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Sears Security Officer Fired

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  • 1stWatch
    replied
    I vaguely remember posting this thread last year sometime, but I don't quite remember the details of it or what I thought about it when I put it up. Funny how old discussions come back up.

    Leave a comment:


  • Curtis Baillie
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Actually, two things.

    1. If they are armed, in-house personnel must be licensed pursuant to Chapter 493.

    2. Retail Theft detention statutes stop at the end of the property line. Only a sworn law enforcement officer may arrest off the property under the retail theft statute (since its petit theft and a misdemeanor, they need that authority to make a warrantless arrest of a shoplifter if they didn't see it...) A shopkeeper may pursue to the end of the property line, once its reached, they lose merchant's privilege.
    Actually that is not entirely correct. Most retail theft statutes include the wording, "in the immediate vicinity of a commercial establishment", thus allowing a merchant the right to pursue a suspected shoplifter off of the merchants immediate property in order to recover suspected stolen property or require a shoplifter to come back to the store.

    Consider stores located in a mall or strip center. The immediate property outside the merchants door way is mall property and not under the control of the merchant. (Just try placing a sale sign on the walkway). Many statutes even fail to address the apprehension of shoplifters off company property.

    Apprehending shoplifters is dangerous business and I do not condone pursuits or chasing shoplifters to the "ends of the earth".

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Actually, two things.

    1. If they are armed, in-house personnel must be licensed pursuant to Chapter 493.

    2. Retail Theft detention statutes stop at the end of the property line. Only a sworn law enforcement officer may arrest off the property under the retail theft statute (since its petit theft and a misdemeanor, they need that authority to make a warrantless arrest of a shoplifter if they didn't see it...) A shopkeeper may pursue to the end of the property line, once its reached, they lose merchant's privilege.

    Leave a comment:


  • Echos13
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    If you leave your property to chase someone in Florida, you are 'abandoning your post.' In other words, you are committing a first degree misdemeanor + an offense which they suspend or revoke your license, and assess a fine over a thousand dollars for each offense.

    It doesn't matter that you "can," it matters that you have abandoned your post.
    However unless I am mistaken in Florida if your in-house (loss prevention, security, regular merhcant, etc) you do not have to be licensed (normally). You operate under the retail merchants law in protecting the store or property. Unless the company has guide lines you can chase all the way accross town up to apprehinding and detaining.

    I see Target has uniformed security people. They wear the Target logo and only have a cell phone. I guess they are more prevention than intervention.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by Charger
    You're partially correct. Company Policy does not replace the law, but company policy MAY place higher restrictions on the S/O. Just because the law says you can chase as far as necessary to make an apprehension, does not mean your company will allow you to do so. After all, if you chase a perp off your property, who is left behind to guard your property from OTHER perps while you're off playing the hero? Not to mention all the insurance ramifications of trying to do your job while you're 'off-site.' As others in this thread have said, when you're talking about a petty property crime, sometimes it's better to just let it go, rather than take unnecessary risks.
    If you leave your property to chase someone in Florida, you are 'abandoning your post.' In other words, you are committing a first degree misdemeanor + an offense which they suspend or revoke your license, and assess a fine over a thousand dollars for each offense.

    It doesn't matter that you "can," it matters that you have abandoned your post.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Originally posted by Charger
    You're partially correct. Company Policy does not replace the law, but company policy MAY place higher restrictions on the S/O. Just because the law says you can chase as far as necessary to make an apprehension, does not mean your company will allow you to do so. After all, if you chase a perp off your property, who is left behind to guard your property from OTHER perps while you're off playing the hero? Not to mention all the insurance ramifications of trying to do your job while you're 'off-site.' As others in this thread have said, when you're talking about a petty property crime, sometimes it's better to just let it go, rather than take unnecessary risks.
    Charger makes a good point. He reminded me of airline/insurance regulations that trump FAA regulations. A pilot might be able to legally land at an airport, but still be in violation of the airline's policy concerning weather minimums and runway lengths. Will the pilot face arrest if he disregards company policy? No. Will he ever work for another airline? No.

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  • Charger
    replied
    Originally posted by Marchetti, David, M
    100% Correct " Company Policy " does not supersede matters of law. Unless defined by state statute there is no lawful limitations on jurisdiction in order to pursue a wanted offender past a stores property. I could be mistaking but I think it's federal case law that when a shop lifter steals something it's actually best to wait to apprehend the suspect once out of the confines of the store as it's further evidence of intent to commit larceny.
    You're partially correct. Company Policy does not replace the law, but company policy MAY place higher restrictions on the S/O. Just because the law says you can chase as far as necessary to make an apprehension, does not mean your company will allow you to do so. After all, if you chase a perp off your property, who is left behind to guard your property from OTHER perps while you're off playing the hero? Not to mention all the insurance ramifications of trying to do your job while you're 'off-site.' As others in this thread have said, when you're talking about a petty property crime, sometimes it's better to just let it go, rather than take unnecessary risks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chucky
    replied
    Originally posted by Marchetti, David, M
    100% Correct " Company Policy " does not supersede matters of law. Unless defined by state statute there is no lawful limitations on jurisdiction in order to pursue a wanted offender past a stores property. I could be mistaking but I think it's federal case law that when a shop lifter steals something it's actually best to wait to apprehend the suspect once out of the confines of the store as it's further evidence of intent to commit larceny.
    Right Dave that is what I'm trying to figure out. In the intercity on our store take backs we can not stop a person for lifting until he leaves the store property. And can not effect any action on public property. So when the public property is the city side walk then that dude is home safe and the lil bastards know this and run when they hit the door.

    And even if we could chase them we were told by a city cop that in a lot of cases these punks have friends waiting around the corner to help them in a jam. The cops we encounter are old timers as far as cops go.(15+YRS) One told me that lifters in the intercity is on the way back burner. The gang related homicide was 1.5 per week last year in this city and lifter collars don't equal votes for the Mayor.

    Leave a comment:


  • Arrowslinger
    replied
    Once you step beyond your duties you’re at fault, or your responsible for whatever the fallout may be.

    We had two guys when I was in mall security chase a kid off property because they caught him doing burnouts. The kid would not, stop which infuriated these two officers; instead of contacting local police, (who by the way had a sub station within the mall) they decided to give chase. The chase went a mile from the mall where they ran the kid off the road and into a homeowner’s front yard. After they drug him from the car, they handcuffed him and were in the process of bringing him back to the mall! That is when local police arrived and the entire scene reversed, kid was let go and both officers were arrested.

    Decisions some people make sometimes befuddle me

    Leave a comment:


  • Marchetti, David, M
    replied
    Originally posted by jeff194307
    As far as I know, loss prevention can persue the perp as long as needed to effect an arrest. Many times while working at the mall in the 80's, I assisted the LP guys in the parking lot.
    100% Correct " Company Policy " does not supersede matters of law. Unless defined by state statute there is no lawful limitations on jurisdiction in order to pursue a wanted offender past a stores property. I could be mistaking but I think it's federal case law that when a shop lifter steals something it's actually best to wait to apprehend the suspect once out of the confines of the store as it's further evidence of intent to commit larceny.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chucky
    replied
    What about like there is a mall not far from here that became fed up with the cost of keeping the kids from using it as a place to raise hell and were losing business from the older people so they eliminated the common inside lobbies as we all know them and all the stores including sears can only be entered and exited from the outside.

    While 10 miles up the road is a conventional mall. The first mall would have different post orders or does it? Concerning the apprehension boundary's.

    It makes sense that it would but sometimes when corporate in Oshgosgh is making the rules they are slow to make changes that may effect stores in Tampa.

    FDG06 What is a big box store? Is it like an Fedex store?

    Leave a comment:


  • Chucky
    replied
    What about like there is a mall not far from here that became fed up with the cost of keeping the kids from using it as a place to raise hell and were losing business from the older people so they eliminated the common inside lobbies as we all know them and all the stores including sears can only be entered and exited from the outside.

    While 10 miles up the road is a conventional mall. The first mall would have different post orders or does it? Concerning the apprehension boundary's.

    It makes sense that it would but sometimes when corporate in Oshgosgh is making the rules they are slow to make changes that may effect stores in Tampa.

    Leave a comment:


  • FDG06
    replied
    The statements of others on this topic are 100% correct, you have to abide by the post orders, no matter your personal feelings or agenda in a situation as it unfolds in front of you. I worked LP for a big box store before I went into the military & then LE. We did chase "lifters" off property, but in most cases it was to retrieve the property, as they often ditched it while evading us when they noticed we were still chasing them past the parking lot. Our most common theft was cases of chewing tabacco/cases of cig's...which carries a greater penalty (ATF) We never entered another building, store or structure however and only chases within a block or two at most.
    Looking back now, it was a dumb thing to do but as a younger kid, you can easily get caught up in the chase, which is what probably happened here. Our actions was well within my employers guidlines at the time, but knowing what I do now about the law & legality issues, ...by chasing off ones employers physical property & then against the employers policy, he actually was interjecting himself into another situation to which he had no authority level, by giving chase, he was - in the eyes of the law - creating a seperate event, isolated & irrespective from the 1st, to which he would have been completely liable for anything which may have gone sideways...none the least of which could be criminal offenses, no matter the intention. Your damn sure Sears would not have backed him in court, so he was in effect acting all on his own for something that did not warrant such a response and to which he had no legal authority to do so..not good!
    Ones "civilian" authority is very limited actually & normally does not include pursuit to aid in apprehension in all but very extreme circumstances..can you imagine if everyone was allowed to pursue/chase another person, enter a private home or dwelling at will for anything minor they witnesses or have even reasonable suspicion...holy crap!
    Too many people think clause in the law, gives them the right to do most anything they deem nessicary in the role as a private citizen crime stopper, like these idiots that interject themselves into police pursuits, etc. sadly, they are often rewarded for thier "heroism" in ways they didnt think.
    Yoda

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    We have to realize that post orders aren't just dreamed up out of thin air. When a post order limits the officer's range of allowed responses to a particular type of incident, it is usually because the client, legal counsel and representatives of the security company, perhaps even in consultation with the insurance carrier, believe that action beyond those limits would create a greater threat (a safety threat to the officer, a legal threat to the client, etc.) than the criminal act itself causes.

    Bottom line: We're hired to reduce the threat to the client by our actions, not make it worse, which is what we do when we take extreme action to effect an arrest - especially in the case of a low-dollar property crime. Even clients who are the most aggressive when it comes to shoplifting know that "it's only stuff" and that there are practical and legal limits as to how far they can go to protect it. Post orders reflect those limits on security officers, who act as the agent of the client and can legally do nothing that the client himself would not be privileged to do.

    The client and/or the security company once had the defense that the officer was acting outside the scope of his orders, so they shouldn't be held liable for what the officer does. However, that defense has been crumbling under other theories of negligence, such as negligent supervision and retention, and so we're likely to see even stronger enforcement of post orders in the future.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-10-2007, 08:42 PM.

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  • davis002
    replied
    Originally posted by jeff194307
    As far as I know, loss prevention can persue the perp as long as needed to effect an arrest. Many times while working at the mall in the 80's, I assisted the LP guys in the parking lot.
    It's not that cut and dry. Depends on the state, company policy, etc.

    Leave a comment:

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