So I went to WalMart to get some ink for my printer. I paid for it, and on my way out, the inventory control system began sounding. I was in a hurry, so I kept going. I have places to be,and was in no mood for this nonsense.
The door guard began yellg at me: “I need to see your receipt!”
“Sorry, I don’t do that,” I replied.
I was then followed to my car by about 5 WalMart employees. I was half expecting them to physically detain me, like Best Buy employees did to this unfortunate man.
I have to say that at the point where the employees blocked my exit, I would have still refused to show a receipt, and waited until the cops arrived. Then, after the police officer verified that I had not stolen anything, I would have demanded that the police take a report. That report and I would have been in my attorney’s office the next day for unlawful detainment/arrest.
In this story, the store employee putting his hands on you, or your property, he is now using force. In the state of Florida, this is an illegal use of force. At that point, the employee of the store is committing a crime. At the very least, simple battery. I would ask store owners to think about what that means from a liability standpoint. One lawsuit can make up for a lot of recovered merchandise.
Costco was sued for $670K in 2013 because a loss prevention employee accused the customer of shoplifting and broke his leg in the process of detaining him.Of course, there are those who will say that a person agrees to be searched as a condition of his or her membership, and that is certainly true. What is also true is that no one has the right to use physical force while enforcing a civil contract.
I have had enough of stores demanding that I prove I am not a thief when I shop in their establishments, especially in light of the fact that more than two thirds of lost inventory is NOT caused by patrons shoplifting, but nearly half is caused by employee theft.
In other words, the employee inspecting my receipt is more likely to be a thief than I am.
In my case, I simply got in my car and watched them write down my license number, I suppose to report me to police. However, it is not illegal to refuse a search, so I expect that I will not be hearing from the law, just like the last time.