What is the proper procedure a store employee should follow when stopping a shoplifter?

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What is the proper procedure a store employee should follow when stopping a shoplifter?

Asked on September 28, 2012 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Calling the police, or store/mall security--that's the proper procedure. If you accost someone who is shoplifting and they injure you, you will likely not have recourse to worker's compensation or  be able to sue your store for your medical costs, injuries, etc., because you have acted outside the scope of your employment. If you accost someone and end up injuring them, you could find yourself sued and possibly even arrested, if you initiated the use of force (rather than defended yourself). There is simply no legally safe way for regular store employees to try to play police.


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