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The way this conversation is going reminds me a bit of the movie Compliance which is based on a true story. Basically a creep pretending to be a detective calls a McDonald's and has the manager strip search employees and everyone goes along with it.

It's pretty insane how false authority can screw with people.

Anyway, hell no I'd never let some mouth breather retail employee search me. And even a legitimate law enforcement officer I'm going to verbally protest like hell and not consent.
 

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Many Walmarts in the area for a while (at the beginning of the Covid panic) were asking pretty much everyone to see their receipts as you walked out.

I got tired of that routine after waiting in line for 25+ minutes because they had so few registers open.
When they asked I smiled inside my mask and said “no thank you” and continued at the same pace out of the door.
They stopped that routine a few months later.
 

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There are some differences based on your location. Some states do have something like a "special police" license which allows the store security to make an arrest. The was the case in Maryland when I was working there. They could then either go apply for a warrant themselves or they would call us, the po po, and we would write a criminal citation for a misdemeanor or take them to a court commissioner for a felony.

Saying that, I think most retail establishments have backed away from doing this due to liability. As we know, anyone can ask you to do anything, the choice almost always remains with you. Until the police show up and are going to arrest you, don't get much say in that.

If they ask, I let them look in my bag. It doesn't hurt anyone and is usually over in a minute. But if I know I paid and the alarm goes off as I walk out, I just keep walking. If they want to come find me they are welcome to and I will show them.
 

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This is a major issue with loss prevention in the retail space. As someone who has done some consulting on this, it really boils down to either poorly trained store security - as in they have been hired at the lowest possible price point, so even good training doesn’t stick - or poorly designed training. On more than one occasion I’ve recommended that it would be more cost effective in terms of not having customers with bad experiences, let alone negative news media reporting to change the recruiting, retention, and training models up. Spend a bit more on the front end to save a lot on the back end of these interactions. Unfortunately, that conversation goes nowhere fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Why did you get questioned and why was it outside the building?
I was told by someone later that until one leaves the store unpaid merchandise has not been "stolen". I'm not sure why I was stopped. I assume someone flagged me for some reason as suspicious for theft. A camera, or undercover person thought I took something, I guess. I was asked to let them see the merchandise in the bag. It matched the receipt so that was the end and I was on my way.
Had I been asked to be searched, like I said, I wouldn't want some flunky getting near my weapon. I'm not even sure I'd want to identify as carrying to a store employee. Somehow that seems like it would be escalating the situation--even just saying that I am legally armed.
I appreciate other's thoughts.
 

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I think store security should be able to Taze anyone that's acting suspicious, so long as they do it within 20 feet or so of the store.
 

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Bumper, be careful what you ask for. That concept would allow me to have Tazed a much larger number of people who were in reality just good customers. There is no guarantee how someone will interpret the body language or actions of others while shopping - what one person thinks is a shoplift is often just someone scratching, checking their phone, etc.

And in a lot of cases it was other retail store owners, corporate middle management, and feral college students who needed a good Tazing. I dont see a retail chain doing well after the word gets out.

As noted, a lot of store security aren't recruited from the Top Men we see protecting our nation. They are better than that, but the reality is it's the neighborhood who frequents that location who determine the theft rate - after you take off the larger share of EMPLOYEE THEFT which is historically the other 2/3's in many locations.

And there is an effective and responsible way to stop the theft - Target and Home Depot are both exercising different solutions. Target is closing a number of locations. Just shutting them down. Much like other franchises in high population density metros, they close their doors and voila, no theft. Home Depot goes the extra mile, and every year someone walks out with 100's of dollars in merchandise, they increase the markup to cover it.

Retail is not taking it in the shorts if at all possible. They control their known, acceptable losses and you pay for the privilege of their store being there. Since ALL the retailers are doing it, they ALL increase prices to cover the loss. The ones who don't will eventually bounce paychecks and close their doors. Survival of the fittest.

They aren't going to escalate into strip searching customers over a suspected theft - as said, it's not worth the effort, it only creates an attitude by the larger customer base to get even. That spiraling descent into vindictiveness usually results in a store managers transfer or closing the store. A major company simply can't afford to risk the profits over it.

OP poses an interesting question but its highly speculative and ignores what most stores have been doing for the last 100 years of retailing.
 

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I'd politely decline a "search" of my bag and if they insisted I'd simply return everything to customer service for a refund. When idiotic policies such as these are implemented yet I can watch / read about people walking out of stores with goods while being recorded is when I've reached my limit.

A search of my body ain't happening by any kind of security officer period.
 

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The other day I was stopped by a store employee after exiting a store (I was outside of the doors walking to my truck). They asked to see my bag. After they verified that the items and the receipt matched up he let me on my way. But it got me thinking what I'd do if I was asked to come inside and be searched? I don't want some store scruffy putting his hand near my pistol as he pats me down. I'm not even sure if they can legally search me or if they would have to call LE.
Anyhow, group thoughts on this?? Thanks, TG
Legally they can't body search you .. they have to call cops or get a warrant from judge ..
 

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Store employees are not allowed to detain you to check a receipt except for membership stores like Costco and Sams Club. You have signed an agreement to that in those cases. Otherwise, you have no obligation to show them. I work in contractor sales at a large home improvement box store and we just log the event in our system and AP then check cameras and report to LE. Too many employees have been assaulted or killed in these situations and the company thinks our safety is more important. I would only ever consent to LE doing a body search, and then I would announce my CC permit and firearm holding status as is dictated by the law in my state when the interaction started. If a Walmart employee tries to keep you from leaving because they want to check your receipt and refuses to let you leave when you decline, you can ask to see the manager if they hold you and then call LE if they decide to keep you further. My husband is a stickler about this, and we've wasted a good 15-20 min just standing in the doorway more than once. Luckily we haven't had to wait till LE arrived yet, but I can see it happening one day. As with anything, keep your cool and your temper, but don't give up your rights about illegal search either.
 

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I’d ignore security. They may not see my receipt or inside my bag. If they think I did something, then they can act appropriately, and I will act appropriately to defend myself.
 

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I find it hilarious when Sams Club had checked out our purchases by scanner, eyeballing the cart etc, and then they do it again at the exit -

But when you self check at Walmart the one attendant is usually too busy wiping down the other machines to even watch.
In truth, the receipt check performed by Sam's Club and Costco is performed only to allow them to mark your receipt as "used" while you are visibly leaving the store. They only take a cursory glance at what's actually in your cart. This is done to prevent someone with an identical cartfull from using another shopper's receipt to claim they already paid.
 

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In truth, the receipt check performed by Sam's Club and Costco is performed only to allow them to mark your receipt as "used" while you are visibly leaving the store. They only take a cursory glance at what's actually in your cart. This is done to prevent someone with an identical cartfull from using another shopper's receipt to claim they already paid.

The one Sam's Club I visit scans the receipt and everything in the cart.
 

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The one Sam's Club I visit scans the receipt and everything in the cart.
They may take a look but in my observation they do not spend enough time to effectively examine the contents of each and every cart. I'm sure if you were pushing a cart with a dozen items in it and offered a receipt with only a couple items on that then they would take notice. However, if you watch the progress of the exit lines it's very obvious that they process each basket much faster than even the cashiers who have the benefit of digital scanners. Those exit lines would grow exponentially since they usually have more cashiers in operation than they do door checkers. Also, their practice of marking the receipts was explained in a news article several months ago.
 
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Only a police officer can search you and even then, there are strict rules for when he can and cannot search.
 

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Only a police officer can search you and even then, there are strict rules for when he can and cannot search.
You have to be careful about making broad statements like this. States vary widely on this subject. As I mentioned, Maryland has a license for "Special Police" which can be a store employee. They have the power of arrest and can search. I do believe that stores are moving away from this due to liability concerns it still exists none the less. And this is with 80 hours of training and 12 hours a year of in-service. Kind of scary to me personally but I knew a few years ago and they were good people.
 

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I was told by someone later that until one leaves the store unpaid merchandise has not been "stolen". I'm not sure why I was stopped. I assume someone flagged me for some reason as suspicious for theft. A camera, or undercover person thought I took something, I guess. I was asked to let them see the merchandise in the bag. It matched the receipt so that was the end and I was on my way.
Had I been asked to be searched, like I said, I wouldn't want some flunky getting near my weapon. I'm not even sure I'd want to identify as carrying to a store employee. Somehow that seems like it would be escalating the situation--even just saying that I am legally armed.
I appreciate other's thoughts.
Untrue. At least in NJ and I'm sure other states.

.Presumptions. Any person purposely concealing unpurchased merchandise of any store or other retail mercantile establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of such store or other retail mercantile establishment, shall be prima facie presumed to have so concealed such merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof, and the finding of such merchandise concealed upon the person or among the belongings of such person shall be prima facie evidence of purposeful concealment; and if such person conceals, or causes to be concealed, such merchandise upon the person or among the belongings of another, the finding of the same shall also be prima facie evidence of willful concealment on the part of the person so concealing such merchandise.
 
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