Times have really changed over the past forty years. I worked retail as a clerk, department manager and as an assistant store manager. I’ve been involved in a number of shoplifting cases. On more than one occasion the shoplifter used violence to try to escape and in all but one instance they failed. Shoplifters have hit, kicked, spit, scratched and pull knives on our security guards and myself. Two of those shoplifters ended up in the hospital as a result of their actions. Fortunately, there were plenty of witnesses to back us up and their court challenges were thrown out.
One of our security guards ended up with a permanent disability and very limited use of his right arm after a woman shoplifter sunk her teeth into the top of his shoulder. The bite infected and Mike nearly lost his arm from the bite.
It seems that if I was still working retail today and had to use violence to stop a shoplifter that my job would be in jeopardy as is the case of a store manager for a Kroger grocery store.
Claude Medlock, 51 was observed shoplifting from a Kroger grocery store in Arlington, Texas. One of the store’s managers followed Medlock out of the store and attempted to stop him for his crime. According to witnesses, one of which videoed what happened on her cell phone, Medlock tried to stab the manager with his knife. The manager then shoved Medlock into a parked car, enabling him to disarm the thief. Medlock continued to resist being detained so the manager slammed him to the ground to subdue him and hold him until police could respond.
Arlington police reported that Medlock has a long criminal history of theft and robbery. When asked about the store manager’s actions in stopping, disarming and subduing Medlock, they said that his actions were justifiable and that he committed no crime.
However, Kroger felt differently and subsequently fired the manager for his actions. When a local news station contacted Kroger for an explanation, they responded with a statement that said:
“The incident…is not a reflection of our company’s fraud prevention protocol, procedures or training…He is no longer employed by our company.”
What was the store manager supposed to do when Medlock pulled the knife on him? Was he supposed to allow the man to stab him or just wish the shoplifter a nice day and let him walk off with his stolen loot?
Store managers and employees are being punished for defending themselves and their stores. Homeowners are being arrested for defending their property and person from would be criminals. A student videos others bullying him to try to stop it from happening and he is arrest for a crime and the bullies are not punished.
My oldest daughter worked in a local hospital when she was attacked by a patient. He held her by the neck and threatened to kill her and everyone else. It took security to subdue the patient. When the ordeal was over, hospital officials told her it was a good thing that she didn’t try to defend herself because she would have lost her job.
What is our society coming to when people can no longer stop criminals or protect property and person? Seems like our society has everything backwards and upside down. Criminals have more rights and protections than innocent people do. I’m just glad I’m no longer working in retail or in a position dealing with shoplifters as I’d probably lose my job also.