Wrongfully Accused of Shoplifting


Keep in mind that this article is written for entertainment purposes only. I'm not an attorney and I don't dispense legal advice. If you've been caught shoplifting or have a legal issue with a retail store (or chain) contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Have You Ever Been Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting?

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What to Do if You're Stopped For Shoplifting,but Didn't Steal Anything

Bad apprehensions (or discontinued detentions . as they're often called) happen to innocent shoppers everyday. You very rarely hear about these incidents because they are bad for business. A store detective stopping someone for shoplifting has several steps to follow before he/she can apprehend. Sometimes, they miss (or skip) a step (or two) That's when the discontinued detention occurs.

The big chains have a couple of procedures in place when someone is stopped and no merchandise is discovered. They vary from company to company, but are essentially the same.

1.) Apologize to the customer for the inconvenience. (NOTE: Some stores will not apologize, as it might be taken as an admission of guilt.)

2.) Provide the customer with your name, the name of your store manager, your LP superiors, etc., along with any phone numbers they request.

3.) Escort the customer (if they wish) back into the store so they may speak with the manager, or return any (purchased or non stolen) merchandise they wish at this point.

4.) Call the police if they wish to document the incident.

5.) Take a look through LPJobs.com because you're going to need a new gig.

If You Are Stopped and No Stolen Merchandise Was Recovered:

Take note of the date, time, store, where you stopped, (inside, outside, in the lobby, etc.) the merchandise you are accused of taking, the store detective's name, superior's name and the name of the store manager. Also request the store number, the store's phone number and any details you might find relevant to your situation. Ask yourself these questions.

-Was I approached inside or outside of the store?

-What was the merchandise I was accused of shoplifting? How much was that merchandise?

-Was I mistreated?

-Was I touched or manhandled in any way?

-Was I discriminated against, called a racial slur or other verbal assault?

-Are there any witnesses to my incident?

-Did the detective identify himself/herself as an agent of the store prior to asking about the merchandise?

If you have returned to the security office with the LP officer, (and no stolen merchandise was recovered), request that the police be called to document the incident. If the store refuses, (or attempts to talk you out of it) call them yourself. Take all your information, obtain a copy of the police report and consult an attorney as soon as possible.

Reasons Loss Prevention Stop Innocent Customers

There are several reasons why store detectives stop customers who have not stolen.

-They profile.

Profiling is rampant in Loss Prevention. No one in the business will ever admit that, but it's the truth. "If you look, or dress like a thief, you will be watched." If you walk into a store looking like something the cat dragged in, prepare to be watched. If you walk in wearing a suit, nice haircut and a Rolex, no one will give you a second glance. It's unfair, but then again, so is real life.

-They see a customer conceal merchandise, but they fail to see the customer dump (or pay for) the merchandise.

Store camera systems have come a long way over the years. They pan, tilt, zoom, and print with extraordinary clarity and color. As high-tech as they are, one thing 99.9% of them don't do, is cover every corner and crevice of the store. Sometimes you can lose a suspect as they walk around a corner, enter the restroom or get lost behind a clothing rack (or display) for a second. Many items are dumped as a customer becomes spooked by another shopper, employee, or has a sudden change of heart. If the shopper discards the merchandise without the store detective seeing it, they may assume the shoplifter still has it. That's why one of the most important rules a store detective must follow is, "Have 100% continuous surveillance of the subject"

-They assume the customer has stolen store merchandise, but they failed to see the customer bring in the merchandise with them.

People bring all sorts of merchandise into the store with them. A broken piece of something they have to replace, an item just purchased elsewhere, an old lipstick (or clothing item) that they want to match exactly, an empty tube of medicine, an auto part, etc. A customer placing their own items in their pockets (even cellphones) have caused liability incidents at stores all over the world.

-They fail to see the customer select the item from the shelf.

How does the store detective know the item came from your store if they don't see selection of the item? They don't.

I worked for a giant supermarket chain once, that insisted this rule be followed with no exceptions. I recall starting my workday one morning and turning on the camera system to see a guy (wearing a winter coat in May) in an empty aisle with a shoppling cart full of meat. He began pulling steaks, roasts, etc., out of the cart and stuffing them down his pants and inside his coat. He was being very careful and it took him awhile to conceal most of the items. I called my boss on the phone while this was happening and told him the situation. The first question the boss asked was, "Do you have selection?" I told him I did not. "Do not apprehend!", he said. If I had apprehended the shoplifter, I would have been out of work. I tried to scare the guy off with a fake security page over the intercom, but he still walked out with several hundred dollars worth of merchandise. The store's take on the matter was, "We'd rather lose a few hundred in merchandise, than several thousand in a lawsuit." Sometimes when you shoplift. the store detective sees everything, but if he/she is missing a step, they can only watch as you walk out the door.

-Improper training.

Give an 18 year old kid a plastic badge, a Loss Prevention manual and a certain amount of authority and you've got a bad situation waiting to happen. Most LP programs are garbage. They teach you the rules, what you can and cannot do and then set you off on your own. Working LP is so much more different than what they tell you. There are so many gray and fuzzy areas involved that sometimes you have only moments to decide whether to act on a crime, or to sit tight. It's an incredibly boring job that can get damned exciting (and dangerous) in a heartbeat. It's definitely not for the faint of heart.

-Quotas or Under-performance.

Everyone in Loss Prevention knows the feeling of having a bad month or two when it comes to catching shoplifters. After a couple of weeks of 0 apprehensions, you'll get a call from the boss asking you what the problem is. Maybe it's lack of shoppers, maybe it's that you've had opportunities to apprehend shoplifters, but something at the last minute (like a rule of two) got in the way. Maybe, you're just not seeing it. That happens, too. Whatever the reason you are under-performing, you'll get a subtle warning from your boss. They never come right out and state a shoplifter quota, but in a store where apprehending shoplifters occurs, there is an "unspoken quota" and you'd better produce, or you'll find yourself on the outside looking in. LP's have to justify their paychecks and they must do that with names and addresses. If you've been experiencing a tough few weeks, the added pressure from your boss may cause you to skip a step and make a mistake.

It Even Happened to Me!

Some years ago, I was working as a store detective for the former Ames Department Stores in southern New England. My home store was located in a plaza along with several other small shops.

One day at lunch, I walked next door to CVS to pick up a prescription for my mom from the pharmacy in the rear of the store. On my way down an aisle, I stopped to pick up a couple of items for myself. I checked out my items at the pharmacy, they bagged it and I paid for my purchase with my American Express card. Then I left the store.

As I was walking through the EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) pedestals at the exit, the bells and whistles went off, along with a loud, cheesy, voice telling me to "STOP!" It said a few other things, but by this time I was on the sidewalk. To set off one of these things is embarrassing enough, but when you're in the Loss Prevention business, it's twice that.

I was just about to turn around and go back into the store (because obviously the pharmacist forgot to deactivate the items I bought) when a guy comes running out of the store and loudly shouted at me to "F***ing hold it right there!" Then he ripped the bag out of my hand. The employee was an assistant manager. He obviously wanted me to know he was an assistant manager, because as he was going through my bag, he told me that CVS took shoplifting seriously. He demanded to see my receipt.

I was pretty upset, but I tried my best to remain calm. I pulled out my wallet, pulled out my receipt (which I didn't have any legal obligation to show him) and my LP ID from Ames and handed it to him. He turned 3 shades of purple as he looked at my credentials.

"Well", he laughed, as he handed me back my bag, receipt and ID, "being in the loss prevention game, I'm sure you understand why I stopped you."

No apology.

"Being in the loss prevention game", I answered, "I think you should may want to review CVS' policy and then begin looking for a new job. You're going to need one." I may have called him an A-hole. (In fact, I'm sure I did!) Then I went back to work, a little shaken and more than angry.

Was I embarrassed? Of course. A loud alarm, someone ripping a bag out of my hand, swearing at me and demanding a receipt? I think anyone would be. The parking lot was crowded, people were coming and going and walking on the sidewalk. Everyone watching got a pretty good lunchtime show.

Later on that afternoon, I was called to the service desk. Waiting for me, was an envelope with the CVS logo on it and my first name. Inside was a $50 CVS gift card. Anyone else might have been overjoyed to receive a $50 payment as compensation for a couple of minutes of humiliation. I however, was not.

I left the store, gift card in hand and returned to CVS, I didn't see the guy who stopped me, but I did see the store manager. I tossed the card onto the counter and asked her why I had received it. She replied that there had been an obvious misunderstanding and it was CVS' way of making amends. Again, no apology. I told her to keep the card and I left the store. She was a nice lady, but she wasn't stupid, I later found out (through my friends at CVS) that the incident had made it to the corporate office and they were concerned about possible liability. I would be concerned, too. Stopping someone for stealing who does not have merchandise on them is a BIG deal. It can cost your store MAJOR dollars and it will more often than not, eliminate your employment. It also doesn't look good to your customers who witness such events.

I didn't pursue any action against CVS. Ames had a good relationship with the other stores in our plaza and I decided that rocking that boat might just somehow put my job in jeopardy. On my trips back to CVS, (Mom didn't change her pharmacy over the incident), I never did see that assistant manager. Whether he was terminated, quit or ran in the back room every time I walked in, I don't know.I have a feeling he didn't survive the carnage.

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Comments 32 comments

poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

I must say this was an eye opener for me. How sad is that stores have to put up with being ripped off rather than risk being sued. It makes me question who is the bigger crook, the crooks or the attorneys that represent them.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Hello poetvix, Thanks so much for the comment. It's SO very true. I don't who are worse. I think I would trust a shoplifter before most lawyers, though :)

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 4 years ago from St. Louis

Great hub. As a former licensed investigator (though never as LP in a store) I am all to familiar with laws dictating what you can and can't do. I was accused of shoplifting as a kid once. I was innocent and was eventually let go, but not before my mom was called, came to the store, and read them the riot act.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Christoph, Thanks for the comment. Always appreciated from you.

I actually wanted to become a licensed private investigator at one time. I thought it would be a fun job. After spending some time with a friend who was a PI (at the time), I changed my mind. I wanted to shoot myself in the face from boredom.

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 4 years ago from St. Louis

Yeah, it is a manic/depressive job. Incredibly boring most of the time...just watching, watching, watching, hours on hours, then a burst of hyperactivity that can be exhilarating and dangerous.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

I know the feeling. LP is like that. One moment you're falling asleep and the next, you're chasing a crackhead down the street.

marriedwithdebt profile image

marriedwithdebt 4 years ago from Illinois

Someone stole your Hub - please notify Triond and file DMCA http://computersight.com/software/accused-of-steal...

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Hi marriedwithdebt, Thanks for the notification. I appreciate it. This is the third hub in two weeks that has been jacked.

Kind of ironic my hub is about theft.

marriedwithdebt profile image

marriedwithdebt 4 years ago from Illinois

Yeah, I found that to be especially ironic. I commented on his posting of it and asked him what he was going to do now that I am accusing HIM of theft. His stuff was taken down yesterday, hope it still is.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

ha ha I had also left quite the comment. I noticed it was down this morning. Thanks for your help!

Rhonda_M profile image

Rhonda_M 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I had this happen to me, was wrongfully accused of shoplifting, apprehended after I left the store, showed the store detective my sales slip, demanded an apology, received none. It was a Whole Foods type of store. I bought an inexpensive pastry, then after I paid, I remembered I had wanted to buy something else, so went into the merchandise to look for it, eating the pastry on the way there. I never found the item, but when I left the store was apprehended, much to my dismay. I was told, there was a lot of loss due to people eating in the store, and they had never made a mistake until me...still no apology!!!

On the other hand, once I had a nosy store detective watch me as I looked at perfume deordants in a drug store. Thee were no testers, and no signs saying not to try. I opened one or two...before the guy told me I'd better pay for one of them. I was shocked. I paid, but forgot I had been clutching a box of tampons under my arm which froze tight in the interaction. Never paid for them, but only discovered that once I was many yards from the store. Never went back to pay ( should have..but that nasty store detective...) serves him right for being too diligent...not that I ever tried this again or would try it...

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

I'm sorry that happened to you. I would have taken action against the store in that case. True, LP is intended to protect the assets of the store, but the most important asset is their customers. They are the ones who keep those paychecks coming in. Once you alienate a customer, you never get them back. I don't want to sound like an employee training video, but customer service is the responsibility of everyone.

In the second case, you may have been the victim of a store detective in training. When you start off, you're thrown to the wolves to watch people, learn how people shop and watch for anything that might be suspicious. The LP should have shown you a little more discretion. Glad you got a box of free box of tampons for your aggravation, though. You deserved them.

Thanks for commenting!

Rhonda_M profile image

Rhonda_M 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I certainly made it clear to the Whole Food store that they would be losing me as a customer, but they were indifferent, didn't seem to care. The did indeed lose me. It is a jarring experience to be wrongfully accused. I live in Canada so i don't know what recourse there would have been.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

The same recourse that one could take anywhere. Visit an attorney and find out if there is some way to get restitution. If not, write to their corporate office with all the details. No one can stop you and accuse you of a crime without proof.

The store detective who stopped you did not apologize to you, because it would have been an admission of guilt. That tactic has always been pretty standard in the industry, but you won't hear the chain stores advertising it.

Rhonda_M profile image

Rhonda_M 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Thanks. I will keep that in mind. It has been a while since that happened. The person apprehended me outside the store, bodily touched me, and insisted I was the exception to the rule, that they were never wrong until that day.

ugh 4 years ago

i was accused of stealing an item i ordered i was on my way home with it when i got the phone call saying that i walked out & item was not paid for i explained that my husband had paid the day befoe4 & they said to come back the next day to talk. We went up there & the store was close for a problem with their SYSTEM the next day (3rd day) they called wanting us to come within an hour or they would file a report but we were at work! Like we have time to steal $20 items how can i handle this? I would go to the police but its 3days old and RIDICULOUS!!!!

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

This is ridiculous. This is a case of someone providing you with a bad customer experience. It's got nothing to do with theft. I hope you can get this straightened out. It's not shoplifting, though.

Nevershoppingatkitsonoc 4 years ago

I have a question for you and am growing more concerned as I do research. I had a dress that the dry cleaners had ruined. They offered to fully reimburse me if I could provide the orgonal pricing information. I called the store that the dress came from and explained the situation. I was told that the pricing would be written down and waiting for me at the front. My Mother and my little girl 5 years old at the time, stopped in to obtain the information. The sales girl said she would go look for it. At the time there were only two girls on the floor. My Mother and I were looking at clothes while we waited and the 2nd sales girl rudely hovered nearby as if she suspected us of something. Now I would not say it is racial profiling since we are blonde hair blue eyed normal women with a little girl. She was extremely obvious and rude the entire time. I ended up trying on a few things that were cute. The store policy is to hand you "x" amount of items at a time to keep track. I came out in a sweater I was trying on and a pair of my jeans and the sales girl that was looking for the informations questioned me on the jeans " where did you get those jeans from? Did I grab those for you? What table did those come from?" I explained they are MY jeans. She then said " oh". She brought in a shirt for me to try on and hovered outside my door asking me 15 seconds later if I had it on yet. It was ridiculous. As I tried on the clothes I handed them back. My mother and daughter in the dressing room with me e entire time. She at one point said " what about the sweater? Where is that?" I then cal my pointed behind her and said " I handed it back to you. It is right there on the bench behind you." I had tried on one dress in a medium and it was huge. I had my mom grab me a smaller size because the two girls were talking on the other side of the store. That dress was too small. I handed it back to the sales girl. Upon leaving the dressing room I asked if she had found the pricing information for the item I inquired about and she said " no I haven't found it yet" I then gave her my name, number and email so she could call me once she had it. As I was leaving the store I pointed out a cute purse to my mom and the 2nd sales girl said " cam I help you" in a rude way and I once again calmly replied " no thank you. Just commenting on that cute purse". She then quickly walked to the exit and stood there. My mom and I said " thank you" and walked to a restaurant to eat dinner before going to a business meeting. 40 min later she approached me in the restaurant and said she needed to talk to me. She said " we can't locate a dress and we looked on tge video footage and saw you tried on a dress and that you have a large bag that could be fuller" I was shocked number one....number two certified that she was saying this in front of my child and the whole restaurant. I said " hre is my purse...it is wide open feel free to look through it. I didn't take anything." she questioned me again and said " would you mind coming back and helping me fund it" I laughed and said " I'm sorry it is not my problem that you can't locate a dress. I did not take anything. I have a meeting in 30 min but. Would be happy to drive an hour in a half back here tomorrow to speak with your manager about how you have treated me and my family tomorrow." she said sorry and left. The minute they opened I called to make a complaint. I had written down word for word whatbhad happened. The manager was not in and they would not tell me when she would be in so I filed the complaint with the assistant manager. I called 3 times without any response back. Yesterday o got a call from a detective saying " your name came up on a file. I just want to asks. Few questions and get this thing finished with. No big deal cal, when you can.". I researched false accusations and everyone said not to speak to the detective. I had already called back and left a message. My first instinct is to explain and defend myself. The attorneys say I have nothing to worry about. I am worried though. I am a single parent, I have never done anything wrong, have zero record and didn't take anything from them. I am the person who when my child walked out of justice with a $8 bracelet I drove back to the store to return it.

Do I have anything to be concerned about. I have read that even if the employee suspects you of stealing you can get arrested and charged. This is absurd to me......any help is much appreciated. I am ready to file a suit against the store for their treatment.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Hi Nevershoppingatkitsonoc ,I would definitely speak with an attorney about this. For someone to accuse you of shoplifting there has to be evidence. The store management is obviously ignoring the situation. It's time you made this event difficult to ignore.

Nevershoppingatkitsonoc 4 years ago

So you think I should go after the store?

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 4 years ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Hi Nevershoppingatkitsonoc, I think you should meet with a lawyer and see if you have a case, first. A good attorney will advise you on whether or not it's worth the time and effort. Good luck.

anon 16 months ago

So I was shopping one day and a man accused me of shoplifting because he didn't see me put down items from the shopping bag the store provided me. He didn't say it to my face but he kept telling a store rep to take me in and they had an entire conversation about how they aren't allowed to do that/ there was no proof that I was lifting. The man was hounding me until I left and he said I was lucky this time. I felt so offended because I always go to this store but I don't think I can do anything because he didn't seem to be part of the staff.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 16 months ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Hi Anon, Occasionally, you'll bump into a nut while shopping, Try not to let it bother you, The crazies are out there.

Anna 11 months ago

I went to a drug store like two days ago, and came back today and they told me, "We know you have shoplifted some nail polish. We saw you on footage shoving it up your sweater and you're truly wearing it right now. Take a look at your nails.", that sort of thing. Like, yeah, I'm wearing blue nail polish, but you don't have the right to accuse me of it. Like how many other women wear nail polish?

So I asked them for the footage and then they looked at me in the eye and there was this awkward silence and then a man nearby said "Just leave.".

To be honest, I'm pretty sure they just don't like me.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 11 months ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Hi Anna, Wow. There's one I haven't heard before. Was this a chain store (like CVS), or was it a neighborhood type drugstore?

stoneweather 9 months ago

i had an incident recently coming out of Nations (a local two store chain supermarket), i had bought some wonton soup and some prepackaged spicy italian sausage and paid for it at the closest set of registers, and then proceeded to the other end of the store to exit as it was closer to where i live (literally right across the street from there). i got pulled aside and thought at first it might be someone i knew, and he flashed me something and i thought oh it's one of those scammers pretending to be deaf/mute showing one of those cards for donations, but it said Nations Security on it so i'm like 'good grief' he demanded i show him the receipt, my hands were full with the food items i had bought and i didn't have anywhere to put them so i had to put them on the ground and then fish through my pocket for the receipt. he checked the receipt, i didn't get an apology just an "okay you're free to go" (GEE THANKS OCIFFER!).. i flipped him the bird over my shoulder as i departed.

i feel like there's a little bit of profiling in there, i'm a 42 year old male, but i'm short and skinny and don't look my age (i still get carded at bars or when i'm buying alchohol at the liquor store if the employee doesn't recognize me).

anyway, i came here to see what could be done if this happens again, as i've been going to this location almost on a daily basis for several months now without incident.

sorry if this comes across as broken and a bit run-off-ish, still get a bit heated whenever i think about it.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 9 months ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Hi stoneweather, No need to apologize. I would be heated, if it happened to me or someone I knew.

You didn't say how long ago this happened, but you can still take care of it to give yourself some satisfaction (at the very least, an apology), anyway. This is not legal advice, as I'm not a lawyer. This is consumer advice. I've seen this situation come up over and over again and it was not handled correctly in your case.

1.) Write down the day, date and time this incident happened. Also write down anything you remember the security guy saying to you and anything about his physical description.

2.) Approach the store manager the next time you go shopping.

3.) Tell him/her exactly what happened. Also tell them (and if it's a neighborhood store, they'll probably know), that you are a regular customer and you were treated like a shoplifter. Let the manager know they have an LP issue in their store and you're demanding satisifaction and you're not afraid to take it to the corporate or (worse) media level, if necessary.

At the very minimum, this should get you an apology and perhaps a discount or gift card for your inconvenience and embarrassment. It should also get the security guy a corrective action and possibly a dismissal.

No one can accuse another of shoplifting unless thay are 100% positive the item is in the person's possession. This guy wasn't 100% sure, so he asked for your receipt. That's a no no. (I don't care what anyone says to the contrary!)

Also, while we're on the topic, there are places (such as Walmart) who place employees at the door and ask for your receipt as you exit. There is no rule or law in existence that says you must show your receipt to anyone upon exit. People do it because they are sheep and don't know any better. It may be Walmart's policy to ask, but unless it's a Walmart in North Korea, you DO NOT have to show it and there's nothing they can do about it.

Whether you were profiled or not, is not the issue. Profiling is difficult to prove and since you were not apprehended, (or arrested) it wouldn't even factor into your situation.

Be concerned about your freedoms. Don't lose them to anyone. Especially a supermarket employee.

I hope you take care of this. If you do, please feel to write back and let me know how you make out. Best of luck.

Coleen-20 9 months ago

My fiancé recently purchased me a Michael Kors watch for Valentines day. The watch was beautiful, but was too big for my arm. I took it to a local jeweler who was working on taking the extra links out...to make sure the watch properly fit my arm.

At his sugguestion, I went to a department store to try on another watch similar to the watch my fiance purchased for me. I began talking to a sales associate about other watches and even a Michael Kors purse. I had my service dog with me and became distracted when an elderly woman asked to take our picture by a statue. I posed for three pictures.i talked to the lady about why I had Bella and about her career and then I went to pay for the purse I had the sales associate hold back for me.

The sales associate asked for my drivers license and my phone number. I gave her a compliment on being so thorough with how well they protected their customers from identity theft.

I walked out of the store with my purchase. I heard a person say hey, I stopped and turned around thinking someone else was going to ask about Bella ( my service animal)

A heavy set woman approached me and asked me if I forgot to pay for anything in my purse. I said no, I have a receipt for everything in my purse. The woman then grabbed my arm and my purse and started tugging and pulling on me. I told her she was going to have to let me go.

I said, mam...I have receipts for everything. I tried to reason with this woman. She continued grabbing at me, and finally demanded that I go to some back room with a manager. I asked who she was and what she wanted?

She said she was loss prevention and she wanted the watch that was on my wrist. I took the watch off my wfist and gave it to her and tried to explain that it was a simple mistake and tried again to explain that I did not mean to walk out with it and I had receipts from the store where mine was purchased as well as the jeweler where mine was getting the links taken out.

I kept asking her to take her hands off of me and my service animal. I finally made it out the door and to my car, but she had my service animal and my purse.

She held my service animal away from me as well as my purse claiming she didn't know if there was any weapons in there and she couldn't allow me to have my purse even after she had her stuff.

She then took my purse and went through it in the store without my permission even after she had her watch.

Coleen-20 9 months ago

Let me make this clear, she never presented any ID as to say she was with any store or any badge. This woman simply came up and said hey mam, and I stopped thinking it was another person asking about my service animal. Later, they even stated that was the reason they had followed me and even stopped me.

Surely, this can not be right!

I mean, I have bruises all over me from being manhandled from this employee.

I fail to see where a business would think that this is good business at all or how a person would be a thief if they are willing to stop and talk to customers and compliment sales associates on their policy of looking at a drivers license to prevent identity fraud.

XtremlyConfusd 7 months ago

Please help! My daughter and I were at JCPenney and I had a shopping bag, my coat, and my purse. We walked thru Sephora and were looking for awhile. I picked up some perfume and then proceeded to go look at more clothing since they had a ton of sales! My hands were full and of course they don't have any carts to help! I, not really thinking about it cause I was so focused on shopping and hurrying up cause my daughter wasn't feeling well, put the perfume in the bag. Well a little while later, my daughter said she was going to be sick so we walked outside. I immediately was approached by some young girl saying she was with loss prevention and to come with her! I said why? And no, Im NOT going with you! I was SO embarrassed and afraid for my daughter. She kept saying give me my fragrance all the while ripping my bag out of my hand. I immediately thought, oh shit, I DID have perfume, but I told my daughter to get I'm the car. She kept my bag as I walked away. She followed and started taking pictures. I know she didn't find the perfume because I had it in my purse. So what should I do?! I'm terrified! I want my stuff that I bought. I thought about talking to them and explaining, but I don't want a theft charge! Please help!

Nicole 5 months ago

I have been banned from a super one foods after being wrongfully accused of shoplifting. I opened a cold medicine box so I could read the label on the bottle, and in the midst of trying to compare all the different cold medicines cuz my son, boyfriend, and myself were extremely sick, but because our symptoms weren't exactly the same , I was trying to find a medicine that would help all of us, I put the box back but I forgot to put the bottle back inside and accidently put it in my pocket along with my phone, money, cigs and lighter. I continued shopping and soon realized I had it in my pocket so I put it on one of the shelves of cold stuff cuz I was just to miserable to put where it belonged. I finished my shopping and as we were leaving, there was a man standing in the doorway of the store and he approached us asking us if we knew why he was stopping us. After telling him no he continued to accuse me of stealing cold medicine. I told him I didn't take anything and told him to search me. He said that they don't search people and that they didn't need to. I emptied everything from the only pocket I had and shook out my sweatshirt and pulled up the sleeves and this all took place inside the store exit area in front of everyone. I then exclaimed explained what happened and he had me bring him to the shelf I put it and with him right next to me I reached up on the shelf and grabbed the bottle and handed it to him. He was right next to me and watched me pick it up off of the shelf, one other thing, after I emptied all my stuff onto the floor I picked it up I had all my money, phone, cigs and lighter in my hands as I walked over with him and picked up the item off of the shelf. So after that the man then walked me through the store to the back rooms in front of my kid and the whole store so they could see the ordeal. He had my kid and boyfriend wait outside of the room while him and I discussed this situation. He took my picture and posted it on the shoplifters watch list and told me that it's stealing if you open something without buying it, even if you don't have it on you when you leave the store, and even if you put it back. He then said that normally he is suppose to ban me from the premises for 1 year bUT he wouldn't do that this time. So after three or so weeks pass I walk into the store to get dinner and get chased down by store employee telling my that I had to leave that I was banned from the store, he did this in front of everyone again. I went to speak with the manager and he said that the security lp reviewed the tape again and it kind of looks like I had been concealing this little bottle up in my sleeve and that I dropped it down my sleeve and handed it to him, which is impossible. For one, I didn't have it anywhere on me, secondly, I rolled up my sleeves when I emptied my pockets out, and lastly he watched me grab it off of the shelf with my hands full of my stuff. So it's like a month now and I'm still waiting for them to have a third party look at the tape and see what they think, and I'm still not allowed to shop there. This is the only grocery store in the town I live. The guy never told me his name or showed me ID, I was approached inside the store, he paraded me around for everyone to see, and I don't think that this is right at all. I have been shopping in this store everyday for the last 10 years, and I'm not a thief, and people who work there come outside while I'm outside in my car waiting for my kid or boyfriend to go in and get me the things I need, and they all tell me that my picture is up everywhere and they keep hearing different stories, as if I'm not embarrassed enough. I suffer from panic disorder, agoraphobia, ptsd, and I already have a hard enough time being in public with people looking at me. Now I don't even want to leave my house. I live in a small town and I hear the rumors going around and people think I'm a thief even though I'm not. I am wondering if anyone can give me some advice or tell me what the proper channels are for filing a grievance or if I should sue for slander, Defamation of character, or for the emotional anguish I am suffering. I am pretty sure the security guard handled the whole thing wrong. Please help.

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 5 months ago from Standing right behind you! Author

Call an attorney for information on how to proceed with this situation. The person who stopped you is not only 1000% wrong, but he lied, and ihas placed a "black eye" on his store's reputation.

This person shouldn't be employed any longer and you are owed an apology and (perhaps) compensation.

Good luck!

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