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Theft prevention

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader


Joe has three daughters. His oldest is 15. Her name is Meg. Meg is a bright kid. Joe’s youngest daughter tells him that she heard Meg bragging to a friend about stealing from a store at the mall. Joe finds the items hidden under Meg’s bed. Joe and his daughters aren’t real people.

After taking her phone and sending her to her room, Joe calls the store and asks to speak with a loss prevention representative. Joe has an idea.

Joe takes Meg to the store so she can return the items and apologize to the manager. Joe explains to the manager that he understands if the manager needs to inform law enforcement about his daughter’s theft. Meg is shaking.

The manager encourages Joe to give Meg a tour of the store. Joe begins walking the aisles with Meg and pointing out all of the cameras on the walls and in the ceiling. Meg never before saw any of those cameras. Meg notices a guy with tattoos and a Purdue shirt on not too far away. She also sees a woman nearby pushing a baby stroller.

After a few minutes, the manager takes Joe and Meg to his office in the back of the store. The manager shows Meg a multiple computer monitors with videos of Meg and her dad walking around the store.

Minutes later, the manager introduces the man wearing the Purdue shirt and the woman pushing the stroller to Meg and her father. Meg is surprised to learn that they both work for the store and are dressed to look like ordinary shoppers. The woman shares with Meg that she catches people stealing everyday. The woman shows Meg that there’s only a doll resting inside the stroller.

The manager informs Meg that the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) projects that over 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last 5 years. He also tells her that 25% of those people caught are kids.

The manager goes on to explain that they always watch teenagers who enter the store very closely. Always.

Meg is blown away and ashamed. She had no idea the store needed so many resources to prevent and catch shoplifters. In addition to learning how easy it is to get caught, Meg starts to realize just how wrong it is to steal.

Before Joe and Meg leave the store, the manager hands Meg a piece of paper informing Meg that she is forever banned from the store. The manager accepts Meg’s apology and tells her that he is not calling the police.

On the drive home, Meg tells her dad that she will never steal anything ever again.


Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you

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