QLD Suspected of shoplifting, detained, but let go...for now?

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gaga23

Member
4 September 2019
4
0
1
Hi all,

Yesterday I was in David Jones, wandering around bored while waiting for a friend, and I STUPIDLY picked up a large tester bottle of Bvlgari perfume which was almost full, noticed the white not very sticky magnetic thing on it was loose, so I kind of pressed on it and it fell off. Oops. I sort of thought...I wonder if I might be able to somehow have this...

So I walked off, feeling weird, then came back and on the spur of the moment decided to take it. I was still half considering just asking if I could buy it for a discount as it was a tester, but the only staff person I could see was with another customer. Still feeling weird, I went down the escalator with it in my hand (not concealed), as I wanted to look at a Mimco phone case. It was at this point that I noticed a female DJ employee following me down the escalator talking on a phone. I sort of went weird in my mind and couldn't think.

I looked at the Mimco things, still with the bottle visibly in my hand. I felt like I should just put it down but then worried she would know I had considered taking it, and felt even more weird.

Instead, I stupidly went into a change room with a skirt, to kind of gather my thoughts, and decide what to do.

When I emerged, the woman was there with a male security guard. I knew what they were thinking. I gave her both the skirt and the perfume, and in my weird frazzled state, told her I wasn't going to take it but wanted to see if I could buy it at a reduced rate without the box, however I wanted to buy something at Mimco as well so thought I could just buy both at that counter. Then I had decided not to buy anything so...yeah.

The woman was surly and the man grim. They asked me to show them my handbag, which I did. She asked me to literally take every single thing out and open every single little compartment. There was nothing of relevance in there except for 2 silky head scarves that I had planned to put on my bag (it is quite embellished with scarves, stickers & dangly faux fur things). The woman asked where I got them from. I said I think Valleygirl, but I had bought them a few weeks ago so I wasn't 100% sure.

Then she asked to look in my shopping bag I had on my shoulder. In this bag were some clothes that I had bought the day before from the Salvos. The receipt was still there in the bag though the Salvo receipts don't say what each item is. I sell clothes on Ebay so I often go to the Salvos and buy a heap of clothes, some still with tags on, most in excellent as new condition, many good brands ranging from Zimmermann, Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger to Valleygirl, Kmart and Ally.

So ANYWAY, there were some clothes in there that I had bought the day prior, and the woman did not believe me, and said she doubted the Salvos would sell such good quality items. Sigh. I said well...I don't know what to say, but that is where I got them from.

I took every single thing out at her request. A men's Pierre Cardin tie (the security guard inspected this closely), a Queenspark top, a David Lawrence pinstripe shirt, a white mesh Valleygirl cover-up, a Valleygirl denim dress, a Cotton On sundress and a Cotton on denim jacket. All from the Salvos.

The woman inspected each one, then took photos of each one, AND the front of my handbag. She asked for my ID. I gave it to her without argument.

She then said she was calling the police. Ok, I said, somewhat weirded out since I hadn't actually taken anything, and what they seemed convinced I HAD taken was not even from David Jones.

The security guard said they'd been watching me on CCTV and that I had removed the security sticker on the bottle of perfume. I said it sort of fell off when I picked up the bottle (kind of true).

So the woman left to call the police, and then returned, gave me my ID back, asked for my phone number, which I provided and she tested it to see if it was correct by ringing it (it was correct).

She then asked if I would like to surrender the clothes and return to the shop tomorrow to meet with the police, or take the clothes and the police would call me tomorrow.

I said wellll...I'd prefer not to leave the clothes as they are actually mine. So she said fine, put them all back in my shopping bag, and said the police would call me the following day.

The security guard then was asked to escort me out. I asked what would actually happen, and he said the police would call me the following day and if I had any additional proof or anything to add to my story, it'd be wise to do that, and if it were him, he would pay for the clothes. (I was agreeable, thanked him and apologised for wasting his time, but was thinking I don't see how I could pay for the clothes as how would I know how much they were brand new when I got them from the Salvos for $2-$3 each!?)

So...today is the next day, and no one has called me yet. Will they? Surely if they were going to call the police, they would have shown up then and there? Is this normal??

I have never had any involvement with the police or shoplifting before so I don't know how these things work.

Seeing as I did not actually take anything, were they even allowed to detain me like that (about 30 mins), and the woman handled all my clothes at length, taking photos, taking my ID, photographing my handbag.

I'm confused as to why they were so determined to go through every single thing, yet if they'd watched me on CCTV surely they would have seen that I hadn't done anything else?

They also seemed disbelieving that I had removed the Salvos tags ("that's convenient", the woman remarked sarcastically). Why would I leave them on?? The clothes are to be photographed to be listed on Ebay and sold!

The woman kept asking if I had the receipts for the Valleygirl and Cotton On items. No, I said, because I didn't get them from there. Ugh.

Lastly, I tried to explain WHY I had this bag of Salvos clothes I'd bought the day before, but it came out kind of unclear I think, and they didn't seem to listen.

My best friend and I both sell clothes on Ebay from the Salvos, and sometimes we show each other what we've bought, or swap clothes or buy clothes from each other. I was meeting her shortly thereafter.

So...my questions are...

1. Were the police actually called?
2. Will the police call me?
3. Will the police turn up at my door with some kind of search warrant to look through the 14 large tubs of Salvos clothes I have listed for sale?
4. Why were the DJ staff SO rigorous?
5. Were they within their rights to detain me, handle my clothing, and take my ID?
6. Is the fact I left the perfume department and went to another area of the store deemed the same as actually leaving the store entirely?
7. If I must, how can I prove these clothes are mine? The Salvo receipt was right there, but didn't mean much as it only has "red $2" etc, as they're itemised by tag colour / value only.

I have never been in trouble before, am almost 41 years old (I look younger) and am kicking myself for my weird behaviour with that damn perfume! (I am on several medications and had not eaten, so definitely not feeling myself).

I frequent this shopping centre at least twice a week as it's close to where I live, and I am also a mystery / secret shopper and do many of my shopping jobs there in the various stores (including David Jones at times).

Thank you so much for any help and advice anyone can provide!
 

Adam1user

Well-Known Member
5 January 2018
573
32
2,219
Long post, but short answer, yes the police will call you, your case is not at the top priority, but for sure you will be called by police. They acted within their rights, if someone is stealing from me, I would be angry and pissed. They, from their experience, have heard most stories relating to shoplifting, You need to get yourself a lawyer. The lawyer will advise you what to do and what you need and what is the likely outcome of this.

Shoplifting does not pay.....
Nice idea about buying from salvos and sell online.....
 

gaga23

Member
4 September 2019
4
0
1
Mmm...I see.

I'm just unsure as to why the police were called. I read about other people getting warnings for a first offence, having to sign statements to say they won't enter the store again...so why in this case did they just instantly go straight to interrogation and calling the police, but not asking them to actually attend? And especially when I had not actually stolen anything!

When WILL they call? A week? A month? A YEAR?
 

gaga23

Member
4 September 2019
4
0
1
Well, it's now been 2 weeks since my incident, and I've heard nothing from the police. I went back to the shopping centre today just as normal, and nothing seemed odd. I was never told I couldn't return there anyway.

Is anything actually going to happen??
 

Adam1user

Well-Known Member
5 January 2018
573
32
2,219
Well, it's now been 2 weeks since my incident, and I've heard nothing from the police. I went back to the shopping centre today just as normal, and nothing seemed odd. I was never told I couldn't return there anyway.

Is anything actually going to happen??

Copy of previous comment:
Long post, but short answer, yes the police will call you, your case is not at the top priority, but for sure you will be called by police. They acted within their rights, if someone is stealing from me, I would be angry and pissed. They, from their experience, have heard most stories relating to shoplifting, You need to get yourself a lawyer. The lawyer will advise you what to do and what you need and what is the likely outcome of this.

Shoplifting does not pay.....
Nice idea about buying from salvos and sell online.....
 

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
892
132
2,389
NSW
Then she asked to look in my shopping bag I had on my shoulder. In this bag were some clothes that I had bought the day before from the Salvos. The receipt was still there in the bag though the Salvo receipts don't say what each item is.
I'm afraid this is your biggest problem - it's just not believable.

The first question this raises is "Who buys clothes and still has them in their shopping bag the next day?" Whether it's true or not, people just won't believe it and since the receipt isn't itemized, it's pretty much worthless and actually makes your story even more suspicious.
 

gaga23

Member
4 September 2019
4
0
1
Thanks for your reply!

I've copied part of my original long post relating to why I had some clothes in my shopping bag.

"Lastly, I tried to explain WHY I had this bag of Salvos clothes I'd bought the day before, but it came out kind of unclear I think, and they didn't seem to listen.

My best friend and I both sell clothes on Ebay from the Salvos, and sometimes we show each other what we've bought, or swap clothes or buy clothes from each other. I was meeting her shortly thereafter."

So yes, believable or not, that is simply the truth.