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NSW Shoplifting - Coles Security Asking for Cash Payment

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Amelia, 25 September 2015.

  1. Amelia

    Amelia Member

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    Yesterday afternoon I was in a Coles supermarket and as I exited was approached by a man who flashed a document that appeared to be secured to the back of his passport, claiming to be security who blocked my exit. I resisted and made to walk around him. He grabbed me firmly and insisted i go with him. I asked him to remove his hands and said if he didn't let go I would call the police.

    At that stage a woman who appeared to be a Coles employee, and probably a supervisor or manager given her uniform, approach and asked the fellow if he needed help. I felt slightly more comfortable that the bloke was legit given she seemed to know what was going on which demonstrated it was not just random harassment.

    I repeated my request to let go of me and when he refused I asked him to call the police.

    The man loosened his grip and said I wasn't in trouble. He only wanted to talk to me. I repeated I wanted the police and he said the police were waiting for me inside. The Coles woman was still there so with her accompanying us I allowed him to lead me through the store.

    He led me to a small windowless office. The desk was covered in papers and documents, shambolic and clearly not in regular use. The lights were out and he made no attempt to turn them on.

    I sat in the chair he asked me to and as I sat down the Coles lady asked if he needed her to stay. He asked me for ID and I gave him my drivers licence. The woman asked if he wanted her to photocopy it. He responded that he didn't need a photocopy and she could go because I was being cooperative.

    When the woman left he told me he thought I'd been shoplifting and he wanted to inspect my handbag. I opened the bag and he rummaged through, removing a bag of grapes. The bag was full. It's packed with the detritus of my life, I commute 4 hrs a day. I carry all the things I need. There was makeup, sun glasses, reading glasses, headphones, cell phone, diary. Protein snacks, cheese snacks, vitamins etc.

    He told me I had too much and there was a $300 fine. He said if I paid for the things in my bag he thought to be stolen, he would split the would halve the fine to $150 because I was being compliant. I asked what for? What did he think I'd stolen? He indicated to the bag and said everything that was not opened or used. I said I'm a busy woman, I carry a lot of stuff in my bag those things were in my bag when I came in. He babbled on about how if he told Coles what I really had in my bag they would call the police and I'd have to wait there for hours until they came to arrest me or listen to my explanation.

    I had a bag of groceries that I'd just purchased. He asked if I had the receipt for those and I told him I declined a receipt from the self serve check out but I could tell him which terminal it was and given I'd used eftpos, he'd be able to find the record.

    He then gave me a form, headed voluntary statement and asked me to write a confession and list the items I had stolen. He said I just had to do that and pay $150 fine and I could go.

    I reviewed the template and said I was not willing to make a statement

    He then asked me if I had any money for the fine. I said not in cash. He asked if I had money I could get out of the bank. I said I did.

    At that stage I asked to see his ID again and he flashed what looked like security ID but he refused to let me look at it properly.

    He told me he had made a decision on how to deal with me. He said that he would take me out of the store to a nearby ATM and I would pay a $70 fine and I could go. He took a photo of my licence with his phone.

    I agreed to go with him, he was carrying my groceries that I'd just purchased and everything else was still in my bag. We walked out through the register area without stopping and he led me to the cash machine. By this stage I'd figured out there was some pretty dodgy stuff going down and I withdrew $50 from my account, gave it to him saying it was all I had. He gave me my stuff and I left. As a walked away he called out to me not to reenter the store for one year

    The entire incident is wrong on so many levels but what I'm most worried about is that the creep has a photo of my licence on his mobile phone. If the company had it I'd feel comfortable they would be accountable for ensuring the information was not used inappropriately and have some obligation in relation to my privacy and safety. But they don't, the creepy store detective/extortionist has it and clearly sees me as an easy mark.

    Do you think I need to take some action in relation to him having my ID?

    Grateful your help.




     
  2. Do I need a Lawyer

    Do I need a Lawyer Well-Known Member

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    Hi Amelia,

    This is highly irregular. None of what you described sounds legal - least of all the payment of cash.

    You should consider obtaining legal advice in relation to this matter.
     
  3. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    Damn straight. I've done a security operatives course and EVERYTHING about this matter sounds wrong. I think you may have been had. Contact the store manager and get legal advice. Fast. Let us know how you go.
     
  4. Do I need a Lawyer

    Do I need a Lawyer Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. One of the first things to do would be to ensure that Coles retain the cctv footage of the incident (and also the shopping centre that captures the atm)
     
  5. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    I seriously cannot help thinking you have been scammed. If this guy was the real deal, here's a few things wrong;

    He cannot physically restrain you. That's assault and deprivation of liberty.
    He needs to show you his operative's licence.
    He cannot demand money.
    He cannot coerce a statement from you.
    He cannot interview you alone. The other person should have stayed.
    You should have demanded the store manager be summoned to identify this creep.....who I don't think is a store detective at all and I again urge you to take further action at once.
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you could have a civil case in negligence, deprivation of liberty and/or battery.

    I would get legal advice if I were you.
     

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