Alberta man convicted of criminal harassment following Creep Catcher incident

Which is why loss prevention employees are told to wait until a suspect leaves the store altogether.

Even then, charges aren't always laid. The first line of defence is the LPO themselves who will ask the police to recommend charges or simply to let them go. However, police do not require the LP to agree to charges or not. It is simply a recommendation. Sometimes, the theft really was an honest mistake. It would not be in anyone's interests to pursue legal action against such an individual.

Sometimes the shoplifter may be physically or mentally ill. To effect an arrest in such a case would be very risky as it could open one up to civil liability if they choose not to cooperate. They may be armed or pose a significant risk to the LPO. In such cases, it would be wise to contact police and have them perform the arrest.

Many LPOs do not contact police and I find this to be improper procedure. Every arrest requires police to be contacted and for them to attend. However, if police are not contacted, what typically happens is that the shoplifter is allowed to leave with a warning. The product is recovered and that is the end of it.

The vast majority of shoplifting events do not result in charges. This is largely a cultural belief and one that works quite well to deter theft... for the most part. At the end of the day, your average soccer mom who makes a bad decision is not going to go to jail.

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