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You know that one, America. It’s a time-honored philosophy that applies everywhere from the boardroom to the football field.
I’m from Boston, where we have a long list of philosophical statements. I think it’s fair to say that 75% of those could be boiled down to a basic point:
“If you’re gonna do me wrong, you’d better pray I don’t get you before the cops do.”
Let’s be clear: I don’t advocate violence. I am, however, a very big fan of justice. Sometimes it comes in the courtroom, and other times you can find it being served up fresh, right in the middle of the street.
Rock-A-Holic Joe told us that he found himself on the wrong end of justice when he followed a shoplifter out of his convenience store. Joe didn’t realize that it’s against the law to physically confront a thief, so he didn’t hesitate to bring his escaping shoplifter down to the pavement.
Maybe I’m one of the outlaws who look at this thing sideways, but the equation seems pretty clear to me:
The best defense
(Prevent the creeps from stealing your goods.)
(Feed a shoplifter some sidewalk pie, sending a message to any other fools who think they want to try it. It’s a reverse incentive plan.)
I guess the customer really IS always right, even if they’re taking a five-finger discount. Maybe we could find some sort of middle ground...like allowing business owners to throw a neck-punch on a thief, as long as they post a large, clearly visible sign that warns them it could happen.
I ran a supermarket for years (it was back in Colorado a state with a "make my day" law so things may be different here). I once chased a shoplifter several blocks, tackled his @ss, put him in a hold and walked him a couple more blocks right into the police station. But, I believe that even here, you do have the right to detain someone using appropriate/necessary force (meeting force with force). You tell them to stop, if they don't stop - you can hold them. If they fight back, you can fight back, if they threaten to harm you, you can harm them... and unfortunately here in the PNW the burden of proof often falls on the person being robbed - not the $@!%-bag who is stealing from you.
I hate thieves
Without at least the threat of getting hurt or even killed, what's to prevent thieves from just walking in to any store and taking what they want? I have no issues with the police but there is no way they can (or should have to) respond quickly toshoplifting calls. So it's left up to the responsible business owner to protect his property which I think should be done using necessary means. Perhaps these folks will then think twice before robbing or stealing from someone.
Defend your property
I believe you have the right to defend your property. If somebody is going to steal from you have the right to stop them....point blank...you know what I just figured out what is wrong with this country....all these stupid lawsuits that actually win when common sense tells us it should have never even gone to court....the juries are comprised of the sick, lame & lazy that want or currently get free hand outs... think about it, if you have a job, every time you get a jury summons what do you do? you try to get out of it...well if the working class with the common sense keeps getting out of jury duty, what are you left with???? The sick, lame & lazy that probably are already getting a free handout from the taxpayers, therefore they continue to award huge payouts on frivolous lawsuits because the money is there for the taking.....ugghhh I feel so stupid for having gotten out of jury duty last time....I truly apologize to my fellow Americans.
I ran a year round Christmas Store
On three occasions I chased and caught shoplifters. It was stupid. I had my fist the crook could have had a gun and a knife. The owner was grateful, but each time advised me not to do it again. Said he, "the trinket was less valuable than I was."
One funny time a young kid ran straight into a poll looking over his shoulder at me because he couldn't believe this older guy was still on his heels.
It is instinct though to go after them and I would still do it again. But it is very dangerous.
As a LEO
Im trying to figure out why Joe would have found himself in hot water, other than MAYBE a civil court situation. Even in this hug a thug state, you have a right to do what he did. If you see a crime in progress, yes, you can try and step in. We don't advocate that, but again, I fail to see what he did wrong. He saw crime in progress and stopped the criminal until law enforcement arrived (I'm assuming). Should have gotten a pat on the back, not gotten in trouble. Can you elaborate a little more BJ? Is there more to the story?
As one commenter mentioned above, it is a little dangerous, hence the reason we typically ask folks NOT to get involved. Its why we wear body armor and carry weapons. Some people DO NOT LIKE to be arrested (I know, shocking). When confronted, most people go to fight / flight mode. Typically, its flight mode from the cops. However, when confronted by someone that isn't carrying a weapon, the results might be different....
One more thing, and I'll shut the F up. Anytime you attempt to stop someone, you open yourself up to civil ligation. I mean, bleep, if you can sue McDonalds for serving you hot coffee without a fricking warning label, you can sue for just about anything. Be sure you want that before getting involved...
I lost a high school friend because a grocery store security guard THOUGHT he shoplifted, chased him out of the store and tackled him to the ground. My friend, who hadnt shoplifted a thing, died from an aneurysm as a result of the assault. Yes, I believe in justice, but I also believe in innocent until proven guilty.
It's a hard call
While I'm sure most do agree about the danger of what, in a way, is vigilante justice, just the same, we are human beings and tend to value our things very much, even if monetarily they don't have much value. And with insurance and such, is it really worth risk of injury to yourself, or others? I feel for the person who lost a high school friend, but don't you have to ask yourself, why was he running? I've been accused before of it, and while it's embaressing, if you submit to the search, maybe they'll make it up to you (free shopping or something, as a make-up). No one likes to lose their property though, and yeah, when you see it happening right in front of you and you have a chance to intervene, it can be hard not to. I once saw a young guy running out of a Fred Meyer store running while carrying one of the plastic shopping baskets, filled with liquor bottles, rattling away as he ran. I happened to know the head manager, and called him, but he said to just let it go, that once they are out his door, even though the person was still on their property/parking lot, he couldn't do anything. Therefore I didn't get involved. Maybe parents just need to really step up and teach their young kids better. A lot of homeless people I've known (myself included) do it because they are desperate, and their families have abandoned them, so it can be a survival thing as well. Again, it's a hard call.
What about licensed security personnel?
I used to work for a retailer that had security on site at all times that would detain shoplifters all day long. Could a store owner legally take down a shoplifter if they also classified themselves as a security officer/owner operator? I mean come on! People should have the right to defend their stores (and livelihood) just like we have the right to defend our homes!
It scares me to think that the cashier could open fire in McDonald's. Because some one took an extra drink lol
RE: What happened to the right to citizen's arrest?
The laws are a little different and they confuse me but I'm glad to hear you didn't get hurt in the process. -
RE: What about licensed security personnel?
I know that if someone comes into your home, you are allowed to defend yourself as needed. When it comes to an actual security guard service, I don't know what the rules are. Anyone is allowed in a store (assuming they haven't already been banned). I just hope that justice prevails in the end. -