Store employee said that I took something; to security and told every one in the store and they followed me thru out the store, but never said anything, but I could see what was going on. Like every one was high alert, even surrounded me at the cash register. so it was like they where sure. but u could see in plain site what they were talking about in my hand the entire time.Also called the main office to file a complaint, but when it got sent down to the local store, they called once, asked me what happened and never called again. It seems no one is taking me serious. It seemed like it was some kind of sting. No one approached me to ask if I needed help or to see if I wanted to check out. It was like they where waiting to corner me. I think the employees are stealing and needed a fall guy. I guess if security had a gun, it could have went another way!!!! IT was that bad. Don't know if they followed me after check out, was ready to get out of store. What should I do?
If you don't like the way the store treated you, take your business down the street. And suggest your friends do likewise. But do not accuse the store. Just say why you were uncomfortable, don't speculate about what the store employees may have been saying or thinking.
A business has a right to protect itself from shoplifting. If the business does that in a heavy handed manner, it will lose customers, and it should.
If the business treats customers differently based on skin color or some other basis, that might be worth talking to an attorney about.
Only a NC attorney could determine whether you have a claim. But even if you do, what are the damages? Was your reputation damaged? Did you have an economic loss of some kind? I suspect the store's action made you feel suspect, humiliated, and angry, but that is probably not something you can recover much for.
DISCLAIMER: The forgoing comment is for general educational purposes only, and is not legal advice upon which the reader may rely as the commenter has no actual knowledge of the facts of the case, has not interviewed persons or examined evidence, and has not researched the applicable law. The comment is based only on the facts provided, which are extremely limited, and may or may not be true. Complete defenses may prevent the success of any claim. Competent legal advice should always be obtained before taking any legal action or filing suit. Readers employ any information provided herein at their own risk.
I agree with Attorney Mackin. It does not sound like you suffered any actionable damages. Is it possible that you were a victim of racial profiling? Do you know of others who were treated in a similar manner by the store? Even so, you will have a difficult time proving your case. Good luck!
Gary S. Sinclair is an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law or a simple reading of the law in your jurisdiction. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to your question. The information provided should NOT be relied upon for making legal decisions. You will be best served by hiring an attorney in your area who specializes in the field of law pertinent to your question.
The general rule here is when a shopkeeper has reasonable suspicion of theft, they may use reasonable force to detain a person for a reasonable period of time and in a reasonable manner while the person is on the premises or immediate vicinity to determine if there was a theft.
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