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  1. #1

    Default Is It Illegal to Run from Security Guards

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Georgia/New York

    I do not shoplift and would never consider it. In fact, I have never stolen anything. I don't condone shoplifting nor do I think that shoplifters should run from security guards if caught. In fact, I think that shoplifters deserve to get caught as it hopefully teaches them a lesson not to continue shoplifting. Even from a purely Machiavellian standpoint, the small items that shoplifters generally steal are never even worth the risk of getting caught anyways. So, it's also stupid.

    That being said, security guards are private citizens making a citizen's arrest when they detain you, correct? I have not heard of their being a law against resisting/fleeing a citizen's arrest. I've only heard of those laws applying to arrest by a peace officer. So, I'm thinking that perhaps if one were to run from them, there would be no additional charges for fleeing if their attempt to flee was unsuccessful or they were arrested later on. I'm also guessing that they could not chase a person outside of the property, as their liability insurance would presumably only cover their actions while on the property. Given the fact that citizen's arrests can lead to lawsuits, they would presumably be trained not to pursue the shoplifter after they leave the store. Of course, the security footage would show their face. Therefore, the police may find the shoplifter later on of course

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    8,006

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Run from Security Guards

    I can say for sure there are no additional charges in Georgia if all you do is run and do not cause injury/damage in doing so. If the LP employee tries to stop you and you physically resist, that's where things can get sticky. Most stores policies do not specifically forbid stops outside the exit doors, if that is where it winds up happening. It is just preferred to do it before the perp gets out the door. That does not mean some LP employees don't do it anyway, nor is it a get out of jail free card if they do. I have seen perps chased across parking lots before. If it were one of my people who did it, there'd be a serious talking to or possibly corrective action. Nothing in the store is worth getting someone seriously hurt or killed.

    Some retailers empower their LP employees to use physical force to detain a suspect so attempting to run, versus calmly complying, could lead to injuries or even death as has been on the news from time to time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Is It Illegal to Run from Security Guards

    Quote Quoting Steve418
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    I'm also guessing that they could not chase a person outside of the property, as their liability insurance would presumably only cover their actions while on the property.
    That's where you are wrong. The commercial General Liability insurance does cover the employee's activity in the parking lot which is part of the "premises."

    As you probably know (or maybe don't) state laws allow the use of reasonable force to protect property.

    If a shoplifter got tackled in the parking lot and, for example, broke his nose on the pavement, his injury would be his own fault.

    I agree that it is unwise to chase down a shoplifter but it's also unwise for a shoplifter to run from Security.

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