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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire/Florida
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    2,154

    Default Anyone work at Walmart? Shoplifting

    I was at the local Walmart late today, awaiting my turn at the Redbox to rent a DVD. Redbox is located just inside the store, near an entrance/exit. The clerk manning the exit stopped a male leaving with a large case of soda in his cart and ask to see his receipt. He gave some story about having left it on the counter and proceeded to push past her. She said you are on the security camera, but he left anyway. She turned to go back inside the store to notify security. Then another Redbox customer said "look at him run" and, indeed, he was booking it out of there and was already at the last parking aisle.

    I rented my DVD. The clerk never came back so I went inside. I found her talking to a supervisor, I guess. I said I saw the guy running. The supervisor told me they can't stop them once they are out of the store. I said "don't you have security cameas in the parking lots?" Yes. Then I said at least they could find out the vehicle and maybe the license plate.

    ********
    Is that true? If you make it out the entrance, you can't be stopped?

    I am wondering why they don't provide some kind of button so they can summon security while not leaving their post at the exit. This was an older lady so no way she could have stopped him.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,121

    Default

    When I worked retail we were told to just let them go - better than being knocked down and injured in the parking lot, or shot if they were genuine robbers.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    11,110

    Default

    It's industry policy to avoid confrontations with shoplifters if you are a store or company employee. Attempt to stop someone and you will be fired. It's a liability issue.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
    Posts
    2,764

    Default

    Maybe it's Walmart policy not to stop them (maybe they're terrified of being sued by an employee who cripples himself trying to stop a shoplifter) but I don't think it's a legal thing. I have a friend who works at a grocery store, and him and his pals seem to enjoy tackling shoplifters in the parking lot. Tip - if you're running out of the store with a steak under your arm, don't run right past the area where employees are taking a smoke break.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    Dig up some news stories and you'll see quite a few from the past several years where employees were fired for attempting to stop shoplifters. I myself witnessed a store manager at Safeway who tackled and pinned a young man to the ground and he got fired, no questions asked, because what he did was commit assault and battery.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire/Florida
    Posts
    2,154

    Default

    So I assume that they only way shoplifters can be stopped is by security employed by the store, but there was no way this older lady could call them without going back inside.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2007
    Posts
    233

    Default

    You aren`t supposed to put yourself in danger. Stores have insurance for theft.

    BUT........ sometimes when you are a manager it just ticks you off soooooo much. Especially the health and beauty section (condoms and razor blades) - our poor HB manager lost it one day and tackled a guy. Not okay for a Canadian - but man was it funny on replay.

    I had a lady walk up and grab half a rack of clothing and run for it. I was 16 and standing beside my manager. It felt like a hit and run. No point calling security, they were elderly gentlemen. There was nothing we could do, our safety had to come first.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
    Posts
    2,805

    Default

    Earlier this year (or late last) a Walmart employee detained a shoplifter in a chokehold. The shoplifter died.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


    4 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,589

    Default

    It depends. We have a great LP officer at the local Wallyworld who just grabs and holds and lets them thrash. He did get a knife pulled him once, and dude got some big time charges for that. In this state, if you fight with LP, it's felony assault. However...they are not required to stop anyone, and most places have a policy against it (Home Depot is a big one) that will get you fired, or have a monetary amount before they will even press theft charges (Kmart, anything under about $20 and they just don't care).
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,182

    Default

    Have worked retail at a few big clothing chains. The only deterrent in one LARGE, INTERNATIONAL chain was some fake cameras and the instructions to "be overly helpful" if you suspected someone....ie, just hanging out around near them cleaning up, asking constantly if they need help, etc., with the assumption that most people aren't ballsy enough to steal with someone standing right next to them.

    Honestly, had someone grabbed ten purses and just walked towards the door, we wouldn't have been able to stop them. Like Lex said, it's against company policy and usually ends up in immediate termination. First because the company doesn't want to be liable for a hurt employee, and secondly because stopping a shoplifter quickly turns into an assault and battery case.

    The only recourse we had was to note the license plate, and call the local cops.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
    Location
    Indiana
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    10,986

    Default

    It is Walmart policy to protect its employees above catching shoplifters, a LP associate who grabs and holds someone stands a very likely chance of losing his job. It is NOT SAFE.

    They do not carry guns, handcuffs, and do not have the power to arrest people. Then can be at serious risk of being shot or stabbed. Sometimes following someone and questioning them is enough to keep them from coming back.

    Depending on the location of the store and how friendly they are with the local police many Walmarts work closely with them to catch bad guys. My local Walmart was responsible for local police stopping a man with felonies in several states, driving a stolen car, and with several hundred thousand dollars of merchandise in his home.

    Shoplifters are often repeat offenders, especially if they think the store is lax in their security.

    Most hard core shop lifters know the rules as well and will simply keep walking, in those cases the store will call the police and have them meet the suspect at the front doors.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,436

    Default

    I've been told they can't make you show your receipt and your goods on your way out. They can only ask.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2011
    Posts
    115

    Default

    The only way it is true shoplifting is if they LEAVE the store. After they leave the store with the merchandise they can be stopped by Loss Prevention agents, not regular store employees.

    For a case of soda it's probably not worth anyones safety or lawsuits (if he didn't steal the soda). Also, they pick their battles and save the chases for the more valuable thefts.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2005
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    3,535

    Default

    It was our policy at Blockbuster, Best Buy and Radioshack to let them go. Yes be "overly helpful" and call security (Radioshack was in a mall) if we could, but we were NEVER to try and stop them, it was a fireable offense due to safely issues. Same thing in banking. Give them the money and deal with the cameras and police for any sort of solving. It sucks (especially when its YOUR store and you KNOW they just stole something) but as a person who has been robbed at gunpoint, you follow the rules you have to for safety.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Rock Chalk!
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    3,090

    Default

    Years ago, I worked in retail as a second job as a supervisor. Our LP guy asked me to help him detain a shoplifter, who ended up biting me. I am sure, in retrospect, that the shoes the guy was trying to shoplift were worth far less than the ER visit cost the store.

    Worst thing was that I had the guy's brother in class. I was a little apprehensive about retaliation as they were also gang members but nothing ever happened.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2004
    Location
    Medford Oregon
    Posts
    912

    Default

    There is a lawsuit pending about this very issue with Walmart in that their managers are told to not report thefts as it has an aggregate effect on Walmart's bottom line. In fact the employee who is suing them claims that they routinely downplay theft losses to the shareholders in effect committing fraud.

    http://www.rfgen.com/blog/bid/283493...gainst-Lawsuit


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,830

    Default

    Most big companies instruct employees not to confront shoplifters--I know that was the policy at Borders when I was there. It's easier to cover "shrink," as they call it, than deal with lawsuits from employees tackling people...

    When I worked at my friend's small boutique, though, I did go chase after a crackhead who stole a stack of underwear (skin care and lingerie store). Nothing like screaming "Just give me the !@#$ing panties!" on the busiest street in the city. I did realize when I chased her into a back alley and had her cornered against a wall that this was Really Stupid and did not follow her over the fence--but I got the underwear back, and she was caught, so it all worked out.

    I don't know that I would feel quite the same adrenaline rush of fury for a faceless corporation, but I was damn pissed that someone would steal from my friend! If I worked for Wal-Mart, though, I am pretty sure I would be a lot more chill...
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2011
    Posts
    316

    Default

    While in college, I worked for a small store and the General Manager's own daughter and friends stole from the store on a fairly regular basis. It was all on camera but the GM refused to stop her. Some managers are just in denial that thefts happen.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2008
    Location
    Scranton, PA
    Posts
    728

    Default

    We are instructed to let them walk but be overly helpful to minimize the shoplifting.

    Saw one guy up a belt and a shirt under three bags of feed on his cart. (He was a known lifter in our store previously) he turned the corner and left his cart so I grabbed the shirt and belt out.
    The guy was in for quite the shock when he got to his car and loaded his bags and the shirt and belt wasn't there. We all got a chuckle. He hasn't come back since.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,621

    Default

    Not Wal-Mart, but I have a friend that is the regional head of loss prevention for a chain store. The store has what sounds like a similar policy for the actual employees - they report what they've seen to him, and watch the surveillance videos for offenders and suspicious looking people, but don't do anything themselves. He's in plain clothes and looks like any other shopper wandering around. He works a store near my house once in a while and says he catches an average of 3 people each time, at least one is always a runner or a fighter, usually two.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



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