Am I in trouble if I was stopped by store security but did not cooperte with them?

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Am I in trouble if I was stopped by store security but did not cooperte with them?

I was asked to show my reciept while exiting a store. I had 3 packages that were not in sacks with my other items. I refused and went to my vehicle. The greeter wrote down my licence plate. Will I be contacted by police? And how can I protect myself? I feel like I’ve been harrassed.

Asked on March 30, 2013 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Store security itself has no legal enforcement power, so you will not be in trouble for not obeying their instructions. However, if they believe you stole an item (i.e. shoplifted), they could contact the police to report a possible theft; if the police believe, based on what the store tells them, that you may have stolen an item, the police themselves may then contact you. As to protecting yourself from a charge of theft: make sure you keep all your receipts, to prove payment.


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