Loss Prevention and You

Mar 26, 2006

I just read some interesting stories about those “exit bag checks” that many stores have implemented in the past few years, namely, Best Buy. Unsurprisingly showing your receipt to the goon at the door and letting him inspect your purchase is entirely optional, from a legal standpoint. The store’s only powers to detain you are if they suspect you of shoplifting which requires that they:

  1. Have seen someone approach, take, and conceal the merchandise
  2. Observe the shoplifter continuously
  3. Verify that they fail to pay for it
  4. Apprehend the shoplifter outside the store.

The guy at the door can’t possibly do all of this; he’s stationed by the door and, assumedly, doesn’t leave his post. After reading these stories, I’m inclined to test these systems every chance I get; it’ll be an interesting day the first time I’m accosted as a shoplifter.