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(Yahoo)   Home Depot employees fired for preventing theft: "The loss-prevention guy told me all we need to do is tell the shoplifter to have a good day as they leave the store"   (news.yahoo.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine  
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32907 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jun 2007 at 5:08 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



208 Comments     (+0 »)
 


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2007-06-05 01:58:41 PM  
The real answer is frivilous lawsuits. The chances of getting sued far outweigh the recovery of the merchandise.

Are we selective? Sure. You just have to weigh the risk. If there is a chance the suspect, or innocent bystanders, will sue, you don't run after them.

It's clearly stated in most Loss Prevention policies that you do not chase suspects under any circumstances.

The company has to terminate these employees, or risk even more lawsuits when it happens again.
 
2007-06-05 02:01:32 PM  
"An internal memo from Home Depot outlines that associates cannot accuse, detain, chase or call the police on any customer for shoplifting."

well fark me.. I'm about to head out to Home Depot right now actually..free stuff, nice!

-someone ought to post the internal memo all over telephone poles and place signs outside of the HD's.. especially in "rougher" cities. See how long this policy lasts.
 
2007-06-05 02:04:27 PM  
Dr.Knockboots: well fark me.. I'm about to head out to Home Depot right now actually..free stuff, nice!

But they will know what you look like and give it to the police. The next time you walk into the store, you'll get dinged by their facial recognition software and the cops will be on their way.
 
2007-06-05 02:09:36 PM  
I kinda understand the "don't chase them" policy but WTF can't they call the police? That makes no sense.


/Chief Wiggum: "I'm gonna tell you what I tell everyone who comes in here, the law is abolutely powerless to help you."
//or words to that effect
 
2007-06-05 02:12:32 PM  
i've heard that this is pretty much the policy at most retail chains. can anyone who works (or has worked) retail back this up?

i think it's our obligation as americans to exploit every legal loophole possible until the government and legal system stop caring if people are offended by formerly commonplace (and usually relatively harmless) acts.
 
2007-06-05 02:13:43 PM  
and by "legal loophole" i meant "corporate policy loophole"
 
2007-06-05 02:19:46 PM  
I don't understand employees who actually try to chase a shoplifter. Fark that, it's not coming out of your pocket and for seven bucks an hour it sure as hell isn't worth a possible confrontation.
 
2007-06-05 02:21:03 PM  
i've heard that this is pretty much the policy at most retail chains. can anyone who works (or has worked) retail back this up?

Yes it is. We still have backups. CCTV, floorwalkers, ect. The whole idea behind loss prevention is to prevent the incident before it happens. You look at where your liabilities are, and close any of those windows of opportunity.

There are always people who will steal. Most people won't. The TV's, the tags, the threatening signs, all give the appearance of vigilance. We're trying to stop those who are thinking about stealing to reconsider.

The rest is acceptable loss.
 
2007-06-05 02:32:13 PM  
TheCharmerUnderMe: The rest is acceptable loss.

Does that mean I can eat all the doughnuts in the case and not pay?
 
2007-06-05 02:33:41 PM  
The article says one guy was fired for calling the police... Policy states you can't even call the police when you have a shoplifter?

FTA: The letter said Stewart and the others were fired because "he pursued and assisted in the apprehension of suspected shoplifters."

Stewart said all he did was call police, something he's done before. Less than eight months ago, he said that he received a letter -- a commendation letter -- for helping police catch a thief trying to steal $2,500 worth of wire.
 
2007-06-05 02:37:20 PM  
Tharagleb: I kinda understand the "don't chase them" policy but WTF can't they call the police? That makes no sense.

This x10. WTF, people? You might as well not have alarm systems, just open the doors and tell people to help themselves.

In the meantime we all pay as the prices go up to cover the 'acceptable losses'

Asinine.
 
2007-06-05 02:43:23 PM  
This is why there is a crime problem. Refusal to allow people to do their civic duties and over reliance on the Police. If people were more active in stopping crime while it was in progress overall crime rates would drop. Yes you'd get more incidences of people getting injured trying to stop a crime but you already have that happening with people passively being victims.
 
2007-06-05 02:46:17 PM  
Man...I just spent $35 at HD...maybe I'll return the stuff, then steal it...
 
2007-06-05 03:10:13 PM  
The employees were fired for violating company policy?

Shocking.
 
2007-06-05 03:11:55 PM  
i've heard that this is pretty much the policy at most retail chains. can anyone who works (or has worked) retail back this up?

I haven't worked retail since 2000, but I can tell you that that was always the policy at every place I worked at. As a matter of fact, one of those chains is now defunct because shrinkage was so high that they had to declare bankruptcy.

At one of the nearby stores (not the one I worked at, however) someone actually walked out the door with a $2K telescope. Like, they just walked into the store, picked up the telescope, tucked it under their arm, and strolled out of the store because they knew that the store employees and mall rent-a-cops couldn't do a damn thing about it.

Yes, even the rent-a-cops had to call the police on suspected shoplifters.
 
2007-06-05 03:12:52 PM  
It's part of our overly litiguous society. In the long run, it's cheaper for the retailer to let the thief walk. On average, there's about 2% margin added to the selling price to cover shrinkage and theft. So we - the consumer - are paying for that stolen merchandise.
 
2007-06-05 03:21:28 PM  
one of those chains is now defunct because shrinkage was so high that they had to declare bankruptcy.

Really? High shrink shoudn't be the cause for any bankruptcy. Mismanagement would be the most likely cause.
 
2007-06-05 03:23:16 PM  
Well, the mismanagement had a lot to do with the high shrinkage, if you catch my drift.
 
2007-06-05 03:25:19 PM  
I never kept my eyes off of them.

I applaud the guys, but that sentence makes me woozy.

If they're going to tie the hands of their employees this way, why not implement something like at Beat Buy? Where you have to have your receipt and merchandize checked on the way out. Even Walmart does that (at least at the garden dept. exit at mine).
 
2007-06-05 03:27:41 PM  
Diogenes: Beat Buy?

Deliberate?
 
2007-06-05 03:29:58 PM  
themnemosyne: Well, the mismanagement had a lot to do with the high shrinkage, if you catch my drift.

They install pools in the employee lounge?
 
2007-06-05 03:44:31 PM  
dstanley: Deliberate?

Purely Freudian.

img519.imageshack.us
 
2007-06-05 04:03:33 PM  
The store I currently work at is similar. Absolutely ridiculous.

/looking for a better job now
 
2007-06-05 05:11:32 PM  
I can't believe they fired he.
 
2007-06-05 05:12:07 PM  
TFA has some grammar badness in that first line. Need grammar caulk to fix it.
 
2007-06-05 05:13:17 PM  
The Slush: I can't believe they fired he.

P'zactly!
 
2007-06-05 05:13:49 PM  
our store has no lost prevention people anymore... and guess what.. theft is already $20-$30k for the year.

Just let them go....

I figure going to college and stuff for buisness, means you get to make retarded choices on how things are ran and say "i got a degree, i know what im talking about"
 
2007-06-05 05:13:49 PM  
lordargent: But they will know what you look like and give it to the police. The next time you walk into the store, you'll get dinged by their facial recognition software and the cops will be on their way.

so you're saying to make a list for future projects and make sure you get everything you need in one trip.
 
2007-06-05 05:14:30 PM  
It is simple. They would rather accept the loss and let thieves go then take a chance of one of their employees falsely accusing a customer of theft.

It makes them bad corporate citizens (i.e. enabling thieves) but protects them from lawsuits.
 
2007-06-05 05:15:34 PM  
I never understood this policy either. I used to work for Best Buy and that was their policy. The could call the cops though. If you cant call the cops and confront the suspected shoplifter then why bother having an LP position. Eliminate that and you could save some money company wide.
 
2007-06-05 05:15:41 PM  
When I worked in retail, I was told to never call anyone a shoplifter. If you ever saw someone doing something suspicious, you'd come up and ask them if they can help you with something--and you did NOT accuse them, regardless of how incriminating it looked. If that didn't work, you'd just call the security by the door that would handle it.
The security would not chase the shoplifters through the store, either if it came to it. They'd just call the cops. It was more safe that way, it was decided.

All in all, yes, it seemed like it was an issue of safety and avoiding lawsuits--both of which can cost way more than a stolen Snickers bar.
 
2007-06-05 05:15:56 PM  
Clabes said he is considering giving the four men letters of appreciation for helping catch the suspects.

Well, now he'll have TWO letters to show for his unemployment.
 
2007-06-05 05:16:08 PM  
FTFA: A former Home Depot employee said the company fired he and three other workers because they helped police catch several suspected shoplifters in May.

He? He???? Sometimes you should go with whatever sounds correct.

/Grammar set to 11.
 
2007-06-05 05:16:48 PM  
Sounds like I will be riding out of the Home Depot with a lawn tractor and trailer with anything in the store that I want. I think I will do it tonight.
 
2007-06-05 05:17:11 PM  
eddyatwork
I don't understand employees who actually try to chase a shoplifter. Fark that, it's not coming out of your pocket and for seven bucks an hour it sure as hell isn't worth a possible confrontation.

QFT!

A few years ago I worked at a little convenience store for about $5 an hour. These little g money thugs would come in a take shiat all the time. I knew, but I wasn't gonna say shiat. They knew what I drove and obviously where I worked. Some candy bars and other shiat ain't worth catchin' a beat down.

/word!
 
2007-06-05 05:17:15 PM  
have a good day

Not what Tony told Kurt the other day:
i.a.cnn.net
 
2007-06-05 05:17:32 PM  
shrinkage??
I was in the pool!!
www.mikeandjen.cc
 
2007-06-05 05:17:54 PM  
I worked at a video retail store in a busy urban mall with lots of theft... we weren't allowed to give chase out of the store, but the mall security guards outside of our store often saw and caught shoplifters. So, yeah, it worked out better than the Home Depot situation.
 
2007-06-05 05:18:03 PM  
This is possibly the dumbest thing I have heard all year.

Let me tell you how glad I am that I'm no longer a lawyer. Litigation continues to ruin our country.
 
2007-06-05 05:18:27 PM  
From TFA: A former Home Depot employee said the company fired he and three other workers...

Being the object of the verb, it should be "him", not "he".

/ Grammar Nazi
 
2007-06-05 05:18:41 PM  
So stuff at Home Depot is free now?
 
2007-06-05 05:19:31 PM  
Home Depot has the WORST costumer service of ANY retail store i've ever visited, including Wal-Mart *which I worked at during my college days. I swear to God, its a journey just to FIND someone to ask a question, but God forbid, let alone SHOW you where a product is. Its usually

"Ahhh yeahhh..ummmm. I think it like by over 13..and like 14 I believe."

/Lowes shopper
//former Wal-mart manager works at Home Depot
///hate it even more as a result
////goes and takes big poops in Home Depot and doesn't flush toilet
 
2007-06-05 05:20:22 PM  
This thread is a glorification of the pussification of America. everyone is piss scared of a MINOR confrontation with a shoplifter. (and dont pull the "what if he had a
machine gun or..." scenario because it is probably just some kid that will run away scared shiatless)

On a side note, people like L.B. Jeffries in a different thread wonders why nearly everyone hates lawyers, this thread is why.
 
2007-06-05 05:20:32 PM  
lordargent: But they will know what you look like and give it to the police. The next time you walk into the store, you'll get dinged by their facial recognition software and the cops will be on their way.

I thought the company policy forbids calling the police?

/gonna' pick a new cordless drill after work today
//thanks for the free tools Home Depot!
 
2007-06-05 05:20:35 PM  
lordargent: But they will know what you look like and give it to the police. The next time you walk into the store, you'll get dinged by their facial recognition software and the cops will be on their way.

But if you don't have the stuff you stole last time, how are they going to charge you with anything? If you swipe a power tool, fence it, then come back, the po-po nab you, search your place, don't find the power tool, you say prove it was me on your video, what are they going to do?

/going "shoppin'" at Home depot tonight
 
2007-06-05 05:23:10 PM  
Yet another reason living in America sucks.

One day we going to realize that we have a choice of living in a constant state of being afraid of doing anything because of liability ...or... we going to do some serious reforms and admit that its not worth it, we are crippling society.
 
2007-06-05 05:23:38 PM  
I find it absolutely abhorrent that theives can sue the store for ANYTHING. I'm sorry, but once you commit a crime, you gotta face the consequences. Being stopped by an employee is well within the realm of forseeable consequence.
 
2007-06-05 05:23:55 PM  
it's all about the branding, baby.

run after shoplifters, make a scene- the 10 people watching tell 20 people who tell 40 people...etc that the neighborhood home depot is not a safe, calm, breast-feeding, hand-holding, family destination.

owe, and the lawsuits. don't forget the lawsuits, and the fact that there is a certain amount of loss that any given store expects, and it's built on top of the profit margin in the pricing of their goods.

i used to work at borders on long island, and the gm told me they lose 250k a month through shoplifting in that store alone, yet they wouldn't hire a security guard. which tells me that's 250k in profit, and less than 20k in actual cost.
 
2007-06-05 05:23:59 PM  
I worked for a Walmart Competitor in Pharmacy. I watched a young boy go into the bathroom with an expensive GPS system and called the store security to be there when the kid came out. I asked where the GPS system was and the kid took it out of his shirt. The security guy just told the kid not to return to the store and I got a "Good Job Slip". That's all!

A few weeks later I had to return a coffee maker to Walamrt and get a working replacement. (It was for a relative.) The store sensors went off and I had icky Walmart employees all over me until I could confirm I had been at the courtesy counter and had a receipt. I laughed about that back then...... like I would want something from Walmart? Now I realize that Walmart has A LOT of $$$$ and I should have sued for humiliation and false imprisonnment! What an idiot I am!!!!
 
2007-06-05 05:24:09 PM  
Clabes said he is considering giving the four men letters of appreciation for helping catch the suspects.

That's awfully nice of you. How 'bout a monetary donation too since a letter won't pay my bills?
 
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