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What is the proper way to detain a shoplifters in wa state?

Yakima, WA |

I was caught shoplifting at Safeway at 1am (I was on ambien so details are a little.fuzzy) but as I paid for some items and left the store two security officers came.at me, pulled my purse from my hands and handcuffed me to a chair in a little room and then put an employee in the doorway. They then took my purse to another location without my permission to search me or my purse, though I requested they wait for law enforcement. I was trapped in this little room with one of the security people badgering me and "talking crap". I kept asking where my purse wad and they refused to tell me. I asked them to search it in my presence and he said that's not how they do things. I wasn't even allowed to go to the bathroom and they refused to loosen the handcuffs. Is this allowed?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. While the store has the authorization to reasonably detain a suspected shoplifter for a reasonable time, I doubt that the store personnel has the authorization to handcuff anyone.

    Your stealing is wrong, both legally and morally. However, the actions of the store's personnel may give you a way to solve your legal problems.

    You should promptly contact attorneys in your area to see what your legal options are. You can look up "false imprisonment".


  2. You may have the facts for a civil law suit against the store so contact a civil litigator today.


  3. Given the facts, this situation may help negate your shoplifting charge.

    Any accident and legal information provided by Davis Law Group to non-clients is for general information purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created or maintained without a signed written agreement between the client and the law firm.

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