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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Can Stores Share Information About Suspected Shoplifters

    My question involves defamation in the state of: Colorado

    I may be in the wrong category, and this may be outside the scope of expertlaw. Just let me know if so.

    Can individuals are flagged as suspect or as potential shoplifters by retailers? If so, can this information be shared with other companies via a database of some sort or by an unofficial agreement of some kind between different retailers? (I am sure that individual retailers can keep internal records of any kind).

    Before this is picked apart, understand I have never been accused, detained by retail employees or had my belongings inspected. I have no criminal record. Never stolen merchandise or attempted anything deceptive. I haven't even entertained the idea.

    The reason I ask is I seem to be shadowed quite a bit when I shop. Walmart for example makes no effort to be discreet about it. I simply chose to stop giving them my business. Over time though, I've noticed in various stores that employees appear and stay within eyesight but there is no apparent work being done. They are of course doing their jobs to prevent theft, as well they should, so I have no objections to that. But tonight was potentially related to my concerns as I noticed the shopping center's security was parked in the row next to my car with lights flashing, but when a sheriff patrol car zoomed past as I was leaving the center I really had to wonder. Perhaps people can be logged for merely appearing suspect in external databases that other retailers can access (?) or would that be considered defamatory (or something along those lines).

    Two bits of information: first, as often as I remember to, I transfer belongings into very small purses while shopping to save myself and the employees pointless worry, but I occasionally forget and bring a large purse. I make a point of leaving the bag open and in view of the cashier when I pay. I realize the purse alone could be the problem. Also, as strange as it sounds, I sometimes hunker or squat to see merchandise that is located on lower shelves due to a back injury. It's possible either or both of these behaviors are all it takes to warrant suspicion and it has nothing to do with an official "flag".

    Should I worry, or could I use a reality check? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Retail Database: Can You Be Listed is You Are Suspected of Theft

    I understand the feeling but there's no data base of look out for this potential thief that stores share. It could be the purse, or the way you browse or any number of things that draw their attention. I've been followed and I was certain it was because I was in faded jeans, tee-shirt and sandals and I wander around clothing racks in a random manner. If you're not even thinking about stealing, just ignore it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    16,622

    Default Re: Retail Database: Can You Be Listed is You Are Suspected of Theft

    The NRTD only deals with confirmed cases. However, lots of individual stores and even some groups of stores in the same chain, share information.

    Two bits of information: first, as often as I remember to, I transfer belongings into very small purses while shopping to save myself and the employees pointless worry, but I occasionally forget and bring a large purse. I
    You should STOP doing this. It's not appropriate. Note that it is not necessary to actually carry the stolen item out of the store to be guilty of shoplifting. Concealment with the intent to deprive is all that is needed. It's no wonder that when they see you doing this you are now on their watch list.

    STOP DOING THIS BEFORE YOU GET ARRESTED.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Merida, Mexico
    Posts
    2,640

    Default Re: Retail Database: Can You Be Listed is You Are Suspected of Theft

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    The NRTD only deals with confirmed cases. However, lots of individual stores and even some groups of stores in the same chain, share information.



    You should STOP doing this. It's not appropriate. Note that it is not necessary to actually carry the stolen item out of the store to be guilty of shoplifting. Concealment with the intent to deprive is all that is needed. It's no wonder that when they see you doing this you are now on their watch list.

    STOP DOING THIS BEFORE YOU GET ARRESTED.
    See her doing what? Carrying a small purse?

    I think what OP means is that before she goes out shopping, she transfers her belongings (wallet, keys etc.) from a large purse to a small purse. She doesn't put any store property into the small purse. I don't believe that LP people put women-who-carry-small-purses on their watch list or arrest them simply because they're carrying small purses.

    (I do something similar - if I decide to bring a shopping bag/tote with me when I embark on a shopping trip, I place the bag in my purse before I enter the store so that LP won't think I'm carrying it in order to put store property in it. And before you say "That's concealment!" - hey, it's my bag and I'm allowed to conceal it if I want to. Just as I'm allowed to conceal my wallet and keys and comb etc. And my underwear.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13,953

    Default Re: Can Stores Share Information About Suspected Shoplifters

    Quote Quoting EMMASUE
    View Post
    could I use a reality check?
    I think so.

    I'm considering three possibilities.

    1 - If you perceive this happening in many stores you may be suffering from paranoia, for which you should seek counseling by a mental health professional. However, to make sure, I suggest you take a trusted friend with you to see if that friend can confirm or deny that you are being watched. By trusted I mean somebody who will tell you the truth regardless of how painful it is.

    2 - Your appearance suggests that you fit the profile of somebody who is about to steal something. Get an impartial opinion about that to, as it's easily fixed.

    3 - It's possible that store people keep an eye on everybody, not just you and if you think it's just you see item 1.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Retail Database: Can You Be Listed is You Are Suspected of Theft

    Thank you LegalWriter. Reassuring and much appreciated.

    Thank you for helping clarify what I was getting at. You're absolutely right ... the belongings I referred to are mine. I appreciate the response!

    I forgot to address this to eerelations: Thank you for helping clarify what I was getting at. You're absolutely right ... the belongings I referred to are mine. I appreciate the help!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    16,622

    Default Re: Retail Database: Can You Be Listed is You Are Suspected of Theft

    OK, I misread that initially, ignore what I said.

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