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Author Topic: Walmart lawsuit  (Read 2768 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Walmart lawsuit
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2021, 06:13:31 PM »

As an industry retail Loss Prevention has changed substantially this past 15 years.  Some of the highlighted major industry changes Iíve seen since 2005 include:

-  Almost all mainstream retailers have gotten away from forceful detainment of shoplifters.  I would argue the costs associated with medical claims, potential civil liability and a change in modern sensibilities all contributed heavily to the why the practice is largely discontinued. 
-  Retailers have gotten really big on deterrent measures such as EAS and employee awareness training.  Personally Iíve found that employees can deter far more shoplifters with aggressively friend customer service techniques as opposed to trying to apprehend as many as possible.  EAS tends to keep honest people honest and deters a lot of them via a form of passive security theater.  Some retailers went heavy into staffing uniformed security guards in high risk locations as a visual deterrent.
-  Loss Prevention is just as much about safety these days as it is about theft mitigation.  I probably spend way more time doing things like holding safety trainings than anything related to theft. 
-  Advances in exception reporting and CCTV technology have really ground down employee theft.  It used to be common to catch 20 plus employees stealing a year, itís typically a quarter of that now.  It is way too easy to get caught stealing now as an employee, especially through the register systems which Exceptions Report software draws data.
-  Credit card fraud is way harder now given easily cloned magnetic are being phased out. Check fraud used to be really common but now is easily mitigated via advances in banking.  High level fraud is still an issue with Vanilla Gift Cards.
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Scott5114

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Re: Walmart lawsuit
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2021, 07:07:22 PM »

That sounds like government BS although I'm not surprised. It's interesting that there are states that prevent individuals from making arrests but allow businesses to do so.

It makes some degree of sense, since a business can designate certain people (like Max) responsible for conducting the arrest, establish written policies containing "rules of engagement", and require them to attend training, the contents of which can be documented. There's no guarantee that, without training, a random citizen will perform the due diligence needed before escalating to an arrest. Go on Nextdoor or someplace like that and see how many people raise the alarm about "suspicious people" engaging in perfectly ordinary behavior like jogging or sitting on a park bench.

I don't necessarily think that businesses should be engaging in arrests either, though. Unlike the police, their interest is not necessarily in making sure justice is done, but in protecting profit margins by recouping the costs of stolen goods. If someone is incorrectly accused of theft and is under the perceived threat of being cuffed and left in an office for hours while the cops show up, they may just decide to pay for the supposed stolen item and escape the situation, which suits the business just fine, but isn't just. Additionally, some businesses adhere too rigidly to the idea that computer algorithms are infallible and increasingly try to use them inappropriately to replace human thinking. I wouldn't want to get citizen-arrested in Whole Foods because some Amazon surveillance-camera algorithm misidentified me adjusting my keys in my pocket as slipping unpaid-for merchandise inside.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Walmart lawsuit
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2021, 07:28:07 PM »

Pertaining to self checkout kiosks and shoplifting thatís kind of a new thing.  Iíve found the systems to be too easy to make a mistake on to go after someone for one apparent theft hit.  I kind of adhere to a self enforced rule of three hits (amusingly an old Kmart rule) which tends to mitigate any doubt fraud is afoot. 
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Walmart lawsuit
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2021, 10:57:54 AM »

That sounds like government BS although I'm not surprised. It's interesting that there are states that prevent individuals from making arrests but allow businesses to do so.

It makes some degree of sense, since a business can designate certain people (like Max) responsible for conducting the arrest, establish written policies containing "rules of engagement", and require them to attend training, the contents of which can be documented. There's no guarantee that, without training, a random citizen will perform the due diligence needed before escalating to an arrest. Go on Nextdoor or someplace like that and see how many people raise the alarm about "suspicious people" engaging in perfectly ordinary behavior like jogging or sitting on a park bench.

I don't necessarily think that businesses should be engaging in arrests either, though. Unlike the police, their interest is not necessarily in making sure justice is done, but in protecting profit margins by recouping the costs of stolen goods. If someone is incorrectly accused of theft and is under the perceived threat of being cuffed and left in an office for hours while the cops show up, they may just decide to pay for the supposed stolen item and escape the situation, which suits the business just fine, but isn't just. Additionally, some businesses adhere too rigidly to the idea that computer algorithms are infallible and increasingly try to use them inappropriately to replace human thinking. I wouldn't want to get citizen-arrested in Whole Foods because some Amazon surveillance-camera algorithm misidentified me adjusting my keys in my pocket as slipping unpaid-for merchandise inside.

I agree on this one.  A citizen's arrest or in the case of TN, arrest by private person is made at one's peril.  The Martin v. Castner-Knott Dry Goods case from 1944 is still case law in TN.  You make a citizen's arrest at your own peril.
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bugo

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Re: Walmart lawsuit
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2021, 02:22:22 PM »

This happened to somebody I know. They went to Walmart and forgot to scan something. The security accused them of shoplifting, and they said it was an honest mistake and they would pay for the item, but the store refused and pressed charges anyway. This person no longer shops at Walmart. I hope that $10 item was worth the thousands and thousands of dollars that this person no longer spends at Walmart because of this bullshit. Fuck Walmart.
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Scott5114

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Re: Walmart lawsuit
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2021, 05:15:02 PM »

This happened to somebody I know. They went to Walmart and forgot to scan something. The security accused them of shoplifting, and they said it was an honest mistake and they would pay for the item, but the store refused and pressed charges anyway. This person no longer shops at Walmart. I hope that $10 item was worth the thousands and thousands of dollars that this person no longer spends at Walmart because of this bullshit. Fuck Walmart.

I don't blame them; I wouldn't either. The fact that they're willing to try to ruin someone's life over $10 is asinine.  I hope that the district attorney declined to prosecute because that's a total waste of taxpayer money to pursue anyway. I'd be surprised if that even got past arraignment.

I try to avoid shopping there as much as possible because it feels more like a prison than a store even when you're not being accused of shoplifting.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Walmart lawsuit
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2021, 05:21:20 PM »

This happened to somebody I know. They went to Walmart and forgot to scan something. The security accused them of shoplifting, and they said it was an honest mistake and they would pay for the item, but the store refused and pressed charges anyway. This person no longer shops at Walmart. I hope that $10 item was worth the thousands and thousands of dollars that this person no longer spends at Walmart because of this bullshit. Fuck Walmart.

I don't blame them; I wouldn't either. The fact that they're willing to try to ruin someone's life over $10 is asinine.  I hope that the district attorney declined to prosecute because that's a total waste of taxpayer money to pursue anyway. I'd be surprised if that even got past arraignment.

I try to avoid shopping there as much as possible because it feels more like a prison than a store even when you're not being accused of shoplifting.

Worth noting; a lot of stores have a dollar limit for when they allow their LP staff to apprehend and/or prosecute.  Example; at Target (arguably a far more credible retailer and LP program than Walmart) we could get written up for anyone we apprehended with under $20 dollars (this was 2001-04).  From what I read in the policy guide it wasn't worth it for Target to prosecute under $20 dollars and we were supposed to let the shoplifter walk so we could build a more substantial case. 
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