Store manager vs alleged shoplifter

Originally published at:

I wonder how much of that was stubborn idiocy, and how much of it was desperation to escape USian ‘justice’…


The whole thing makes me sad.



I wonder if she was a ‘sovereign citizen’.

Then again - had this been Florida the store manager would have had the right to shoot her.


Amateur. She broke the first rule of shoplifting - if caught, drop the stuff and leave, or try to. She could have been gone before the cops arrived if she had just dropped her bag. Second rule of shoplifitng, don’t mix your stuff with the stuff you are taking. Make it so you can cut and leave instantly without loss.


You speak from experience Obi-Wan?


Rite Aid has over 4500 stores; unusual for a company that size to let employees detain alleged shoplifters like that. So much possibility of violent escalation, injuries, lawsuits. And it won’t be too long before they end up changing their policy because of getting bought out by Walgreens (~75% of them, with the rest of stores bought by Fred’s) has recently been approved. I know for a fact that Walgreens policy is not to make an accusation unless witnessed stealing by employees and the shoplifter has passed the last point of sale (out the exit, basically). Only then can a manager accuse them and contact police, but under no circumstances is an employee to physically impede or restrain the suspect.


Usually shoplifting is considered “larceny” not “robbery”, since you don’t use a weapon or threats of harm, and the degree depends on the value of what is stolen, so “third degree robbery” sounds wrong to me, but then there was some violence after the initial crime so maybe that’s right.


Better a sad fight in Oregon than rootin-tootin Florida


It’s unclear from the video evidence whether or not he physically restrained her prior to being provoked by her kicking (and possibly biting, I didn’t actually notice that and can’t be bothered to rewatch the whole thing) but up until that point we only saw them both holding on to her bag. I wonder what legal hairs will be split over that?


There are two amateurs here. Dude doesn’t have much game. It’s a good thing for him the shoplifter wasn’t a larger or more skilled individual.

As far as not restraining the individual, it appears that he at first tried only to restrain the store’s property, and only escalated to a failed attempt to restrain the shoplifter as a matter of self-defense.


Sovereigns have weird rules about personal property. Basically “finders keepers” but even more self-serving.


Yeah, IMHO I think he was doing a pretty good job of not touching her until she decided to take it up a few notches.

Blue Coat Lady, you’re not helping.

I really find the amount of “right up in your face” rubbernecking amusing, especially Cardigan Lady at the end. Almost like a Cohen Brothers movie.


Oregonian native here. I was in a local chain (Fred Meyers) and two people were wheeling out a TV. An employee who noticed they were shop lifting yelled, “Stop!!”.

The two shoplifters in unison yelled, “Run!!”

It could have been a scene from an episode of Scooby Doo. Thank fsm it wasn’t Florida :grinning:


Much as I hate to do anything that sounds like a defense of the Daily Mail. The fact that they covered it in a somewhat different light to US media is hardly a great surprise. Physically detaining someone like that would be very much an invitation to be prosecuted in the UK where individuals taking the law into their own hands is very much frowned upon.

What? The UK has a citizen arrest policy, and theft is covered by it:

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Your instincts are right: if she just pocketed whatever and walked out, it’s theft, but because she’s now trying to to violently remove property – squarely defined here – so it’s lower-grade robbery.

2015 Oregon Revised Statutes 164.395:

A person commits the crime of robbery in the third degree if in the course of committing or attempting to commit theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle as defined in ORS 164.135 (Unauthorized use of a vehicle) the person uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person with the intent of:
(a) Preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property or to retention thereof immediately after the taking; or
(b) Compelling the owner of such property or another person to deliver the property or to engage in other conduct which might aid in the commission of the theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle.
(2) Robbery in the third degree is a Class C felony. [1971 c.743 §148; 2003 c.357 §1]


I can see going from “fuck this, just report her” to digging in his heels when she asserted her “right” to shoplift. I hear countless stories from customer service about customers playing the “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”. After the umpteenth time getting gaslighted like that, I think I would have refused to let her “win”.
Situations like this are why we need security, tho. Either one of them could have been hurt-- she obviously doesn’t care, but he could lose his job for essentially refusing to agree that stealing is ok.


Yes and if you read to the end of the article you will see the very cautious caveats at the bottom. In all practicality, you will face an assault charge as it now seems to be standard practice in the UK to launch a counter-charge if you are a position of legal defense (as it often results in some off-the record dealing that drops charges on both counts).

You would then be expected to demonstrate that you had used the minimal force required (anything more is assault), that you were in a position to know that a police officer could not attend in a reasonable time-frame and that you were capable of making an informed judgement about both of those. In practice, that’s not that easy. Even the article you cite advises:

“On a practical level, it is usually best to avoid getting involved as this story and this story show.”

(see original artcle for links, full context etc)

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Used to work retail and the place i worked at could not put hands on shoplifters for any reason. So if they decided to walk out of the store you just let them. Our Loss Prevention person told me of the time when he was working at Macy’s (who can restrain shoplifters) and one of their LP people tackled someone and they both ended up going through the glass storefront.

Another LP person from where i used to work told me of the time she got a pregnant shoplifter arrested. The store has a strict policy against such things, but she had gotten caught with a friend and fled after a panic. Came back about an hour later with fake receipts to “prove” she was innocent. Unfortunately for her a cop was on scene so she got immediately busted.