Monday, February 19, 2007
Shoplifting questions
Q: I work in retail and my question is about shoplifting. We had an incident where I work the other night where a customer saw another customer shoplifting. Do we have a right to stop that person or does an associate have to see them? And if we do, do we have to wait until they pass all points of sale to take action?

A: Store employees and managers have certain limited powers of arrest. Store Officials may detain a suspected shoplifter for investigation (a reasonable length of time), whom they have probable cause to believe is attempting to take or has unlawfully taken merchandise. You are by law not required to wait until someone passes all points of sale, but for prosecution purposes, it is typically considered a good procedure to wait, as this eliminates the possibility of the suspect claiming they were putting the item in a pocket while they did other shopping, for example. Once detained by store officials, then the police should be summoned, and store officials need to fill out the St Joseph County Shoplifting Affidavit form to be filled out and given to the investigating officer.

posted by South Bend Police Department @ 12:18 PM  

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