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  • Apprehension.... Now What?

    I work for a national retail company in delaware. I get an average of 10 apprehensions a month where I am. This is my first lp job and at first I was just catching people, taking info and then letting them go. Now I am arresting people most of the time. I am wholly unimpressed with the court system. Waiting two hours just to get a plea for no contact and court fees. Our company has civil demand but I have no idea how it works and the rules with it nor its real world effectiveness. I work in the city where most people do not seem to live in the same home for twenty years.

    Can someone explain how civil demand works and the rules and guidelines about it?

  • #2
    First off your job is to reduce shrink in all it forms. What happens in court or Civil Demand has no bearing on your job. Second understanding Civil Demand should have been in your training. However laws vary by state try to google your states laws as they apply to Civil Demand. Suffice it to say Civil demand is a "Civil" action taken by retailer to recoup monies spent on LP, cameras, time, paperwork etc involved in shoplifting arrests

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    • #3
      Just to address a few points.....
      1) My training was "watch" people. It took me three weeks to just get the lp manual. So yeah it should have been covered along with everything else but definately was not

      2) My job is based solely on apprehensions. I have made numerous requests to no avail. I have $200 merchandise on the bottom shelf between two pillars. High value stuff right next to the door. Etc etc.

      3) In my area, people talk. So if for example all I did was say here give me that back and let them walk, people would try all the time simply because there is no consequence. If on the other hand we are known to charge a lot and get people arrested etc etc, people will be less likely to try because of the consequences.

      4) I do care about what happens to these people even if it is not related to my job. It is wrong and most people here are repeat offenders of other stores. It is wrong and should be punished.

      5) in essence of preventing theft, if I have to spend two hours, or up to the eight I have had, of my set 40 hr week, it reduces the time I am in the store. Although I enjoy my chance to sit down, it is costing the company for what seems to me to be very little gain.

      I understand it varies from state to state(hence why I added that detail) but was wondering how it works. Is it as good of a deterent as court and does it work with more of the inner city population I have here. Obviously specifics are needed but I was also wondering about general experiences and opinions

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      • #4
        Civil Restitution should have no bearing on their criminal trial or complaint. Its something that the victim (the store) files in civil court, along with any criminal charges the state brings.
        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by PetWolf View Post
          Just to address a few points.....
          1) My training was "watch" people. It took me three weeks to just get the lp manual. So yeah it should have been covered along with everything else but definately was notThen your trainng sucked and I venture to say that the lack of training will likely cost you and your company some money sooner or later

          2) My job is based solely on apprehensions. I have made numerous requests to no avail. I have $200 merchandise on the bottom shelf between two pillars. High value stuff right next to the door. Etc etc. Many Store managers do not want to here from low level store LP. Its sad but true

          3) In my area, people talk. So if for example all I did was say here give me that back and let them walk, people would try all the time simply because there is no consequence. If on the other hand we are known to charge a lot and get people arrested etc etc, people will be less likely to try because of the consequences.That may be true but not as much as you think

          4) I do care about what happens to these people even if it is not related to my job. It is wrong and most people here are repeat offenders of other stores. It is wrong and should be punished.You are not the court system. If your going to get wound up over how the courts react to your arrests then be ready to beat your head against the wall

          5) in essence of preventing theft, if I have to spend two hours, or up to the eight I have had, of my set 40 hr week, it reduces the time I am in the store. Although I enjoy my chance to sit down, it is costing the company for what seems to me to be very little gain.I agree but its not your policy if you don't lik eit search for a new job

          I understand it varies from state to state(hence why I added that detail) but was wondering how it works. Is it as good of a deterent as court and does it work with more of the inner city population I have here. Obviously specifics are needed but I was also wondering about general experiences and opinions
          Civil Demand allow a retailer to seek Civil damages. Depending on state (google is your friend) that can be from $50.00 to $1000.00. These monies are collected by a Civil recovery service or Law Firm your involvement stopped when perp left your office. If they fail to pay the fines can go way up even triple. they can also sue (in court) the perp and then be forced to pay the monies (with increases) and court cost. If a judgement is order there could be wage garnishments or leins put in place.

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          • #6
            Yeah my training was the worst...I have been half trained by two companies(long story) and am cautious so it has not cost me money just the company's while I was not catching anyone. This is probably the worst district/company to work for. I have no lpm and the dlpm I did not even see for 6 months. I understand this. If it were not for the benefits of this job I would have left along time ago. I am currently seeking a way out but it is slow and in the mean time will give me better training.

            As to the google remark, sorry to waste your time but I am on a phone at work.... I can get to specific websites etc but as far as really searching not much luck. It came up at work so I posted.

            In delaware it is either a multiplier of the retail value or 150 whichever is higher to be paid within 20days. I read the 'law' from a printout they gave us but it did not say things like.

            Can you do it along with an arrest?
            Does it work or do most get out of it?
            Specific requirements, such as do they have to have a real address and not a shelter address? Things like that.
            What is your experience with it and when to do it?
            Is doing that usually enough?
            Do you do both?

            I understand a lot of this is opinion but I know very little about its use other than it seems like a contract that they pay ex amount. And if they do not civil action can be taken but no idea what or if it works(part of this was answered already ty).


            And btw ty for your time and quick responses

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PetWolf View Post
              Yeah my training was the worst...I have been half trained by two companies(long story) and am cautious so it has not cost me money just the company's while I was not catching anyone. This is probably the worst district/company to work for. I have no lpm and the dlpm I did not even see for 6 months. I understand this. If it were not for the benefits of this job I would have left along time ago. I am currently seeking a way out but it is slow and in the mean time will give me better training.

              As to the google remark, sorry to waste your time but I am on a phone at work.... I can get to specific websites etc but as far as really searching not much luck. It came up at work so I posted.Shouldnt you be protecting your stoes assets rather than engage in website chat?

              In delaware it is either a multiplier of the retail value or 150 whichever is higher to be paid within 20days. I read the 'law' from a printout they gave us but it did not say things like.

              Can you do it along with an arrest?As stated they are unrelated so your answer is yes
              Does it work or do most get out of it?There is no way out of civil demand and that snot your problam
              Specific requirements, such as do they have to have a real address and not a shelter address? Things like that.You use what address they give after that its up to Civil Recovery service or Law firm
              What is your experience with it and when to do it?Its given you CD all suspects
              Is doing that usually enough?Whats enough?
              Do you do both?Pay attention CD is unrelated to court. doing both means what arrests and prosecution? Thats up to store policy

              I understand a lot of this is opinion but I know very little about its use other than it seems like a contract that they pay ex amount. And if they do not civil action can be taken but no idea what or if it works(part of this was answered already ty).


              And btw ty for your time and quick responses

              Your paying to much attention to issues that have no bearing on your job. Focus on shrink reduction thats your job not collecting CD

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              • #8
                The do you do both was more of an opinion question. I believe you stated you always do it. Anyone else?

                As for inquiring, I hate just using things. I rather atleast understand how it work before I use it. As I said am cautious lol. Our companies policy is different than what the store manager wants me to do which is different then what another manager tells me to do. Part of this is for me to figure out the best solution and convince the managers to go with that.

                At this point it seems like it is CD for all as well as arrests for the 'bad' ones.


                Think most of my questions are answered besides specifically to delaware (hoping to find the answer at home or a response) and just general opinions on the matter.

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                • #9
                  It should not matter if your prosecute or not you should be issuing Civil Demand to all shoplift suspects

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                  • #10
                    I understand that now. The way it was explained to me was that you civil demand or arrest. And that it was not 'legal' to do both in delaware. I blame my company lol.

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                    • #11
                      Check your state laws but since one is criminal and the other Civil I dont see why you can't do both

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                      • #12
                        Yeah I will when I get off work. I am also talking an ex state cop who is a lpm after work.

                        Before today, as a result of hearin more about it yesterday, I did not even know it was 'legal'. I thought it was just my company's made up contract.

                        Is there anything special you need to 'prove' it is valid? I mean I get there identity (name, add, ssn, ID #) and a written confession. Is this all that is legally needed?

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                        • #13
                          All you need for CD is a name and address. Your proof is in your report. Its foolish (unless innocent) to fight Civil Demand because the fines jump so much if thats the case

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                          • #14
                            Ok thank you. I assume most if not all agree with you as to always do it.

                            Just a small retort though.... stealing is dumb but people still do it.

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                            • #15
                              Here is the Civil Merchant Demand code for Delaware:

                              "§ 8143. Limitations on civil actions for recovery for shoplifting.

                              (a)(1) Before a civil action may be commenced, the merchants may send a notice to the defendant's last known address requesting that the defendant or the parent/guardian of a minor if the defendant is a minor make payment of the sums listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section within 20 days of the date of the letter. It is not a condition precedent to maintaining an action under this section that the defendant has been convicted of shoplifting or theft or that a police report has been filed.

                              (2) No civil action under this section may be maintained if the defendant has paid the merchant a penalty equal to the retail value of the merchandise where the merchandise was not recovered in its original condition, plus a penalty in the amount of the retail value of the merchandise or $150, whichever is greater, within 20 days of the date of the initial demand letter. If the merchandise is recovered in merchantable condition, no civil action under this section may be maintained if the defendant has paid the merchant a penalty equal to the retail value of the merchandise attempted to be taken or $150, whichever is greater, within 20 days of the date of the initial demand letter. Should the defendant fail to respond in a timely manner as described above, the merchant may request reasonable attorneys' fees in addition to the amounts described above and shall be entitled to recover costs of suit and reasonable attorneys' fees upon filing of an action.

                              (b) If the person to whom a written demand is made complies with such demand within 20 days of the date of the demand, that person shall be given a written release from further civil liability with respect to the specific act of shoplifting or theft.

                              (c) Parents or legal guardians of an unemancipated minor who triggers the liability portion of this section shall be jointly and severally liable civilly to the merchant. For purposes of this subsection, liability shall not be imposed upon any governmental entity or foster parents assigned responsibility for the minor child pursuant to a court order or action of any governmental agency. (75 Del. Laws, c. 159, § 1.)"

                              I recommend contacting your company's loss prevention executives regarding policy and procedure, and what you should do or not do regarding the company you work for. Many times Civil Demand is not handled at the individual stores.
                              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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