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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 08-14-2010, 07:56 PM   #1
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Question about catching shoplifters.

My friend works at Best Buy and he said one of the policies is that if an employee sees someone steal something, they can't stop them. Only the Loss Prevention Officer can do anything.

The question here is that are LPO's allowed to touch you? If they do, can you sue them? I know they are allowed to tell you to stop but are they allowed to lay a finger on you?
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:02 PM   #2
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Planning a little shopping trip soon?
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:11 PM   #3
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Planning a little shopping trip soon?
No....I was just reading this SC2 forum and there was a heated argument about LPO's "assualting" you.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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Sounds like an urban myth. Unless the guy actually did some physical harm, I doubt such an accusation would stand.

An LPO may be limited by company policy, but not by the law. Thus, this question would probably be better put to BB management, as nobody here is likely to be privy to their internal policy.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:17 PM   #5
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You haven't shoplifted until you exit the store with the product. Typically an LPO can't do anything once you leave the store for several reasons:

1) Most companies have policies stating you cannot attempt to apprehend the person (Walmart fires you for this)
2) It is pretty dangerous.. the guy could stab you
3) You could face legal consequences as you are not a law officer

Back in my retail days I had a guy walk out with a $200 item and chuck it into his van. He had no front plate and was expecting to make a fast getaway but his van wouldn't start, so I walked out there and wrote down the plate from the back of the van. Walked right past the guy as he was fixing the engine, even though I probably could have taken him down with ease. I would probably lose my job if I did.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:28 AM   #6
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Notwithstanding company policy, this is what the law says...

Arrest without Warrant and Release from Custody

Arrest without warrant by any person
494. (1) Any one may arrest without warrant

(a) a person whom he finds committing an indictable offence; or

(b) a person who, on reasonable grounds, he believes

(i) has committed a criminal offence, and

(ii) is escaping from and freshly pursued by persons who have lawful authority to arrest that person.

Arrest byowner, etc., of property
If you find someone breaking into your home, you can detain them yourself.
(2) Any one who is

(a) the owner or a person in lawful possession of property, or

(b) a person authorized by the owner or by a person in lawful possession of property,

may arrest without warrant a person whom he finds committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property.

Delivery to peace officer
As long as you hand them over to the cops.
(3) Any one other than a peace officer who arrests a person without warrant shall forthwith deliver the person to a peace officer.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 449; R.S., c. 2(2nd Supp.), s. 5.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:47 AM   #7
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To paraphrase: the LPO (if permitted by company policy), is legally allowed to detain the shoplifter until the cops arrive.

That about cover it, dboy?

That means that if the store allows it, any employees could arrest the shoplifter too - "a person authorized by the owner or by a person in lawful possession of property".

I would expect most companies don't allow regular employees to stop shoplifters, mainly out of liability concerns... and I doubt it's particularly altruistic. More likely, most are worried, not just about being sued by the shoplifter if something goes wrong, but by the employee if something goes wrong. Example: employee nabs shoplifter, shoplifter pulls knife and stabs employee, employee sues company for not providing a safe work environment. Solution: threaten employees with termination if they even attempt to stop shoplifters.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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"The question here is that are LPO's allowed to touch you? If they do, can you sue them?"

Sue them for what? touching you in the no zone
Touching someone on the shoulder and telling them to hold up till the cops get there is no grounds for a law suit.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:56 PM   #9
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If you are arresting someone, it is advisable to touch them on the arm, shoulder etc to let them know that is it them that you are arresting. That way they can not say then they didn't know that you were talking to them. Every person I arrested I touched first, usually lightly on the arm, unless it was during some sort of violent resistance on their part. As Soundy said, most businesses would rather avoid possible litigation that may result from a physical confrontation and let the thief get away with the crime.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:33 PM   #10
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^ Then if that is the case, then what is the point of LPO's??

It's actually almost promoting theft, if I can walk into BB and just jack a PS3 and run out of the store?
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:42 PM   #11
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^ can you sleep at night if u do jack a ps3? can you?
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:46 PM   #12
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I'm not sure. depends what games I take with me? LOL

well theoretically, I meant by my post, that if LPO's can't arrest thieves, then wouldn't that just promote them to steal MORE?

I mean, if I were to be one, and saw this post, or knew of BB's policy, then there's nothing really stopping me, is there?
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:56 AM   #13
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Other than the illegality of what you are doing, the video of your actions and a witness that puts the court brief together and testifies against you.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:50 AM   #14
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there are a few big corp with a no touch policy.

the guy / gal says, do NOT touch me or i'll sue you. they just have to let them go and they run away. it realy sucks.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:10 PM   #15
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Yey LPO's catch numerous people everyday at your regular places...

People who shoplift aren't very smart in the first place.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:39 PM   #16
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To what Zulutango was saying:

I was an LPO for a short while, and also worked at places where things were on video. I used to work at a dealership where numerous sets of wheels were stolen off of vehicles, and all were on video. We couldn't do anything because the video couldn't get a solid enough facial shot.

And i've been situations where even witness accounts weren't sufficient, due to the thief having something that covered up the face. a baseball hat, raybans and plain clothes really messes up investigations =(.

I would never EVER steal, but I do think that a lot of companies out there make it pretty easy to.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:57 AM   #17
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It's a sad commentary on our world today when it is the fault of the owner of property if he makes it "easy"for a thief to steal it. It's also sad that if he attempts to stop the theft he often ends up in way more trouble than the thief.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:06 AM   #18
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:10 AM   #19
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It's a sad commentary on our world today when it is the fault of the owner of property if he makes it "easy"for a thief to steal it. It's also sad that if he attempts to stop the theft he often ends up in way more trouble than the thief.
i always find this funny and hope i dont catch some1 trying to steal my stuff cuz i know i would get into alot of shit =]


if you dont like getting you shit stolen then y would u steal some1 else stuff??
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:50 AM   #20
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most stores wouldn't let regular employees apprehend thief because that's not part of their work duties..
their worker's insurance won't cover it if any injury happens, and the company will get into troubles.

If they include dealing and physically restraining thief into the worker's duties, the insurance will take a big hike.
(i.e. most regular retail employees insurance rate is around 1%, where else security guy and LPO probably have rates of round 8-10+%.)
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:52 AM   #21
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i always find this funny and hope i dont catch some1 trying to steal my stuff cuz i know i would get into alot of shit =]l
"Well officer, I guess I startled him, because he ran across the street and then tripped over the curb and his face hit the sidewalk. Fourteen times."
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:12 AM   #22
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most stores wouldn't let regular employees apprehend thief because that's not part of their work duties..
their worker's insurance won't cover it if any injury happens, and the company will get into troubles.

If they include dealing and physically restraining thief into the worker's duties, the insurance will take a big hike.
(i.e. most regular retail employees insurance rate is around 1%, where else security guy and LPO probably have rates of round 8-10+%.)
This is where a lot of low-margin employees get into difficulty: a lot of smaller stores will actually (try to) dock employees' pay if a theft happens on their shift. Gas stations would dock the GSA if a gas'n'dash happened, despite laws and stated company policy, so you'd get employees like Grant DePatie trying to stop the thieves... and look what happened there. I know lots of restaurants will take it out of a server's pay if their table does a dine'n'dash too. And yet if the employee tries to stop the thief, then they get in crap for that.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:26 PM   #23
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It's a sad commentary on our world today when it is the fault of the owner of property if he makes it "easy"for a thief to steal it. It's also sad that if he attempts to stop the theft he often ends up in way more trouble than the thief.
I'm lucky enough to have not needed to protect my property from a thief but should it ever occur, it is very likely I will have to plant something like a knife on him so I'm not the one who goes to prison.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:46 PM   #24
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in the store, it is not consider "shoplifting" even though the guy might have stuffed some dvd's in his backpack.. the LP guys at retail store can only monitor and take note of offenders, and then during checkout ask for a recipt check to make sure nothing is taken out.

LP can however notify police beforehand, since once the item is outside of store property, it is considered stolen.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:15 PM   #25
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This is where a lot of low-margin employees get into difficulty: a lot of smaller stores will actually (try to) dock employees' pay if a theft happens on their shift. Gas stations would dock the GSA if a gas'n'dash happened, despite laws and stated company policy, so you'd get employees like Grant DePatie trying to stop the thieves... and look what happened there. I know lots of restaurants will take it out of a server's pay if their table does a dine'n'dash too. And yet if the employee tries to stop the thief, then they get in crap for that.
It is completely against the law to dock an employee's pay of anything but income taxes and other government mandated cases (like if your wages have been garnished) without an employees written consent to do so.

I really wish more people in these sorts of jobs were more aware of their rights. Should your boss ever do this to you you should inform him/her that it is against the law for them to do so and if they don't re issue your pay cheque for you, contact employment standards and proceed with arbitration.

From the Employment Standards Act

Deductions
21 (1) Except as permitted or required by this Act or any other enactment of British Columbia or Canada, an employer must not, directly or indirectly, withhold, deduct or require payment of all or part of an employee's wages for any purpose.

(2) An employer must not require an employee to pay any of the employer's business costs except as permitted by the regulations.

(3) Money required to be paid contrary to subsection (2) is deemed to be wages, whether or not the money is paid out of an employee's gratuities, and this Act applies to the recovery of those wages.
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