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Crom
02-10-2011, 8:35 AM
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=14319284

What a colossal failure of Walmart's management to understand the basic facts in this simple scenario.

Walmart has a policy on dealing with shoplifters called AP09. Apparently, employees are allowed to use "reasonable force" to limit movements of struggling suspects. However, if a weapon is produced associates must "disengage" and "withdraw." It would appear that even if the employees are trapped in a small room, they are not allowed to fight for their own life.

Farva
02-10-2011, 8:44 AM
If im a minimum wage emmployee, and someone pulls a weapon im not going to worry about getting fired for breaking a rule. Thats just the dumbest thing Ive ever read, 4 guys all holding a guy down and he somehow pulls out a gun and you are supposed to get up and let him shoot all of you?

Walmart is horrible and this along with many other reasons why I never shop there.

halifax
02-10-2011, 8:46 AM
Based on the notion "just do what the bad says and everything will be OK".

Asinine notion.

G60
02-10-2011, 8:52 AM
I've read the policy, it's pretty ridiculous. basically, according to SOP, you can't do ANYTHING if you catch someone shoplifting.

Try to rationalize it any way you want, and excuse me for sounding like Kanye, but WM does not care about their employees. at all. From what i've heard from long time associates, things have gone bad for employees and their families since Sam Walton passed.

Knight_Who_Says_Ni
02-10-2011, 8:53 AM
Based on the notion "just do what the bad says and everything will be OK".

Asinine notion.

Thats what we're taught to do at work. I personally think that it is stupid, why should I comply with a felon who is robbing me?

Farva
02-10-2011, 8:56 AM
I've read the policy, it's pretty ridiculous. basically, according to SOP, you can't do ANYTHING if you catch someone shoplifting.

I would never try to stopa shop lifter if im a minimum wage employee for walmart. Who cares if they shoplift, Im not putting myself on the line for walmart...

But its an entirely different case once a weapon is involved or they are trying to physically rob you.

G60
02-10-2011, 8:59 AM
I would never try to stopa shop lifter if im a minimum wage employee for walmart. Who cares if they shoplift, Im not putting myself on the line for walmart...


read the article. n/m i'll do it for you.

they had already detained him and had him in the loss prevention office without knowing he had a weapon on him. 1 door, 1 exit. the criminal pulled a gun, charged one of the personnel in the office and held a gun to their back.

at this point it's not about stopping a shoplifter (which I would never risk a hair on my head for), at this point it's about saving someone's life.

I would never lift a finger to stop someone from stealing from my employer and risk personal harm. but when harm to others is involved, it's time to step up.

joeyant
02-10-2011, 9:13 AM
That shoplifter right now is shopping for a scumbag lawyer (that's a redundancy BTW) who will sue WalMart for their employees inflicting emotional and physical distress on him.

WalMart is worth hundreds of billions if not a trillion dollars, so they will just settle out of court, which is what the scumbag lawyers are hoping for anyway since they take on hundreds of thousands of frivolous cases every day.

Then the 4 fired employees will hire their own lawyers for wrongful termination. They will also settle out of court. Neither side wants a protracted legal battle where the legal fees just keep piling up.

So in the end, the shoplifter and the fired employees will get money.

But money does not grow on trees. WalMart WILL recoup that lost money back.

How you ask?

It will be reflected on our receipts at the checkout stand.

This is how the US works. Isn't it great?

dustoff31
02-10-2011, 9:21 AM
They were Wal Mart loss prevention employees, and an assistant manager. What are security guards are trained to do? Observe and Report.

They were aware of the policy and choose to ignore it. They got fired. Boo Hoo. Maybe they will learn to follow instructions next time.

Or at least not make the very stupid assumption that criminals are unarmed and will not behave like criminals.

Farva
02-10-2011, 9:35 AM
read the article. n/m i'll do it for you.

I wasnt reffering to that particular article, I was generalizing the fact I wouldnt stop a shoplifter in the act. If hes already caught, you arent 'stopping a shoplifter', hes already stopped. Dont be rude and imply I didnt read the article.

I would never lift a finger to stop someone from stealing from my employer and risk personal harm. but when harm to others is involved, it's time to step up.

Which is exactly what I said, so what was the point of your post?

killmime1234
02-10-2011, 9:37 AM
It's a liability issue. As it's been said, because the situation unfolded as it did, Walmart is now facing several lawsuits. If their employees had just followed instructions, the shoplifter would have gotten away (with NO grounds to sue) and the employees would have kept their jobs (with NO grounds to sue). Walmart's policy makers aren't stupid; they set these rules in place to protect their pocketbooks and their employees.

That being said, I personally couldn't let that unfold in front of me without doing something about it, but as far as liability is concerned, chivalry and heroism is now reserved only for those "insured" for it. It's the same situation preventing someone from saving another's life with CPR, for fear of getting sued.

KALIDAWG8996
02-10-2011, 9:43 AM
They were Wal Mart loss prevention employees, and an assistant manager. What are security guards are trained to do? Observe and Report.

They were aware of the policy and choose to ignore it. They got fired. Boo Hoo. Maybe they will learn to follow instructions next time.

Or at least not make the very stupid assumption that criminals are unarmed and will not behave like criminals.

May'be next time they will just let themselves be taken hostage....that'll teach them...right? right?

SixPointEight
02-10-2011, 9:45 AM
Based on the notion "just do what the bad says and everything will be OK".


This is what we are told at my work too.

I've read the policy, it's pretty ridiculous. basically, according to SOP, you can't do ANYTHING if you catch someone shoplifting.


I know someone at CVS, a memo was recently passes down, that employees can't confront people shoplifting. Only a manager may say something, and only if the manager has a direct line of sight during the action, and can prove so with the cameras. Watching someone through the mirrors is not good enough.

How'd this come up? My buddy watched someone load a backpack with grey goose vodka, and try to walk out the door, he blocked the door, got all the vodka back. The thief called corporate, and complained that he was accused of stealing, after reviewing the video, the DM told the guy he was still allowed in the store, and issued the new shoplifting policy.


Wouldn't want to offend criminals now would we?

whatmeworry
02-10-2011, 9:51 AM
I hate to say it but the line of thinking - "abide by the wishes of the bad guy with the weapon" was outdated after 9/11

joeyant
02-10-2011, 9:52 AM
It's a liability issue. As it's been said, because the situation unfolded as it did, Walmart is now facing several lawsuits. If their employees had just followed instructions, the shoplifter would have gotten away (with NO grounds to sue) and the employees would have kept their jobs (with NO grounds to sue). Walmart's policy makers aren't stupid; they set these rules in place to protect their pocketbooks and their employees.

That being said, I personally couldn't let that unfold in front of me without doing something about it, but as far as liability is concerned, chivalry and heroism is now reserved only for those "insured" for it. It's the same situation preventing someone from saving another's life with CPR, for fear of getting sued.

That pretty much sums up the state of affairs in our country today.
We are overlawyered and overlitigated to death.
Nobody wants to be a good samaritan anymore.
If I see someone in front of me take a fall, trip, or whatever, I keep on moving. I would not dare lift a finger to help.

Congree passed a gargantuan helath reform bill, 2,000 pages long, but not a single page devoted to tort reform. Why? They are all lawyers that's why.
They want to preserve the tort status quo so hundreds of thousands of worthless lawsuits can be filed daily.

The goal is NOT to go to trial. Everybody knows they will lose. They want a settlement. Least amount of work for maximum amount of money.

The WalMart situation is exactly this--this is a tort lawyers orgasmic wet dream come true.

CEDaytonaRydr
02-10-2011, 9:53 AM
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=14319284

What a colossal failure of Walmart's management to understand the basic facts in this simple scenario.

Walmart has a policy on dealing with shoplifters called AP09. Apparently, employees are allowed to use "reasonable force" to limit movements of struggling suspects. However, if a weapon is produced associates must "disengage" and "withdraw." It would appear that even if the employees are trapped in a small room, they are not allowed to fight for their own life.


Don't worry...

Wal-Mart will be sued and the plaintiffs will win. A store's "policy" goes out the window when you are afraid for your life.

It won't even go to trial. Wal-Mart will settle for "an undisclosed amount". ;)

Matt C
02-10-2011, 9:55 AM
I know someone at CVS, a memo was recently passes down, that employees can't confront people shoplifting. Only a manager may say something, and only if the manager has a direct line of sight during the action, and can prove so with the cameras. Watching someone through the mirrors is not good enough.

Wouldn't want to offend criminals now would we?

Yeah, there is a CVS near my work, I saw basically the same thing, teenagers loading up a backpack with PBR (you are stealing it and you can't pick a better beer?!?). Anyway I looked around for security, saw none, and said F it. I stopped him at the front, made him pull out every beer in front of everyone and put in in a cart (his buddy ditched him right away lol). Let him go after that since I had to get back to work, and I was not the victim.

Apparently the manager didn't intervene because he thought I was LP for the store... But when he found out I wasn't he gave me all my purchases for free. :D

FastFinger
02-10-2011, 9:57 AM
A family friend, about 8 months pregnant, was in her retail store and robbed at gunpoint. She did just as demanded, the scumbag was walking out the door with his loot, when he turned and shot her dead. Sometimes there simply is no right thing to do, other than ID these punks early and keep them locked up forever.

The Shadow
02-10-2011, 9:58 AM
Pretty easy policy. If a criminal commits a crime at Wal Mart, call the cops and keep an eye on him. If he gets out of eye sight before the cops arrived, he gets away. Then It's Wal Marts problem.

Think of it this way, if a woman has a problem and she talks about it to you, she doesn't want you to anything but listen.

Win win for me in both scenarios. I don't have to do anything but use my senses.

An alternative to what they did would have been to approach him and help him until he got tired of the help and left without the property.

uyoga
02-10-2011, 10:06 AM
Everyone of us, I think, would like to be a Good Samaritan, especially when life or limb are concerned . . . . unfortunately, very few of us can afford to be one.

Al Norris
02-10-2011, 10:09 AM
The story pointed to in the OP had a link to the actual police report (http://media.bonnint.net/slc/2489/248982/24898201.pdf). Page 5, paragraph 3 of the report contains this:

It should be noted that all of the loss prevention associates told me that they personally felt that the suspect did not want to harm them with the gun. They told me he never pointed the gun at them and also stated he was not holding the gun with the hand on the grip as if to shoot the gun. However, they all stated they believed the suspect was using the gun to intimidate them so they would not prevent him from fleeing before police arrived. Also, all of the individuals stated that although the suspect was resisting, he was not actively trying to harm anyone and was simply trying to break free to be able to flee.

So, either the employees are embellishing their story, or the reporter is. Since the reporter appears to be quoting the victims....

Regardless, this is why I never believe most of what is reported in news stories.

joeyant
02-10-2011, 10:22 AM
Everyone of us, I think, would like to be a Good Samaritan, especially when life or limb are concerned . . . . unfortunately, very few of us can afford to be one.

No truer words have been spoken.

Then some idiot will chime in spouting the "Good Samaritan Laws" which don't mean jacks### in the real world.

It's easy to act like a hero over the internet but the harsh nightmare legal reality that will befall upon any good samaritan is a horror novel in itself.

SUE! SUE! SUE!

Gray Peterson
02-10-2011, 10:26 AM
Look up Gardner v. Loomis Armored. It's a Washington State Supreme Court case but may be applicable in other states with wrongful termination provisions of their state law.

The Shadow
02-10-2011, 10:31 AM
Everyone of us, I think, would like to be a Good Samaritan, especially when life or limb are concerned . . . . unfortunately, very few of us can afford to be one.

I think it's more than that. Deep inside we don't like to see evil win, and when we see criminals getting away with a crime, we feel the need to stop them. Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way, which is why a woman can be raped and murdered in public while people go about their business or just close the windows to keep from hearing her scream.

dustoff31
02-10-2011, 11:22 AM
May'be next time they will just let themselves be taken hostage....that'll teach them...right? right?

Maybe they will. For all intents and purposes they let themselves be taken hostage this time. They are only alive today because the suspect, by their own admission, elected not to shoot them. They may not be so lucky next time.


It should be noted that all of the loss prevention associates told me that they personally felt that the suspect did not want to harm them with the gun. They told me he never pointed the gun at them and also stated he was not holding the gun with the hand on the grip as if to shoot the gun. However, they all stated they believed the suspect was using the gun to intimidate them so they would not prevent him from fleeing before police arrived. Also, all of the individuals stated that although the suspect was resisting, he was not actively trying to harm anyone and was simply trying to break free to be able to flee.

Hopalong
02-10-2011, 11:54 AM
Pretty easy policy. If a criminal commits a crime at Wal Mart, call the cops and keep an eye on him. If he gets out of eye sight before the cops arrived, he gets away. Then It's Wal Marts problem.

Think of it this way, if a woman has a problem and she talks about it to you, she doesn't want you to anything but listen.

Win win for me in both scenarios. I don't have to do anything but use my senses.

An alternative to what they did would have been to approach him and help him until he got tired of the help and left without the property.
This makes more sense to me than a confrontation which may escalate the situation, and in this case did.

Observe, call the cops, Walmart's problem.

Walmart doesn't need a good Samaritan.

SixPointEight
02-10-2011, 12:01 PM
Pretty easy policy. If a criminal commits a crime at Wal Mart, call the cops and keep an eye on him. If he gets out of eye sight before the cops arrived, he gets away. Then It's Wal Marts problem.

Think of it this way, if a woman has a problem and she talks about it to you, she doesn't want you to anything but listen.

Win win for me in both scenarios. I don't have to do anything but use my senses.

An alternative to what they did would have been to approach him and help him until he got tired of the help and left without the property.

Police won't respond. We called the cops at work the other day because two guys started fighting. I stopped em, they threatened me. Called the cops at 4pm, they said someone was on the way. I was off at midnight, never did see a cop that night

rips31
02-10-2011, 12:38 PM
this is what i don't get:

"Longton pleaded guilty Monday to two charges: robbery, a second-degree felony; and the purchase, transfer, possession or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a class A misdemeanor.

so basically, a restricted person can have a loaded gun and only be charged with a misdemeanor? doesn't sound like it's much of a punishment.

Wherryj
02-10-2011, 1:01 PM
read the article. n/m i'll do it for you.

they had already detained him and had him in the loss prevention office without knowing he had a weapon on him. 1 door, 1 exit. the criminal pulled a gun, charged one of the personnel in the office and held a gun to their back.

at this point it's not about stopping a shoplifter (which I would never risk a hair on my head for), at this point it's about saving someone's life.

I would never lift a finger to stop someone from stealing from my employer and risk personal harm. but when harm to others is involved, it's time to step up.

I think that he meant that as a minimum wage employee at Walmart, the guy would never have even been at the loss prevention office. Why would an employee there, probably paid minimum wage and intentionally given just enough hours to stay "part time" (no benefits) risk even a physical confrontation over shoplifting? The employee doesn't personally lose if the merchandise walks out of the store uncontested.

epilepticninja
02-10-2011, 1:04 PM
Even in upscale areas, Walmart is ghetto. I never shop there and don't intend too.

Wherryj
02-10-2011, 1:07 PM
Look up Gardner v. Loomis Armored. It's a Washington State Supreme Court case but may be applicable in other states with wrongful termination provisions of their state law.

My wife does HR for a company here in CA and states that it would take more than just one episode like this to safely fire the employee. There needs to be a lot of documentation about events, counselling in the company's procedures, etc. unless it is an issue where the employee was endangering others.

The violation of company policy was already past. The employees didn't cause any risk to others, it was the shoplifter. The employees didn't apparently do anything to cause the shoplifter harm or anything unreasonable to make him escalate the issue.

There really isn't a defensable firing in this, unless there is far more to the story? The only reason Walmart may not get creamed on this one is that their average employee is far from familiar with employement law, their rights or how to contact a good attorney.

stix213
02-10-2011, 1:14 PM
Based on the article, it sounds like it was turning into a hostage situation, no longer about shop lifting. Also it could have turned into a police shoot out at the front exit. I would be surprised if this didn't result in one or more deaths had the fired employees not acted.

ZRX61
02-10-2011, 1:18 PM
Wouldn't mere *shoplifting* become felony armed robbery when the perp pulled the gun?

N6ATF
02-10-2011, 1:25 PM
So much for Walmart not deferring to criminals...

kcbrown
02-10-2011, 2:13 PM
Frankly, I think the "risk averse" policy of letting shoplifters get away without any interference should be broadcast far and wide for every store and business that has such a policy. If these stores want to supply the bad guys for free, let them. The bad guys will flock to these stores en masse once the word is out. Let their prices rise as a result, while the prices of places that actually protect their property remain stable.

Then the market chooses in the end.

Rude Robert
02-10-2011, 2:37 PM
Evil reins when good people do nothing

The Shadow
02-10-2011, 3:36 PM
Police won't respond. We called the cops at work the other day because two guys started fighting. I stopped em, they threatened me. Called the cops at 4pm, they said someone was on the way. I was off at midnight, never did see a cop that night

Then you opt for plan B and have an employee, clearly dressed and identified as an employee make contact with the individual and simply ask if they need help, or make sure that there are enough employees present that the individual is uncomfortable and leaves. It's not a matter of catching the criminal, it's a matter of preventing loss to the store.

The Disney Company has a simple solution to their theft problems, and it's identify the potential shop lifter by watching guest mannerisms, let all cast members know who the shop lifter is, and then be proactive in preventing the theft by simply having cast members approach the shop lifter in a polite, friendly and courteous manner and ask them if they need help. In all cases, because shop lifters steal things when they think know one is looking, the shop lifter will leave the store because the cast members don't give the shop lifter the chance to be alone. If a shop lifter becomes aggressive, and steals merchandise when you are trying to stop them, now it could potentially escalate from mere petty theft to robbery. In that case, it's important to just get a good description and any identifying information to help the police catch the individual. Escalating the incident into a fist fight raises the chances of you, the criminal or other guests being injured which is a bad thing.

kcbrown
02-10-2011, 3:54 PM
If a shop lifter becomes aggressive, and steals merchandise when you are trying to stop them, now it could potentially escalate from mere petty theft to robbery. In that case, it's important to just get a good description and any identifying information to help the police catch the individual. Escalating the incident into a fist fight raises the chances of you, the criminal or other guests being injured which is a bad thing.

It sounds like the policies would have you just stand there and let the shoplifter take whatever he wants, regardless of whether or not he's bold enough to do so in view of others.

If that's the case, then a shoplifter could simply go to the areas of interest to him, then don clothing to mask his identifying traits, grab whatever he wants, and stroll out of the store. Store personnel aren't allowed to so much as touch the guy, so he'll be safe from interference and safe from identification, since, after all, it's against "policy" to interfere in any way, right?


Like I said, these policies need to be broadcast to the world at large, so the bad guys know where to "shop". The free market will take care of the problem soon enough afterwards.

Sky_DiveR
02-10-2011, 4:24 PM
....The only reason Walmart may not get creamed on this one is that their average employee is far from familiar with employment law, their rights or how to contact a good attorney.

Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding! Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Let me adjust that for ya... "the average employee is far from familiar with employment law, their rights or how to contact a good attorney."

Most companies do things illegally in reference to labor laws because of the statement above. Even if the disgruntled worker goes to the state labor board... the company just shrugs and pays the back pay, vacation pay, sick pay, etc. after months of back and forth. Which by that time, the ex-employee has found another job and doesn't want the old job back but is more than happy to get any free money from the company and they feel vindicated.

On the flip side almost all employees just grumble and groan, do nothing and get on with their lives, doing nothing to the company.

On the note of criminals knowing company policy... they already know. Have you ever seen a group of people do snatch and grab? They come into a store, grab a armload of stuff and run out the door. They know very few, if any, will get stopped.

Companies are more concerned with internal theft than a few items that get stolen. They write off the losses during inventory and adjust the prices to absorb the loss. In the long run, we all lose due to higher prices at the checkstand.

DParker
02-10-2011, 4:45 PM
I was a retail manager for years. I learned the hard way to always handcuff the thief as soon as they were detained and absolutely before taking them to an isolated remote 'office'. Then as soon as possible we frisked for weapons while retrieving our merchandise. Then we wrote the reports and turned them over to the cops.

Have been in my share of fights with shoplifters, including one that pulled a knife on me while 'wrestling' and it often isn't even possible to safely withdraw and disengage when a weapon comes out.

I retired in '97 as the rules were changing. My company started insisting that 'no physical contact' ever be made with a shoplifter. This from a company that used to have plainclothes loss prevention with concealed firearms. They seemed to decide it was better to allow the bad guys to steal at will rather than risk a lawsuit.

Frakking bean-counters.

Wherryj
02-10-2011, 4:50 PM
It's a liability issue. As it's been said, because the situation unfolded as it did, Walmart is now facing several lawsuits. If their employees had just followed instructions, the shoplifter would have gotten away (with NO grounds to sue) and the employees would have kept their jobs (with NO grounds to sue). Walmart's policy makers aren't stupid; they set these rules in place to protect their pocketbooks and their employees.

That being said, I personally couldn't let that unfold in front of me without doing something about it, but as far as liability is concerned, chivalry and heroism is now reserved only for those "insured" for it. It's the same situation preventing someone from saving another's life with CPR, for fear of getting sued.

That pretty much sums up the state of affairs in our country today.
We are overlawyered and overlitigated to death.
Nobody wants to be a good samaritan anymore.
If I see someone in front of me take a fall, trip, or whatever, I keep on moving. I would not dare lift a finger to help.

Congree passed a gargantuan helath reform bill, 2,000 pages long, but not a single page devoted to tort reform. Why? They are all lawyers that's why.
They want to preserve the tort status quo so hundreds of thousands of worthless lawsuits can be filed daily.

The goal is NOT to go to trial. Everybody knows they will lose. They want a settlement. Least amount of work for maximum amount of money.

The WalMart situation is exactly this--this is a tort lawyers orgasmic wet dream come true.

I would disagree that there is no cause to sue. It will almost undoubtrably come down to a wrongful termination case for firing the employees. This isn't exactly a pattern of willful misconduct, it was a stressful situation that escalated. Policy or not, even trained officers are known to make bad judgement calls under such circumstances.

How can employees who ended up in a life-threatening situation supposed to react better than trained professionals-and do so without a single warning before termination?

CA may be an "at will" state, but you need VERY GOOD documentation to fire an employee. Whether there is a case or not, would you want to be the company trying to defend firing four employees for being held at gunpoint? I'm not sure that a jury will feel entirely sympathetic to Wally World on this one.

joeyant
02-10-2011, 5:27 PM
Evil reins when good people do nothing

You mean "reigns"...

Spoken in the comfort of your pajamas while typing an idealistic statement into your computer to be posted anonymously over the internet.......:rolleyes:

Love to see you rush to stop a gangbang of 5 people beating a guy senseless. Yeah right!

N6ATF
02-10-2011, 7:11 PM
You mean "reigns"...

Spoken in the comfort of your pajamas while typing an idealistic statement into your computer to be posted anonymously over the internet.......:rolleyes:

Love to see you rush to stop a gangbang of 5 people beating a guy senseless. Yeah right!

A "gangbang" of 5 people beating a guy senseless? I'm not sure whether to report this to the mods or the grammar police!

rabagley
02-10-2011, 8:05 PM
Based on the notion "just do what the bad says and everything will be OK".

Asinine notion.

That was the rule for airline hijackings until 10:00am on 9/11/2001 too. You might think that the people who write these policies might have figured out that appeasement of the bad guy never gets you what you want. But no. I work at a gun-free office as well and if someone runs amok, we're not to offer any resistance.

locosway
02-11-2011, 6:07 AM
Read the damn article people...

Almost all stores have LP, and they often do detain and escort people to an office in the back. Sometimes they use force, depending on company policy. These employees acted in accordance with all company policies. However, once they were in that small room in the back where no one can see you, the bad guy pulled out a gun. This isn't a LP stop anymore, it's a life or death situation. These guys had every right to defend themselves by any means necessary which would have included deadly force.

The only mistake they made was not searching for weapons when they detained him, which they're allowed to do legally, but it's likely against WM policy.

The Shadow
02-11-2011, 7:52 AM
It sounds like the policies would have you just stand there and let the shoplifter take whatever he wants, regardless of whether or not he's bold enough to do so in view of others.

If that's the case, then a shoplifter could simply go to the areas of interest to him, then don clothing to mask his identifying traits, grab whatever he wants, and stroll out of the store. Store personnel aren't allowed to so much as touch the guy, so he'll be safe from interference and safe from identification, since, after all, it's against "policy" to interfere in any way, right?


Like I said, these policies need to be broadcast to the world at large, so the bad guys know where to "shop". The free market will take care of the problem soon enough afterwards.

I was a retail manager for years. I learned the hard way to always handcuff the thief as soon as they were detained and absolutely before taking them to an isolated remote 'office'. Then as soon as possible we frisked for weapons while retrieving our merchandise. Then we wrote the reports and turned them over to the cops.

Have been in my share of fights with shoplifters, including one that pulled a knife on me while 'wrestling' and it often isn't even possible to safely withdraw and disengage when a weapon comes out.

I retired in '97 as the rules were changing. My company started insisting that 'no physical contact' ever be made with a shoplifter. This from a company that used to have plainclothes loss prevention with concealed firearms. They seemed to decide it was better to allow the bad guys to steal at will rather than risk a lawsuit.

Frakking bean-counters.

As one friend put it who used to manage a RadioShack, "A person can steal 10 of product "x" and we still make a profit". Notice that stores put all kinds of electronics and things on their merchandise to discourage theft. In fact there are some tags that clothing stores put on their more expensive merchandise that will ruin the clothing if the tag is improperly removed. So retailers are passively fighting back. Those items that aren't tagged have such a high mark up on them that the retailers will make a profit anyway.

If I remember correctly, the typical ratio is 6:1. In other words, for every 6 items stolen, it only takes one item to make a profit. Retailers figure in loss from theft when determining price, and the policies regarding shoplifting reflect that.

Those of you who work in loss prevention have the easiest job in retail. And your job exists for insurance purposes primarily. So my advice to you is to follow company policy to the letter and let the bean counters count the losses that they predicted anyway. By trying to be the hero, you run more risk of losing your job than becoming employee of the month.

USMC VET
02-11-2011, 12:49 PM
As a Loss Prevention Officer of 5 years now, I have encountered a number of weapons. Thankfully I've never been in their situation (knock on wood) but I can tell you the moment it turns into a life in danger situation I'm going to protect my co-workers and my arse, screw the merchandise. My boss would say the same thing.

keefbeef
02-11-2011, 1:52 PM
It's a liability issue. As it's been said, because the situation unfolded as it did, Walmart is now facing several lawsuits. If their employees had just followed instructions, the shoplifter would have gotten away (with NO grounds to sue) and the employees would have kept their jobs (with NO grounds to sue). Walmart's policy makers aren't stupid; they set these rules in place to protect their pocketbooks and their employees.

That being said, I personally couldn't let that unfold in front of me without doing something about it, but as far as liability is concerned, chivalry and heroism is now reserved only for those "insured" for it. It's the same situation preventing someone from saving another's life with CPR, for fear of getting sued.

Fortunately, that's why there are so called "Good Samaritan" Laws to legally protect someone who helps with emergency CPR, abdominal thrusts ("Heimlich Maneuver"), use of a defibrillator, etc... Even medical professionals need this type of protection.

I know we have those laws in LA County but am not sure of other jurisdictions.

BKinzey
02-11-2011, 4:10 PM
As a Loss Prevention Officer of 5 years now, I have encountered a number of weapons. Thankfully I've never been in their situation (knock on wood) but I can tell you the moment it turns into a life in danger situation I'm going to protect my co-workers and my arse, screw the merchandise. My boss would say the same thing.

So do you think these guys did the right thing? What would you do?

Personally I think they did the right thing when the guy produced a weapon. What I find fault with is evidently they all stated they didn't feel threatened.

USMC VET
02-12-2011, 1:09 PM
So do you think these guys did the right thing? What would you do?

Personally I think they did the right thing when the guy produced a weapon. What I find fault with is evidently they all stated they didn't feel threatened.

I think that if they were indeed back in the interview room and he pulled a weapon, then yes by all means take him down and detain him. There is no telling what his next actions could've been (store shooting, shooting lp, etc), but I think ultimately they screwed the pooch by not searching him. I know the lp guy at a local walmart and he carries handcuffs so I ask why wasn't this guy cuffed and searched? He should've never had the opportunity to access anything on his person without them knowing he was clear of weapons. We search everyone the first second they enter our office. Policy could be different so I don't know but I would've done what they did if presented the same situation.

Matt@EntrepriseArms
02-12-2011, 6:09 PM
I worked loss prevention for 13 years (9 of those as a loss prevention manager) for three different big box retailers, but not Wal Mart.

I can tell you that Wal Mart's policy is typical, and it will hold up in court. Why? If it had gone bad and one of the loss prevention guys or any other person was shot and killed, Wal Mart would be looking at all sorts of liability probably including a wrongful death lawsuit. The family would sue saying that Wal Mart expected their employees to put their life on the line, the employees weren't properly trained, they employees weren't provided the proper equipment, blah blah blah - you get the picture.

As to why the guy wasn't handcuffed - Wal Mart probably has a policy similar to the majority of the retailers out there that doesn not allow loss prevention to apply handcuffs as a general rule unless the person fights or is not compliant.

Since most retailers do not allow their loss prevention people to fight with or try to restrain a suspect who is resisting anymore, the chances of them actually getting to use their handcuffs anymore is slim.

As far as the weapon thing goes, the three retailers I worked for all had policies that specifically stated that once a weapon comes out, the person is to be allowed to leave. It happended to me before once when a guy pulled a knife on me after I had already taken him to the ground. I then had to let him up and back off, and of course he used that opportunity to try to stab me and my employees, but luckily we got away.

The policy made no sense because I could have controlled him on the ground and taken the knife away, but I wanted to keep my job so I had to let him up and put all of our lives at risk.

Most retailers also usually forbid any sort of "pat down" or searches for weapons or even merchandise. Why? Becuase the suspects complained they were groped or felt up and sued.

Its pretty stupid. Basically, loss prevention can't chase a suspect, restrain, or pretty much do anything to anybody who doesn't willing comply. If they do, that person can most likely sue and win, even though they committed a crime. Even if they don't win, the loss prevention agent will certainly be fired for violating company policy.

I can say with a great deal of certainty that those Wal Mart guys don't have a leg to stand on, and any money they spend fighting it will just get sucked up for nothing.

jonyg
02-13-2011, 7:51 AM
I can tell you that Wal Mart's policy is typical, and it will hold up in court. Why? If it had gone bad and one of the loss prevention guys or any other person was shot and killed, Wal Mart would be looking at all sorts of liability probably including a wrongful death lawsuit. The family would sue saying that Wal Mart expected their employees to put their life on the line, the employees weren't properly trained, they employees weren't provided the proper equipment, blah blah blah - you get the picture.


Why not make it their own choice? If you want to try to stop a theif, go for it but we won't fire you for not doing so because your life may be at risk and we don't want to be liable.

What happened here is simply beyond logic. I don't care what Wal-mart may argue in terms of liability, or even if the ruling is in Wal-mart's favor, firing them was wrong. Flat out wrong. The top guys in Wal-Mart should be ashamed.

Riodog
02-13-2011, 2:52 PM
Apparently the manager didn't intervene because he thought I was LP for the store... But when he found out I wasn't he gave me all my purchases for free. :D

You wouldn't care to share what the store location was would you?
Rio

CharAznable
02-13-2011, 3:14 PM
So if they did what they were supposed to and let the guy go and he then proceeds to shoot someone on his way out I would think that Wally would still be looking at a suit.

kcbrown
02-13-2011, 3:52 PM
So if they did what they were supposed to and let the guy go and he then proceeds to shoot someone on his way out I would think that Wally would still be looking at a suit.

This, especially if they forbid people from carrying firearms on their property, thus removing their ability to effectively defend themselves. In that case, the lawsuit should be massive.

If the store allows RKBA, on the other hand, then they should either not be sued or should win the suit, because at that point it's on the individual to provide for his own defense.

If people are restricted from RKBA by the government then the government should be sued at that point, especially if the person killed had tried to get the requisite permits and was denied.

Matt C
02-13-2011, 4:41 PM
You wouldn't care to share what the store location was would you?
Rio

Downtown LA.

Pete Albrecht
02-18-2011, 9:47 AM
But money does not grow on trees. WalMart WILL recoup that lost money back.

How you ask?

It will be reflected on our receipts at the checkout stand.

This is how the US works. Isn't it great?


This only works if we as consumers allow it to work. To me, the solution is clear: send a message by boycotting Wal-Mart.

I've done so for years because their cheap-at-any-price policy hurts this country, its industry (what's left of it) and its residents. This only gives me one more reason.

I happily pay a little bit more to shop somewhere else where the stuff is not made in Cheapistan.

I know they have cheap ammo. Can't we all afford to buy somewhere that's just a little more expensive? (Hint: mail order. Graf's. Midway. Use coupons).

I was going to post a new thread on the Wal-Mart topic as I just now saw it in the Google news aggregator, but I see it's already well underway here. AOL carried the story 3 days ago, I only stumbled on it now.
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/15/wal-mart-security-employees-fired-for-disarming-store-gunman/