Mo. Stores Can Detain Suspected Shoplifters

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Missouri Retailers Association is warning shoplifters may find themselves detained in a back room and asked to sign a confession.

Missouri is one of 27 states with tough laws that allow retailers to hold shoplifting suspects and fine them.

“We have a civil theft law that allows for fines up to $250 plus court costs and attorney fees,” says David Overfelt, President of the MRA. “So that is a potential. I do not see anything that would prevent us from trying to seek a confession.”

By law, stores in Missouri cannot be sued for detaining shoplifting suspects a “reasonable” length of time.

Macy’s in New York has faced lawsuits from customers claiming the retailer abused the law by targeting minorities and holding suspects for hours to get a signature of confession.

Furthermore, Overfelt says shoplifters are more likely than ever to get caught.

“Our surveillance is better than ever and the technology we use, the training of our employees and our professionals is second to none and we have seen some results because of that.”


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