Thursday, June 14, 2012

So, shoplifting is ok now?

I was recently in our neighborhood Ann Taylor Loft purchasing some fantastic summer wear. As I was shopping, I noticed a somewhat sketchy looking individual skulking around the store. When the employees greeted her, the woman announced that she was waiting for her friend.

After browsing, I tried on my items and headed to the register. As I was checking out, the shady character left the store, setting off the alarm. All of the employees looked toward the door, sighed, and shook their heads.

“Isn’t anyone going to go after her?” I asked.

“No,” responded the lady at the register. “We aren’t allowed to do that. We could get sued.”

I considered that. “You know, I’ve been stopped at Target for setting off the alarm. I waited at the door until an employee came to search my bag.”

The woman snorted. “Well, I would tell you to sue Target.”

So, I’m confused. What is the point of an alarm if there is no consequence for stealing? I thought it was common knowledge that you will be stopped or pursued if you set off the alarm.


JD and Elena said...

Ya totally crazy! I remember when I worked at Old Navy for a little bit, it was the same way. If the alarm went off and they waited, we could check their bags, but couldn't like chase them down. No sense.

Stevie said...

It was the same way when I worked at Pac Sun. If the alarm went off and they stopped and willingly handed you their stuff, you could check it (like that's going to happen if they are stealing). Otherwise, you couldn't approach them. I was told it was more a liability thing than a risk of getting sued. In theory, if you tackled them, you could be sued for assault. But my boss just told us that there was any piece of merchandise in the store worth us potentially getting harmed by a shop lifter for approaching them. I like that explanation better :)

Kaylyn said...

Isn't it sad? I worked at Maurice's for a few years, and that was one of the first things they went over in training. They gave us a few tricks on how to try and convince people to give back whatever they had stolen prior to reaching the door, but that only worked when you actually saw them take the item.

My boss at the time just explained to us that the reason you couldn't accuse them of stealing was due to the fact that they could sue you if you were wrong.... if you see them take something, but don't keep them in your line of vision, there's a chance that they could ditch the item and then you accuse them of stealing and they sue for defemation of character or something. It's completely ridiculous.

But, then again, you do also have the point that Stevie's boss made about the person doing something to harm you if you go after them, and that's one thing we were told as well. It seems a little far fetched, but I agree, a pair of jeans isn't worth getting shot over.

Mandee Shaffer said...

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Anonymous said...

It makes perfect sense. Shoplifting does not harm anyone. No one can claim they need this clothes more than the person taking them, and no one is harmed by a person taking them.

Also many clothes are just thrown away if they are not sold. So trying to stop shoplifters would only cause troubles.