Things I’ve Learned (and some things I already knew)

1. Stores have no legal right to detain someone just because their alarm sounds when a person exits.

2. They also have no right to search your purchases or belongings without the customer’s permission.

3. Something in my purse sets off the sensors at stores like Best Buy and most of the stores in the mall.

4. Short of spending time testing each individual item in my purse, I can’t figure out what’s causing it. I’m choosing to blame my iPod, but refusing to leave it behind.

5. I also don’t feel like “fighting for my rights” when entering or exiting stores during the holiday shopping season.

6. Timing my entrance and exit of such stores to coincide with the exit of someone carrying a store bag not only saves me an argument with a minimum wage rental cop, but also provides enough entertainment to make me smile on the inside.

7. My parking karma is still quite effective, allowing me to park in the closest, non-handicap, covered parking spot at the mall on a snowy Saturday afternoon.

8. Trips to the car to stash bags and return to shopping also provides ample entertainment during an otherwise laborious and chilling task as incoming cars await excitedly for my primo parking spot, only to be waved away because I’m not yet departing.

9. Online holiday shopping with home delivery of packages rocks.

I wish you all a wonderful and entertaining holiday season!

Explore posts in the same categories: Wanderings

2 Comments on “Things I’ve Learned (and some things I already knew)”

  1. DHCruiser Says:


    Items 1 and 2 – Completely true. A store can demand to search your bag as a condition of entry, but not on exit. On entry you have the right to decline and leave. They can demand on exit, but you are free to say no and walk away. The most they can do is perform a citizen’s arrest and call the police, but they can’t physically hold you there. They may not illegally detain you or force a search.

    There are some exceptions, such as membership stores. Read your agreements. Costco reserves the right to search your bags. However, you can still decline, but they are likely to cancel your membership, no refund since it’s a contingency of your membership.

    The other item to remember is whether the “security guard” is an off-duty cop. They still don’t have a right to randomly search people, but they can legally detain you. They have to satisfy RAS (Reasonable Articulable Suspicion) to detain and/or search you. Declining to be searched or protecting any of your other rights doesn’t satisfy RAS. šŸ™‚

  2. DHCruiser Says:

    I forgot to mention…item 7 is just plain creepy. I don’t know how you do it or how you earned your parking karma.

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