an iota of common sense would take on such a case
                      Last edited by The Enforcer; 11-07-2019, 12:59 AM.

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