They do that at the Menards here but only if you drive back into the
bulk storage area and load you vehicle. Then your vehicle has to be
inspected before leaving the yard. I only did that once and when I
need stuff that would require me to go into that area of Menards I now
go to Lowes or HD.
A couple of years ago, I bought some small item at Best Buy and the
guard at the door saw me check out only 10 feet away and he still
stopped me and looked at my receipt and in my bag. As I left, I said
"Thanks for treating me like a thief." That was the last time they
ever checked my bag when leaving that store.
You are under no legal obligation to provide any merchant with proof of
purchase once you have paid for your merchandise (at that moment, both the
items, and the proof (receipt) are your property). The only way they are
able to get away with this is that the overwhelming majority of people do
not know their rights under the law, and are willing to submit to anyone
with a shiny piece of metal on his or her uniform.
That may or may not be true for general merchants.. The membership places
like Sams and Cosco can do it. Don't show and they can cancel your
I don't consider it any big deal. Loss prevention helps keep the prices
low. Not nearly the same as getting groped in order to fly.
It ain't YOU they are worried about, it is the clerk at the register.
Having a pal come through your aisle, and pretending to ring up an item
but putting it in the bag anyway, is a time-honored way of ripping off
stores. They don't really compare the sales slip to the items, they just
want to see if the count is the same. They also put that highlighter
stripe on there so you can't come back through in an hour carrying the
same item out again. That silver ceiling tile or silver ball above each
register is so they can watch what keys are pushed, and what is dropped
into the till.
Exception, of course for club stores, where you agreed to abide by their
security policies as part of the membership agreement. Refuse to stop,
and they won't make you, but they will revoke your membership. And
while you are correct for other types of stores, law on the books and
law on the ground are two different things. Refuse to stop sometime, and
if you are in a 'bad' part of town, store security will hold you and
call the cops. And cops may charge you with disorderly conduct. You
likely WILL be banned from the store, which means they can have you
arrested for trespass if you ever return. Sure, you can sue after the
fact, and probably win, but you'll spend more on lawyers than you will get.
He who has the gold makes the rules, etc.
IMHO, gotta learn to pick your battles. Few stores around here (other
than Sams, or BestBuy during holiday season) have the checkers. Never
seen one at the local Menard's. Mostly frail white-haired folk doing the
checking, and I can't bring myself to holler at them. Not may jobs
available at that age.
As to the around-back part- that is how a REAL lumberyard does it, just
not at the gate when you drive out. THEY load the truck (or at least
help you load it), and tick off the items on the invoice as they are
loaded. I made lotsa supply yard runs as a kid, being low guy on the
pole and the boss's kid. Thought nothing of picking 10k in material with
just my signature. Hell of a rude shock when I had to start paying
actual cash money for supplies, once I was living out on my own. (an 8'
2x10 costs HOW much?!?!)
Which brings up a couple of questions: 1) How do they know - with
certainity - who you are if you don't show them the receipt? I guess they
could review the security tapes to discover where and when you checked out,
then get your identification from the register tapes. Is that how you think
they would do it?
2) As for "holding you" against your will until the cops arrive, that will
work (assuming they have enough goons to throw you to the ground) until the
person being held turns out to be the most upright, righteous citizen in the
community. Or even, on the other end of the scale, an elected official (say
the deputy mayor). Then the store employees get charged criminally with
false arrest or false imprisonment plus the store and everybody they ever
knew gets sued.
You can only be charged with false arrest if the "citizen's arrest"
was baseless, i.e., no real reason for stopping them in the first
place. As long as security can explain a reasonable reason for it, it
not false arrest. No more so than someone being arrested for a crime
with probably cause and later found to be not assiciated can sue for
false arrest...well they can try but will lose as long as the jury
agrees the PC was reasonable.
You make a good point. The legality hinges on whether leaving the store
without showing a receipt is a "reasonable grounds of suspicion, coupled
with facts sufficiently strong standing alone, to compel a rational person
of the probability that a crime has been committed."
As the situation moves forward, the store - or the state - must prove you
stole something. It is not up to you to prove you didn't by showing a
As for "citizen's arrest," my state, and I'm sure others, provides "a
citizen may arrest without warrant for offenses committed in his presence if
the offense is a felony, a breach of the peace, or to prevent the
consequences of theft."
The courts have held that the theft must have been completed before the
latter condition latches. If someone is seen to have secreted merchandise in
his pocket, he cannot be "arrested" while still in the store. He must
actually LEAVE the store for a "theft" to have taken place.
Still, your evaluation is often correct. There's the cop adage: "You might
beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride."
My roommate kept setting of anti-theft alarms whenever he entered a
store. When we were on a service call for a clothing store one day
were he'd been setting off the alarm every time he went to the van
for tools or parts, I finally got him to take his new sneakers off
and run them over the store's demagnetizer, it beeped on one shoe.
Problem solves, he had bought the shoes at Kmart and they hadn't
killed the magnetic tag.
One of my life's guiding principles is that if you have to sue someone to
get something you legally deserved in the first place, then you've lost. The
only people who really "make out" in lawsuits are the lawyers.
The goal in life is to avoid being sued. It's not always possible, but
people can do a lot to avoid it. In the hypothetical you describe, the
worst case scenario (and it's more common that anyone would ever believe) is
that the rent-a-cop that stops you has an illegal gun and injures or kills
There have been a number of such cases in this area I recall. A teenager
shot in the back riding away on bike and a presumed (but really not)
shoplifter shot by Monkey Wards security. These incidents happened a long
time ago - over twenty years, but really changed the way guards were hired
and trained. Some of the low wage, low IQ guys that some (but not all)
outfits still hire think they are supercops and shoplifters are
supercriminals and behave like they've just cornered John Dillinger when
they see someone trying to steal something.
Mark Chapman, the guy that shot John Lennon, was a former security guard:
That information alone makes me avoid needless confrontation with any kind
of guard, even the door guards. Who knows if today's the day his latent
schizophrenia "blossoms?" Sometimes it's hard when they're being pricks but
thievery is so bad here that HD hires off-duty, in-uniform, fully armed
county police officers as their door security and I *definitely* defer to
them. There's great wisdom in that the county's spent a lot of money
training them and they usually have some decent OTJ experience.
We have several ongoing Fed judicial monitoring agreements in place for our
relentless police brutality "problem" which isn't much of a problem for me
but sure was for the guy they caught trying to break into my neighbor's
house at night while they were home asleep with their kids. Couldn't beat
that dude enough for my taste. It was his fault, though: he wouldn't place
his hands behind his back and got "slippery." I didn't think you could
nightstick the "slippery" out of someone so fast. True masters of the
Only rarely do they screw up and shoot or maim "good people" like a nearby
town mayor's two dogs, but those were drug cops, not beat cops. Big
difference. I figure they face death with every car they pull over, so
they've earned a little deference from me. Kids certainly don't treat cops
as respectfully today the way they did when I was a kid.
On Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 5:04:33 PM UTC-6, aemeijers wrote:
en my trunk for the lumberyard guard, after going to online pickup and they
loaded my item in the trunk for me. Police demanded I open my trunk, I ref
used. They said they would get a warrant, I invited them to. Instead they j
ust locked me up and said they would let me out once I "consent" to a searc
On Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 9:43:52 PM UTC-6, email@example.com wrote:
firstname.lastname@example.org "All they need to do is hang a little sign saying: "We r
eserve the right to inspect all packages "If that sign is there you give up
most any rights you had and agree to play by their rules."
You are of course, 100% wrong and clearly uninformed regarding the very bas
ics of law. No, a sign does not take away ANY of your rights. It could only
be used to argue "implied consent" with the terms of the sign. The thing a
bout consent is, it can be revoked at any time. Not only would a sign do NO
THING regarding your rights to refuse a search, I could in fact sign a writ
ten statement that I will consent to a search, and I can withdraw that cons
ent at any time. Without probable cause to believe I have committed a crime
, they can not legally do anything about it. You can put a caveat on entran
ce to a place, such as "leave bags at counter". You can not put a caveat on
exit, that is called imprisonment, by definition.
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