Does this sound ethical? (Legal advice) - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-07-2005, 01:17 PM   #1
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Does this sound ethical? (Legal advice)

I know this girl online that lives in Colorado and she recently stopped at a supermarket in her town and purchased some things and all seemed normal and usual for her. She was walking back to her car when she was tapped on the shoulder by a security guard and was then asked to come back into the store.

She ended being taken into a store room and was quested by this security officer who accused her of shoplifting and claimed it was caught on the store security tape. They wouldn't and didn't show her this suposed tape of her shoplifting. She was then photographed by store security, she ended up signing something and was told to phone a 1-800 number to pay a $250 STORE SHOPLIFTING fee.

She is just a teenager was really scared and intimidated.

I and other people that know her feel that was taken advantage of. She's a good kid and didn't steal and they never did find this merchandise that she "stole" according to them.

This whole thing doesn't even sound right.
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:19 PM   #2
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Sounds like something to bring up to a lawyer or the ACLU. No, it doesn't sound ethical or even legal.

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Old 03-07-2005, 01:21 PM   #3
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That's really shitty, David. I hope it all gets straightened out.
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:24 PM   #4
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I feel bad for her. I wish she didn't sign anything. I just hate when people get taken advantage of.
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:34 PM   #5
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I would even call the local media and see if they would be a small story about it. Once the store manager starts to get interviewed they may drop the charge. It might be a little much but screw that store....that makes me mad just hearing about it.

But if it happened to me I would def try to get a story out of it to give that store awful publicity. Hiring a lawyer would cost a lot and the ACLU might take a long time, call the newspaper and tv news.
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:35 PM   #6
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that does not sound right at all.
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:42 PM   #7
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Most states have what is known as shopkeeper's privilege; so if a store employee reasonably believes that the person has stolen something, he has a privilege to detain that person for a reasonable investigation of the facts.

So the question would be whether or not this investigation was reasonable. The scope of the privilege differs from state to state so if she wanted to contact an attorney, they would need to check and see what the law is in Colorado.

I have read worse cases though where the court found for the defendant. You'd be surprised at how far they can go and get away with it
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:54 PM   #8
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She signed something which pretty much means she sealed her fate.

Oh well. You live and learn.

I am concerned about the tape really. If they claim they have her on tape "stealing" that would mean she's on tape putting something in her purse of pockets right?

She didn't, so how would this tape exist, unless this is just a bad case of mistaken identity.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:06 PM   #9
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Where the police never involved in this though? That seems odd to me. Usually the store will hold the person until the police come to formally arrest them.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue
Where the police never involved in this though? That seems odd to me. Usually the store will hold the person until the police come to formally arrest them.
Precisely. I'm not sure about the law on these things in the States. As a UK Store Manager, I can tell you that this would be totally illegal here... I'm not sure about other companies, but the company I work for would treat this matter as misconduct and the staff member responsible would be disciplined. We can't stop the person unless a) we've seen them steal something, and b) they have left the shop. We have no authority to search a suspected shoplifter without their permission - only the police would be able to do this. Which doesn't answer your question, I know. It certainly doesn't sound right.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:19 PM   #11
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She was asked if she wanted to call the police, she said she didn't want to.

I found that strange too.

Here in California the stores always call the police whenever someone shop lifts.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by david
She signed something which pretty much means she sealed her fate.
Not necessarily. Coercing someone to sign a document under pressure may invalidate the document. Again, this is where the ACLU or a lawyer might come in handy.

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Old 03-07-2005, 02:22 PM   #13
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I would think a store can't formally charge someone with shoplifting....the police do that.

That's messed up.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:25 PM   #14
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How old is she? If she's a minor, that signature may not stand up to an investigation.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:26 PM   #15
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didnt she have a receipt to prove what she bought?
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