When Shoplifting $300 Worth Of Hunting Knives, Try Not To Impale Yourself On Them

A Michigan man was caught shoplifting $300 worth of hunting knives from Meijer after he scuffled with security guards and fell forward, impaling himself. He’d hidden the knives in the waistband of his pants.

The man’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he was taken to the hospital and treated. He’s expected to face a misdemeanor shoplifting charge, police told the Grand Rapids Press.

“The man was taken to the hospital,” said Meijer spokesman Frank Giuliano. “We are cooperating with the investigation by police.”

Police said the suspect has a record of retail fraud.

“I saw a man laying down on the mat by the carts, a knife by him with blood on the full blade of the knife,” shopper Heather Dodd said. “It was not a dull kitchen knife or a sharp butcher’s knife. It was somewhere in between.

“Someone was holding him down, so I just walked around him, grabbed my cart, made sure everything was OK and got out of the way.”

Alleged shoplifter falls on knives [MLive] (Thanks, s!)
(Photo:meghannmarco)

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  1. JayXJ says:

    Something like this happened with Wal-Mart a few years back involving fishing lures. Imagine dozens of hooks in sensitive places.

  2. retech says:

    Give him a month before he’s got Meijer lawyers in closed room dealing over this. He’ll claim Meijer is culpable for his injuries, since their employees caused his impalement.

  3. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Almost a Darwin Award nominee!

  4. rmz says:

    It’s a shame he didn’t sterilize himself in the process.

  5. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @retech: That IS actually a good point. If they suspected him of shoplifting, then they must have know WHAT he shoplifted. And wrestling a man with a slew of knives is simply NOT a good idea. The Meijer employees are lucky they didn’t get hurt. The guy could’ve pulled a knife on them.

  6. shan6 says:

    Thank you home town, represent!

  7. ShadowFalls says:

    I bet this guy is going to sue them for it too. It is what people do in America.

    But I do agree, if you know he stole knives, confronting him wasn’t the best possible solution.

  8. snoop-blog says:

    and i would have just cut off his hand.

  9. Bay State Darren says:

    One word: Karma.

  10. saltmine says:

    @retech: @aaron8301: @ShadowFalls: It’s one thing to suggest it as a joke, but there is no chance in hell this guy will have his day in court with Meijer.

  11. vanilla-fro says:

    They may not have known what he was stuffing in his pants, only that he was stuffing something in his pants.
    When they started to confront him he did the old “act suspcious and unruly” like the guy on TV or in the movies that runs when he sees the cops but didn’t do anything.

  12. vanilla-fro says:

    @saltmine: he probably will.

  13. Parting says:

    @Bay State Darren: Yep, always there to bite you in the @ss if you’re were naughty.

    But honestly, this shoplifter got what he deserved. Next time he’ll try to steal something less sharp.

    (I just imagine people laughing at him in prison :)

  14. saltmine says:

    @vanilla-fro: What are you people basing this on? What cases similar to this have ever made it to court?

  15. topgun says:

    @saltmine: I thought this one would be easy to dispute. I mean I swear I saw it in Readers Digest or something. Does it count if I say that South Dakota and NY have laws preventing criminals from suing victims so there must be cases?
    I don’t know there must be some.

  16. unklegwar says:

    “It was not a dull kitchen knife or a sharp butcher’s knife. It was somewhere in between.”

    How does one ascertain the sharpness of a blood-covered knife from a distance, anyway?

    And by the way, keep your kitchen knives sharp, it’s safer.

    I like how they quoted the shopper who couldn’t even make a useful comment on the knife. It’s like asking someone what kind of car the burglar’s were driving.

    “it had wheels”

  17. B says:

    @topgun: Readers Digest isn’t exactly a bastion of accurate information.

  18. topgun says:

    @B: Maybe it was Maxim then.

  19. Morgan says:

    @saltmine: I know California has had cases of criminals suing the people they were robbing because they got injured on their property; I suspect most other states have liablity laws that are a bit more sane.

  20. saltmine says:

    @Morgan: Can you point out a specific case, because many of them have been debunked as urban legends on snopes.

  21. topgun says:

    There are some here if you poke around.
    [www.overlawyered.com]

  22. retech says:

    @saltmine: Well, in Michigan it is illegal for a store employee to touch or lay hands on a person… no matter if they are shoplifting or not. If you’d like to detain them, you have to ask them to stop. If they continue on, you may block their egress, by say, standing in the doorway, but they can and will push past. The store employees may not resist for the potential risk of harm to the person. The store may stand in front of the vehicle, but the person can run over those people, but then that’s assault with attempt.

    I had several friends that were district managers at Meijer and their policy is very clear cut. I would bet that the criminal will sue, and will will, the store will fire all employees involved as well. It’d be nice to see Consumerist follow-up on this in a few months. I’d be glad to say I’m wrong but, sadly, in the overly litigious society that is the US, there will be most likely a court case and a nice award coming out of this.

    Pity the guy didn’t stab himself in the heart. Then only his family could sue.

  23. retech says:

    “The store may stand in front of the vehicle, but the person can run over those people, but then that’s assault with attempt.”

    *The store EMPLOYEE may stand…

    sorry for the typo.

  24. saltmine says:

    [snopes.com]
    is an example. He can try to sue, but there surely won’t be an award.

  25. CumaeanSibyl says:

    BAAHAHAHAHA. Oh, Grand Rapids.

  26. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I love irony.

  27. clank-o-tron says:

    @unklegwar: Being completely argumentative here, but a ‘dull kitchen knife’ could refer to what most people call a butter knife.

    Possibly. Or, they’re just not too bright. I’ve spent some time in Meijer, and it’s clientele leans more towards that WalMart.

  28. Maybebaby says:

    @clank-o-tron: I live in Grand Rapids and shop regularly at the Meijer where all of this went down. It is in a rather affluent section of the city. I, for one, would rather carry knives in my pants than shop at Walmart, so watch the stereotyping.

  29. Cowboys_fan says:

    “It was not a dull kitchen knife or a sharp butcher’s knife. It was somewhere in between.”

    I know its been quoted already but its a good thing this guy wasn’t bright enough to steal good knives or he might be dead!

  30. tmed says:

    There is a huge difference between suing and winning. This guy can claim some sort of uneccessary dangerous action on Meijer’s part and sue.

    Then a Meijer lawyer is going to ask a judge to throw it out of court. If it gets by that hurdle, then a Meijer lawyer is going to study the law and decide if they should settle and for how much. Then a Meijer accountant is going to say whether or not to settle.

    If the guy accepts a settlement, the guy accepts a settlement, for not very much because there is no way they want to present this to a Jury. Babble all you want about stupid juries, but the truth is, they tend to be just like you and me. And they aren’t going to give money to this guy.

    If Meijer has a clear policy, as someone else stated, than the most the guy could try would be to go after the employees themselves, and they won’t have any money.

    Even if you find one stupid case, any representative sample would show that any such case would never gain an award. Don’t bring up McDonald’s and the coffee, it doesn’t matter here, and was actually pretty damn reasonable when you consider just how big McDonald’s is and just how negligent they were, and how actively they chose to be negligent.

  31. LoLoren says:

    Being an avid Meijer shopper from Michigan, I really have nothing to say, except, “I can believe it.”

  32. RvLeshrac says:

    @saltmine:

    They don’t really “make it to court,” they’re settled out.

    When I worked at Kroger, we had several cases where people were let go because they were slammed against the glass front wall of the store by employees chasing them down.

    In one case, the guy broke the nose and a couple of ribs of the dairy manager. He was let go because the dairy manager punched him in the process.

  33. jooverz says:

    Idiot. I bet that won’t prevent him from trying to shoplift in the future. Next he’ll try to hide the knives in his ass.

  34. gabi says:

    @shan6: Woot-woot! *fist pump*

    I’m actually more amazed that this didn’t happen in Muskegon, considering all the people from my high school that I *know* shoplifted from there since it was a big bragging rights thing.

    Oh, Meijer, I kind of miss you now…

  35. Trai_Dep says:

    @saltmine: Yup, urban legend, or lost the case.

    The wingers relying on AM talk radio don’t differentiate between filing a case, and winning it. Then are the first to call the lawyers when it’s their goose supposedly being cooked.

  36. vanilla-fro says:

    @saltmine: A burglar once sued a family after he injured himself in their house WHILE TRYING TO STEAL THEIR SHIT.
    and in some states a burglar can sue you if you shoot him in your house while defending yourself.

    Thank you Florida for letting us shoot intruders first and ask questions later.

  37. vanilla-fro says:

    @saltmine: they still sued, not saying they won. But still just the hassle, shoot to kill.

  38. RvLeshrac says:

    @trai_dep:

    Far from urban legend, since I’ve had first-hand experience working in a store that has been sued.

    They’re settled out because the store doesn’t want to risk the possibility of losing and having to throw even MORE money at the criminal, in addition to legal fees.

  39. Trai_Dep says:

    Sued for what, under what circumstances?

    It IS a crapshoot to an extent, yet in the vast, VAST majority of cases, when they’re decided, juries have done the sensible thing.

    Perfect? No. Alternatives are consumer, and little-guy hostile.

    Reminds me of the Churchill quote regarding democracy…

  40. Youthier says:

    @LoLoren: Ha! My reaction was “You mean this isn’t my Meijers? That’s a surprise.”

  41. RvLeshrac says:

    @trai_dep:

    Sued for being rammed against the front wall of the store after being chased, or slammed to the sidewalk at the front of the store after being chased.

    Really, no different from the asshats who sue police departments for ‘injury’ after fighting tooth, nail, and claw.

    While, yes, the majority of cases go to the defendant, the sums of money involved make it a very expensive day in court should you end up with a bad jury.