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I was shopping with my husband a few days ago.

 

We spend almost £100 in a shop. Took it out to the car (no alarms sounded when we left the shop) and then my husband returned the trolley to the store. He had to go back in through the entrance to do this (again no alarms sounded)

 

As he went to leave (through the entrance) the alarm went off. Thinking it was because he was leaving through the wrong door he went to the exit. As he did so he got the car key out of his pocket to put the trolley token back in the key ring he realised that there was a pack of hook and eyes costing £1.89 in his pocket. He doesn't remember, but thinks he was holding them when I asked him to lift something heavy into the trolley so must have just done it while he was distracted.

 

At this point the exit alarm also went off. He went over to the till and attempted to pay for the item. The store manager then approached and told the checkout staff that he couldn't pay for the item as he'd attempted to remove it and asked my husband to accompany him to the office. Security was also called. My husband did as asked without causing an issue.

 

He was told that the store policy is to prosecute in 100% of cases involving theft and the police were called. The shop took all of my husband's details. In the meantime, he was told that even if the police did not pursue the case the store would launch a civil prosecution and it would go on his record and he would have to pay a fine/compensation & all associated legal costs.

 

The police arrived quite quickly. Asked him and the store manager what had happened and then told my husband there would be no criminal case as there was no intent to permenantly deprive the store of the item, and said if the store had no more need of him he could leave and they would wait 5 minutes before they would leave to save him from any further embarrassment. We have not yet heard back from the store but then this only happened 2 days ago.

 

This has left us both very shaken. We have little income (both self employed and as the business is only 3 years old we are not currently taking a salary) so a fine of any amount will be pretty devastating for us and leave us in financial difficulty. It's also highly embarrassing to have to deal with this and could have an impact on our business if any of our customers or potential customers saw what happened (we were in a distinctive branded vehicle so anyone seeing us leave could identify us). It was a genuine mistake which he tried to rectify!

 

To me this doesn't seem to be a crime but I'm not sure where he stands as he did leave the shop before returning and realising his mistake.

 

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras
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The police have dealt with this and decided no crime occurred.

So, put all thoughts of prosecution from your mind.

 

As for "civil prosecution" : no such beast.

Prosecution = criminal case. A civil claim isn't a prosecution.

In theory there is "a private prosecution", but that isn't realistically going to happen here.

A civil claim is also very unlikely.

 

So, what is likely?.

Your husband may get a letter demanding money from a firm such as DWF or RLP, claiming all sorts of costs.

(Tell us which supermarket it was and you'll get told which firm will likely be writing. You'll likely be able to be told what their letter will say, in order to reassure you it is bunkum, but the bottom line is ; you don't have to (& shouldnt!) pay them a penny.

Even in cases of shoplifting (which the police have decided this isn't!), the correct way for the firms to take action is via the police & criminal courts. One firm tried to take things to a civil court using one of these "loss recovery" private firms (the 'Oxford case') and got short shrift from the court. None of them have been 'brave'/stupid enough to try again since ......

 

So, ignore any such letter (or send one single letter back, saying "I dispute any liability to you or your client).

 

Given all the above: what could they do in reality?.

Well, they might ban you from the store, and there is little you can do about that (other than appeal to their Head Office).

 

Did they actual detain or arrest your husband?.

If so, you MIGHT have a civil claim against them, but

a) they can claim they acted with reasonable belief, and

b) to pursue it could create publicity for you if it came to court,

so that might be a path you don't want to go down.

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Did the store staff actually tell him he couldn't leave or tell him he was under arrest?

Or instead say something like "we'd like you to stay here until the police arrive" (which doesn't actual detain the person but relies on them staying voluntarily).

 

The former could be false imprisinment and / or unlawful arrest, but (for the reasons in my previous reply) you probably don't want to go down that route.

 

So, likelihood is (given you don't care if they say "you are banned"):

A) put it from your minds

B) if you get a "RLP" style letter : bin it or send the "single letter, one liner" response.

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Hi and welcome to CAG

 

It seems that common sense has fled the staff at the range. Why spend around £100 then try and nick something worth less than £2. The figures do not add up.

 

I doubt very much that the range will do anything they have claimed. If they did, the fact that you spent that much and attempted to pay for the hooks and eyes will damage any claim they have.

 

I haven't heard much about The Range so I have no idea if they use civil recovery companies. There are three companies that I know of. The top two are RLP and DWF. If any compensation claim is made, it is likely to be one of those two.

 

If any of these companies do contact you, ignore them. They have no power over you.

 

What I would be doing is to contact The Range's head office and complain about the incident. Also, if the chain letters from the civil recovery company distresses you, complain of harassment to your local plod. A while back the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (UTCCR) harassment was then deemed to be a criminal act and the police could get involved.

 

I will try and find the relevant link and since that time, these regulations have been included in the Consumer Rights Act 2015

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Thank you. I think a loss of common sense is right. It just seems to be a complete over reaction. The store manager told me that the fact we spent almost £100 is irrelevant as most shoplifters make a purchase to hide the fact they have stolen something.

 

His choice of language was interesring. He said a number of factors would be taken into account and as "your husband says he's never been caught doing anything like this before" that would go in his favour (not he's never done anything like this before) It's almost like it was the end of the month and he hadn't met his targets for catching shoplifters so was clutching at straws a bit.

I'm not actually sure exactly what he said when he asked him to go to the office with him, I wasn't there at that point. I'll have to ask him.

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RLPs letters bombardment - cost them monies not you, they went to court once - they got hammered, says it all a few 10pence hooks/eyes - over reaction by incompetant so called Manager and staff - common sense? non there, get on with your life now, put any letters unless a court claim (if ever) where they belong it will cost them more than the inflated £1.89.

 

The Range - never shopped there - as you state their loss never go there again. = customer dis-service! could look at it this way as well - they are fleecing customers with over priced goods/services as most companies are greedy.

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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He doesn't actually remember what words the manager said to him Re being detained.

 

He has just said that actually the exit alarm didn't go off when he tried to leave he discovered the item in his pocket before he got to the exit after setting the alarm off on the entrance and thinking it had gone off because he was leaving through the wrong door. So he just went straight to the till, he hadn't also tried to leave through the exit. The manager didn't approach until the checkout guy had already scanned the item.

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Do we need to worry about CCJs if we ignore a letter?

 

I suspect not. As this would be a civil (NOT criminal) case all the store can claim is the cost of the loss of goods and as they didn't lose out at all, there is no loss.

What may occur is that they make a claim for security cots. This is a non starter as the security staff are paid irrespectively of whether they apprehend anyone or not so it is a cost to the business as normal.

A retailer in 2012 (along with the backing of RLP) lost a case-badly due to them inflating the wages of the security staff and also tried the line that the security staff were working outside of the scope of their normal duties. They got slapped down for that one.

 

Let's make an assumption here. A store sues you for the actual loss, £1.89. As this would fall into the small claims procedure, there are fixed costs allowable which are the court fee (I think it's around £25) and a solicitors fee of £50 so a grand total of £76.89. As they are the complainant, they would normally pay for a solicitor to attend at around £150 per hour.

They would lose out big time which is the reason no store has sued anyone since 2012.

 

Another assumption. IF a court case was instigated AND if you lost, you would have 30 days to pay the judgement before it would get registered on your credit file.

 

Having said all that, nothing will happen. The Range won't bother chasing but if they use civil recovery, they may chase but they are safe to ignore

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Do we need to worry about CCJs if we ignore a letter?

 

No, you don't need to worry.

 

You can ignore letters. What you shouldn't ignore (but is highly unlikely) is a stamped claim form from the court. (You can even ignore unstamped examples of a potential claim form sent by a potential claimant in an effort to pressurise you, were they to do such a thing - that is just another letter, and doesn't mean they'd actually lodge a claim).

 

So, to get a CCJ registered against you, you'd have to:

a) have a claim served,

b) lose the case,

c) have a judgment sum awarded against you, and

d) not pay it before it gets placed on the CCJ register....

 

a) is highly unlikely. Both a) and b) happening is vanishingly unlikely.

 

Were a) and b) to happen

[it won't!, so I'll talk about 'someone' / for other cases where a) and b) might happen],

someone could pay the judgment sum on losing and stop the CCJ appearing in the register ......

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Thanks all. This has all been very helpful and reassuring. I will try to remember to update if hubby ever hears any more from the store.

 

He wrote his account down this morning, I think to get it all off his chest. The longer we both think about it the more ridiculous it all seems. Once we've both calmed down about it I think we will write to Head Office at The Range and lodge a complaint.

 

Hubby's pointed out that mistakes must happen from time to time and it is ridiculous to think they pursue them all this far. What about an elderly person who is a bit absent minded or a harassed mum whose Toddler has had a melt down and whose other little one has managed to pull something into to their pushchair while it was happening? When mum finds it while putting terror number 2 into their car seat are they going to put her through the same ordeal when she goes back to the shop to return it? It certainly doesn't encourage you to be honest.

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forget about it

 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I wonder how it can be classed as shop lifting?

 

The gentleman was stopped AFTER the item was scanned by the shop assistant!

 

If the gentleman had taken it to the counter and had it scanned I am sure he was going to pay for the item not scan and run with it?

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At this point the exit alarm also went off. He went over to the till and attempted to pay for the item. The store manager then approached and told the checkout staff that he couldn't pay for the item as he'd attempted to remove it and asked my husband to accompany him to the office. Security was also called. My husband did as asked without causing an issue.

 

He was told that the store policy is to prosecute in 100% of cases involving theft and the police were called.

 

Sounds like this manager is a jobsworth, possibly showing head office, look at me, Im catching shoplifters

 

In my store this has happened on a few occassions, and the customers have gone to the customer service desk, and explained what happened and paid for the item, now this is called good customer service

 

My store manager knows customers will make mistakes, she also knows customers will try to leave the shop with out paying for goods; so why would someone who has intend not to pay for something come back and tell them, can I pay for this, forgot to pay for it earlier on

 

A shoplifter returning to pay for something, is likely to know, the shop will call the police, or ban them from the store, honest customer wont know this, as there intention is good

 

As for the OP I would urge you to write to the head office and make a complaint, and even when the police were called, if it was my self, would have asked the police to charge me, and let this go to court, and hopefull would be found not guilty, and would put the store under pressure, and amke the manager look a fool

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if it was my self, ......

would have asked the police to charge me, and let this go to court, and hopefull would be found not guilty, and would put the store under pressure, and amke the manager look a fool

 

 

The police wouldn't have arrested you, as then they'd have been open to being accused of unlawful arrest.

The police would only charge you if the CPS agreed, which wouldn't happen (no realistic prospect of conviction as well as not in the public interest to prosecute).

 

So, if a case went to court : the manager could use that as a "get out", saying something along the lines of "well, the police wouldn't have arrested them, and the CPS wouldn't have agreed it should go to court if they hadn't agreed there was a case to answer"!

Be careful what you wish for ......

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the door alarms wont be connected to the item that was misplaced anyway, that will be a coincidence.

If you want to be naughty buy something like a packet of printer ink from a well known computer store and then remove the RFID chip and the surrounding copper loop from the packaging carefully. Put this in your wallet and them wander in and out of various other stores that have induction loops at their doors such as M&S, DFS and even Sainsburys. Their alarms will go off and it will be apparrent that you arent smuggling out clothes or beds. The commonest reaction is absolutely no reaction at all.

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the door alarms wont be connected to the item that was misplaced anyway, that will be a coincidence.

If you want to be naughty buy something like a packet of printer ink from a well known computer store and then remove the RFID chip and the surrounding copper loop from the packaging carefully. Put this in your wallet and them wander in and out of various other stores that have induction loops at their doors such as M&S, DFS and even Sainsburys. Their alarms will go off and it will be apparrent that you arent smuggling out clothes or beds. The commonest reaction is absolutely no reaction at all.

 

There are so many factual inaccuracies with this, its unbelievable.

 

The systems used aren't RFID. there are only 2 retailers trialling RFID at the moment. None sell printer ink. There are 2 different types of systems, one uses AM tags, patented by sensormatic, and RF, which has several manufacturers. So any RF tag will set off any other retailers RF system, and any AM tag will set off any sensormatic system.

 

ASDA, NEXT, and TK MAXX use AM systems, so walking into each other will set them off. It wont set off Sainsburys, Currys, Arcadia group stores as they use RF. Vice versa.

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