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Shoplifting Case in Delia Jones and Kohls: Analysing the False Accusation Claims

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There are no existing laws that have defined shoplifting or stealing from a store. Instead, customers accused of shoplifting are usually charged under different existing laws such as the Criminal Law and if found guilty, the penalty will vary depending on the severance of the offence. As such, the best way to act when someone has been falsely accused of stealing or shoplifting is to remain calm and oblige to the request made by the security officer or the store manager. However, in many cases, the customer’s or individual’s rights are commonly broken by the store while trying to enforce or examine the shoplifting incidences and quickly escalate and become a matter of violations of human or individual rights as a customer or individual (Smith). Accordingly, Delia’s case fell under false accusation. Based upon the evidence produced, the earrings she was accused of stealing was not a result of intent but due to confusion while dealing with her children in the store.

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Despite the evidence to suggest this, the store manager acted in a crude manner on several events and as such violated multiple of her rights as both a customer and an individual. In the case of Delia and the store, the store security guards as well as the management are liable for breaking laws such as falsely accusing Delia of shoplifting and the illegal detention of both Delia and her two small children.

Generally, there are laws that exist which give retail or wholesale store guards and security the right to perform their duties which ensure that issues related to theft, loss of assets or goods are not stolen or vandalized. However, the acts of the security guards should be performed in a reasonable manner in such a way that it should not violate the rights of the customers. As Gardner explains, store security should be achieved or performed in one of the following ways. First, monitor the customers shopping activities using third-security facilities or equipment such as cameras or undercover employees. Secondly, reasonable force should also be applied when presenting shoplifters from stealing goods within the store or from fleeing with the already taken goods. Thirdly, detaining of the customers who have been accused of shoplifting should be done shortly for investigation and questioning. As such, in order to avoid any form of liability, it is best that the store security guards acquire enough evidence for probable cause before apprehending the suspected shoplifter. In addition, the force used against the shoplifter should also never be too forceful or too excessive.

In the case of the Delia Jones and Kohls, while the store security guards acted with probable cause to detain Delia under with the perception that she stole the earrings, the manner in which Delia and her two children were treated constitutes a violation of their rights as the store should be charged for false accusation. Upon being summoned by the security officers, Delia willingly obliged and followed them without resisting or using any foul language or creating a scene at the store. Even with such good conduct towards the officer, she is still accused loudly of being a shoplifter to something she did not do at all. Seeing that such form of treatment constitutes false accusation, Delia has the right to sue the store as it has affected her mindfulness, especially with the humiliation caused not only in public but in front of her children as well. Nonetheless, with most of the limitation cases being very costly, Delia has the right to demand an apology from the store manager and the security guards.

In addition to the defamation and false accusation, the store manager and the security offices are also liable for keeping/detaining Delia and her children for a long time without considering examining the evidence. Under the law, the store should fact find and examine all of the evidence before legal proclaiming that a customer is a shoplifter. In this case, Delia and her children are not accorded such a right as the store manager declines to examine all evidence and as such is kept for a longer period within the security room. In addition, the store manager and the security officers also do not use the security recording in the store to examine whether Delia actually acquired the item, concealed it and taking it out of the store without paying. In addition, the store’s illegal detention of Delia for much too long, especially since she had two young children, also constitutes a violation of her rights to freedom of movement as well as the false imprisonment of the children.

In conclusion, the store is without a doubt liable for violating Delia’s rights such as false accusation, defamation as well as false imprisonment of her and the children. As such, the store can and should be sued for acting in this manner and causing humiliation towards Delia and her children as well as not following the right legal procedures such as looking through the evidence provided by the surveillance footage in the store to handle the situation at hand.

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