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Whip

Academy WTF?

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Whip

As some of you may know I have been in retail my entire life and shoplifters are a daily issue.

 

This stuff confuses me. In thirty years we have caught over 5000 shoplifters and not once has anyone sued me. I know it happens but the Academy policy does not make sense to me.

 

 

Maybe there is more to the story?...there usually is.

 

 

 

 

 

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realshelby

It is NOT about the shoplifting. It is about physically touching anyone in the store. In our HEB Grocery stores if a customer were to hit an employee, the employee cannot defend themselves.

 

It is simply TOO EXPENSIVE to fight this stuff in court. Corporate America is afraid of any publicity from social media. It sure is a different world ......

 

 

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Whip

In Texas the law says I can do ANYTHING I feel necessary to stop a shoplifter and to detain them including tackling them. One of my employees wrestled a shoplifter to the ground and broke the thief's leg in the process. If an employee is injured in the chase the theif is charged with assault because the thief initiated the event. Academy's policy should prolly be tailored to each jurisdiction instead of a blanket corporate policy that may not make sense everywhere.

Edited by Whip

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Antimatter

I'm guessing this is more about treating suspected shoplifters with a rough hand, only to find out later that the suspicion was based on other factors rather than witnessing an actual theft. I think most of these types of policies come as a result of an insurance settlement of some kind that involved non-disclosure, and the insurance provider's lawyers ok'd the settlement on condition that that the store issue a blanket policy against use of physical force in the future. And, to keep insurance coverage, the store is obligated to follow the policy to the letter or face having to find new coverage at a much higher rate.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
It is NOT about the shoplifting. It is about physically touching anyone in the store.

If the article is to be believed, then the key words there are "in the store." There's a lot more certainty about whether someone is shoplifting if they are apprehended with unpaid merchandise outside of the store; it may be that Academy wants their employees to have that much certainty before taking so bold a step as laying hands on someone.

 

In Texas the law says I can do ANYTHING I feel necessary to stop a shoplifter and to detain them including tackling them.

It says you can, but it doesn't say you must. If Academy wants to let people walk out of their store with unpaid merchandise, that's their business. As Antimatter notes, they may have been stung by someone who was manhandled/injured inside a store without having actually shoplifted anything, and they've decided it's in their overall financial interest to be very, very careful about their rules of engagement.

 

BTW, does Texas law really say you can do anything? I'm looking at "shopkeeper's privilege", which says this:

 

Only reasonable, nondeadly force is used to effect the detention. Such force being justified when the suspect is in immediate flight or violently resists detention.

Granted, this is a generalized summary of shopkeeper's privilege, so things may be somewhat different from state to state. But are you really saying that Texas law allows you to shoot a kid in the back if he runs out of your store with a stolen candy bar?

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elkroeger
It is NOT about the shoplifting. It is about physically touching anyone in the store. In our HEB Grocery stores if a customer were to hit an employee, the employee cannot defend themselves.

 

It is simply TOO EXPENSIVE to fight this stuff in court. Corporate America is afraid of any publicity from social media. It sure is a different world ......

 

 

 

I would suggest the opposite. It's too expensive to NOT fight stuff in court (on a societal level, anyway). We end up with a society where the crooks somehow have more "clout" than their victims.

 

This is in that same category as the school "zero tolerance" policies that also have unintended consequences. Like the girl that got expelled for having a couple aspirins. Or the boy that suffered the same fate because he bit his pizza slice into an L shape, and then pointed one end at his mate, and said "look at my pizza gun! Pow!" All it does is demonstrate that the administrators who create these policies have no ability to exercise their own good judgement and common sense. And it makes me wonder why they're teaching our children, and earning more than the rest of us.

 

This particular guy that got fired, will have a dozen job offers by the end of the week.

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szurszewski

I had a really cogent, well written reply to this, but then my browser reloaded. Too lazy to retype it all, but I will say:

In my hometown my favorite gun shop was Paul's Pistols. Small shop, usually just Paul working there. ALWAYS he was wearing at least two obvious open carry guns. I doubt anyone ever tried to steal anything, because I am sure of the outcome and know I would have seen the results in the paper.

 

Very sad this guy was commended for stopping a gun thief from running off with a weapon AND ammo. Sounds like the employee did it without violence even - can't be better than that.

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chrisolson

Its about corporate laziness . That is, instituting a blanket policy so no work, logic or responsibility is involved by allowing (or trusting) staff to analyze individual circumstances .

 

Years ago, Walmart in Arizona (and maybe other states) instituted a policy of carding everyone when buying alcohol. Yes, everyone. Even those of us who by virtue of their obvious longevity on this planet could never be confused with someone underage. The cashiers had no option, they had to ask and you had to produce a drivers license or other proof of age.

 

An obvious reaction to the potential of being sued or caught in a sting operation selling to minors.

 

The policy was revoked in 6 months. Mostly I believe from loss of sales from disgruntled customers (like me) who took their business elsewhere. Don't believe this incident will have the same effect on Academy, but it may have some impact on their ability to keep or hire intelligent staff.

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poodad

I'd bet money Academy has decided they'd rather put up with shop lifters than to suffer an incident like the recent Starbucks incident.

 

There's also a huge liability issue for Academy in this situation. Suppose the manager would have been injured, disabled, or even killed in his attempt. Without a firm "don't pursue" policy in place, the employee or family could sue Academy saying the manager felt he had an obligation to protect the company's merchandise, and therefore they are responsible for his injuries, disability, or death. Academy could easily be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs and judgments. The $500 for the gun pales in comparison.

 

 

Edited by poodad

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John Ranalletta

I know nothing about law in any state, but had lots of experience dealing with shop lifters working at JCPenney years ago.

 

The store was next to a high school. At end of the school day, kids would come into the store to visit the candy/nut counter mid store. There was one kid who "cased" the men's department jewelry department every day. I was suspicious about his intent, so I shadowed him. On my day off, other managers backed off and waited for him to steal something and he did. Those managers chased him out of the store into an alley where he picked up a brick, threw it and hit a manager requiring stitches.

 

In the old JCP stores with mezzanines, there were 2-way mirrors and managers were assigned times to watch shoppers. On my watch one day, I saw a women stuff for-sale clothing under her sweatshirt. I set off the bell system alerting managers to a shoplifting event in progress. Another manager approached her and she took flight toward a rear entrance to the store. That day, Pixie Photos was in the store taking photos of kids. The shoplifter bowled through that crowd of kids and moms, knocking them over.

 

The pursuing manager grabbed the collar of her sweatshirt and brought her down, her wig coming off in the process while she tried to shed the clothes she had hidden. In the scuffle, another manager came in to help subdue her as she wrestled with the first manager on the floor. In the melee, she managed to bite both managers, breaking skin and causing bleeding.

 

The cops arrived and arrested her and I took the two managers to the ER for stitches and shots. The shoplifter was out of custody before we got back to the store.

 

As a result of these two incidents, our local store policy was changed to "Alert law enforcement, but do not try to physically restrain shoplifters." Why put people in danger for a few bucks or even a gun.

 

PS - later, we were hit with gangs of shoplifters who were well equipped and ready to do violence. If you approached any one of them, the others would come to his/her rescue.

 

Edited by John Ranalletta

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eddd
Its about corporate laziness . That is, instituting a blanket policy so no work, logic or responsibility is involved by allowing (or trusting) staff to analyze individual circumstances .

 

Years ago, Walmart in Arizona (and maybe other states) instituted a policy of carding everyone when buying alcohol. Yes, everyone. Even those of us who by virtue of their obvious longevity on this planet could never be confused with someone underage. The cashiers had no option, they had to ask and you had to produce a drivers license or other proof of age.

 

An obvious reaction to the potential of being sued or caught in a sting operation selling to minors.

 

The policy was revoked in 6 months. Mostly I believe from loss of sales from disgruntled customers (like me) who took their business elsewhere. Don't believe this incident will have the same effect on Academy, but it may have some impact on their ability to keep or hire intelligent staff.

 

Damn! Mr. Olson, how much booze were you buying to be able to bring a corporate giant to its knees and rescind the policy?? :P

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greiffster

I would suggest the opposite. It's too expensive to NOT fight stuff in court (on a societal level, anyway). We end up with a society where the crooks somehow have more "clout" than their victims.

 

This is in that same category as the school "zero tolerance" policies that also have unintended consequences. Like the girl that got expelled for having a couple aspirins. Or the boy that suffered the same fate because he bit his pizza slice into an L shape, and then pointed one end at his mate, and said "look at my pizza gun! Pow!" All it does is demonstrate that the administrators who create these policies have no ability to exercise their own good judgement and common sense. And it makes me wonder why they're teaching our children, and earning more than the rest of us.

 

This particular guy that got fired, will have a dozen job offers by the end of the week.

 

Eric,

I would agree, that often, the "zero tolerance" polices get it wrong. But the devil is in the details. If you are referring to the "pizza gun" incident that happened here in middle Tennessee, that boy was not expelled, nor even suspended. He had to eat lunch at the "quiet" table for 6 days. :jaw: According to the principal, he was called to his office to discuss him waving a pizza gun around, and he was "punished" for lying about the incident. Of course, that story is too boring for TV.

 

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Bud
Its about corporate laziness . That is, instituting a blanket policy so no work, logic or responsibility is involved by allowing (or trusting) staff to analyze individual circumstances .

 

Years ago, Walmart in Arizona (and maybe other states) instituted a policy of carding everyone when buying alcohol. Yes, everyone. Even those of us who by virtue of their obvious longevity on this planet could never be confused with someone underage. The cashiers had no option, they had to ask and you had to produce a drivers license or other proof of age.

 

An obvious reaction to the potential of being sued or caught in a sting operation selling to minors.

 

The policy was revoked in 6 months. Mostly I believe from loss of sales from disgruntled customers (like me) who took their business elsewhere. Don't believe this incident will have the same effect on Academy, but it may have some impact on their ability to keep or hire intelligent staff.

 

Our local wally worlds have a sign at each register saying customers appearing to be 40 years old or younger will be carded. So I was surprised when I was asked for ID recently. I pointed to the sign and the cashier said it didn't matter.

 

I asked the manager why their store had a different policy than one posted by corporate. She said she was under instructions from Bentonville to ID EVERYONE. Why, because they had been caught in an undercover sting selling beer to a teenager.

 

Oh well. Stuff happens.

 

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chrisolson

The policy was revoked in 6 months. Mostly I believe from loss of sales from disgruntled customers (like me) who took their business elsewhere. Don't believe this incident will have the same effect on Academy, but it may have some impact on their ability to keep or hire intelligent staff.

Damn! Mr. Olson, how much booze were you buying to be able to bring a corporate giant to its knees and rescind the policy?? :P

Well, I've been known to now and then have a wee dram ...... or 6. :Cool:

In truth, the liability issue for shoplifting and other issues is real and completely understandable.

And yet, I'd bet that the word on the street amongst a certain crowd in and around the Alamo is "See that that store over there ... don't try to rip it off, they will catch and prosecute you every time. Try the one around the corner."

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szurszewski
Its about corporate laziness . That is, instituting a blanket policy so no work, logic or responsibility is involved by allowing (or trusting) staff to analyze individual circumstances .

 

Years ago, Walmart in Arizona (and maybe other states) instituted a policy of carding everyone when buying alcohol. Yes, everyone. Even those of us who by virtue of their obvious longevity on this planet could never be confused with someone underage. The cashiers had no option, they had to ask and you had to produce a drivers license or other proof of age.

 

An obvious reaction to the potential of being sued or caught in a sting operation selling to minors.

 

The policy was revoked in 6 months. Mostly I believe from loss of sales from disgruntled customers (like me) who took their business elsewhere. Don't believe this incident will have the same effect on Academy, but it may have some impact on their ability to keep or hire intelligent staff.

 

Our local wally worlds have a sign at each register saying customers appearing to be 40 years old or younger will be carded. So I was surprised when I was asked for ID recently. I pointed to the sign and the cashier said it didn't matter.

 

I asked the manager why their store had a different policy than one posted by corporate. She said she was under instructions from Bentonville to ID EVERYONE. Why, because they had been caught in an undercover sting selling beer to a teenager.

 

Oh well. Stuff happens.

 

 

Maybe I'm not old enough to be consternated by being carded yet, but I have often said if we had a business serving liquor the policy would be to card EVERYONE. Why? Because liquor fines are expensive and losing - even temporarily - you liquor license is likely going to cut a HUGE chunk out of the profits for whatever business. Sure most people can positively identify someone as being 60 or older, but if the policy is 40 or older, well, I am forty or older and I really like having "young" people guess my age (like my teen students) - they run the board with it from 28 to 48 and sometimes outside. Which is to say, I don't want to trust my income to a 21 year old employee's (or 18 in states where they can sell booze) best guess at whether or not they should card someone. Sure it's maybe a hassle to have get your ID out, but I mean really - if you're buying booze you probably have to get your wallet out anyway, and you probably drove to the store... what's the big deal? Maybe we could make the policy: unless you look older than my grandmother, or ARE my grandmother, I'll need to see ID.

 

 

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elkroeger

HA! You guys are a bunch of weenies, complaining about getting carded for booze.... In my early 40s, the nice girl at the cash register asked me if I wanted the SENIOR discount! UGH!

 

I said yes, and she didn't ask for my ID.

 

Thanks for correcting my pizza gun comments. Either I heard it wrong, or my old, senior brain got it wrong... But I guess that's par for the course.

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Twisties

When I worked for 7-11 in the 70's and 80's the policy was not to pursue or engage... the concern was injury to the employee. Chasing a man with a gun and ammo is not particularly bright in my mind. That said, we did bust our shoplifters, but it was catch and release... police would just issue a citation and the shoplifters didn't a lick.

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Twisties

Also, these days... insurers are largely dictating policy (or risk managers in large corporations). They understand that anyone can sue for anything. They understand that the cost of the litigation is often considerably higher than any award they may have to pay out. Thier goal is to avoid litigation.

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realshelby

I mentioned our HEB grocery chain earlier. Employees are not allowed to grab a customer, but that does not mean they accept shoplifting. Ever notice the big black fender on one of the front wheels of shopping carts? Those are built in alarms that lock the wheel, they know if you paid or not.....Stores have hired Police to intercept shoplifters. Common thing is to load the cart with baby formula or packages of meat and make a run through the door to a car waiting in the no parking zone by the exit door. Well, parking there is a Red Flag to these Police and the store employees. They catch quite a number of them. Then they are "trespassed" and if they come back in you can have them arrested. You would be surprised at how quickly employees recognize these shoplifters trying to come back in later.......

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John Ranalletta

Shoplifters exhibit common, recognizable eye movements. I'm sure someone can create a vision system with AI that will recognize the behaviors and alert store personnel.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I'm sure someone can create a vision system with AI that will recognize the behaviors and alert store personnel.

 

It's already been done.

 

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Twisties
Shoplifters exhibit common, recognizable eye movements. I'm sure someone can create a vision system with AI that will recognize the behaviors and alert store personnel blast them to pieces

 

 

Fixed it for ya' :)

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Shoplifters exhibit common, recognizable eye movements. I'm sure someone can create a vision system with AI that will recognize the behaviors and alert store personnel blast them to pieces

 

 

Fixed it for ya' :)

 

You're basically describing ED-209.

 

ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=6959&filename=ed209.jpg

6959.jpg.39122fd762b19b91b96cf524094e93ce.jpg

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szurszewski

It's been a long time since I last watched that, but I don't remember that system working so well.

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greiffster
It's been a long time since I last watched that, but I don't remember that system working so well.

 

I remember it had a few

. :rofl:

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chrisolson

UPDATE - he has been rehired. Interestingly there was no announcement from the business.

 

USATODAY - “I am pleased to report that the head of Academy Sports + Outdoors stores spoke with Mr. Crouch and offered him his job back. And Mr. Crouch accepted,” said Crouch's lawyer, Ryan Hobbs.

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Bud

But don't let it happen again!

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